11 January 2016

Ninja Warrior

Compressing my entire life into a minute and thirty seconds was almost as much challenge as actually doing the obstacles! 
This is a quick summary of my life followed by some samples of stuff I can do. Even if I don't make it on, making this video was a whole lot of fun already.

Guest Starring the beautiful intelligent and generous Rachel Williams, (who took most of the video I didn't take myself)

Cameo by Didi the dog

Extra Special Thanks to Joe Zimmerman of Alameda Ninja Warrior (i.e. Joe's back yard) who encouraged me to try out. Dude built a whole mini course by himself, and then invited people to come play there - for free! Awesome guy.

Music credit: Pork and the Spork / Flumberger Fishbulb (i.e. my high school band, music and lyrics by Alex Staten and Bakari Kafele)

The wall at the end is "only" 10ft high, but on the other hand, all 10ft of it is straight up!



Oh well,
Though, with at least a little comfort from caveats...

The new Tick Tock took me out.
Along with most of my fellow competitors.

Somewhere between 100 and 200 got to attempt to run the course at Universal Studios Hollywood, but only about 30 got past this one. 
As the ANW producer's often do, this was a brand new obstacle, different than anything they've done so far, and of course the course is a secret until the night of competition, so nobody had any possible way to train or practice, or heck, even try it one time, before doing it with the cameras on.

Add to having no idea what the right technique should be (several swings to increase momentum, or one single smooth jump?  Aim high or aim low?  Catch with arms first, or legs, leaning forward or back?), I was among the very last to go.  They told me to arrive by 10pm.  My run was just slightly before 5am.  For almost 7 hours I stood around waiting, on the fenced in asphalt waiting area off to the side of the course, with not even chairs for the waiting athletes to rest on.  By the time I got to run, cold, stiff, and not having slept the entire night, I wanted to get it over with and go home almost as much as I wanted to finish the course!
At the very least, I wasn't taken down by the new version of the quintuple steps - harder than the old one, but basically the same.  A few people went down there, so at least I wasn't dead last :-P
In fact, I came off the rope smoother than many.  But on the trapeze, I felt like I didn't have enough momentum to make the jump, swung back and forth a few times, and landed high on the pendulum with a bit too much speed and force, and basically bounced off before I could get a grip on it. 
I wasn't planning on falling, so it was not a graceful dive.  I pretty much landed flat on my back, but there was no time to pay attention to little things like stinging pain, because I was on the bottom of a giant pool.   The water has a weird smell to it.  Probably some kind of sanitizing agent.  I started to climb out, but the crew told me I was on the wrong side.  Across to the other shore, they gave me a blanket (with a sponsor logo :) ), and they asked what happened.  I slipped.  What else is there to say?