By Beth K. Vogt
I’m one of the 6 to 7 million viewers who watch American Ninja Warrior (ANW). I cheer from the comfort of my home as (mostly) ultra-athletic men and women jump, swing, run, and climb their way through a series of obstacles for the chance to “beat that wall!”
You’ll never see me run the obstacle course on ANW. But that’s okay because I have another aspiration. I want to be an American Ninja Warrior Writer.
ANW competitors are amazing examples of perseverance. This year, a man with one leg ran the Indianapolis qualifying course. After watching him take on the floating stairs and the rope swing and even jumping on a trampoline and successfully reaching the first of three hanging rings, I should never complain about a deadline again!
But the real reason I want to be an American Ninja Warrior Writer? I love the way contestants support one another. Each season, dozens of men and women compete against one another. When they’re not running the course, all the contestants are cheering for the individual who is jumping, swinging, running, and climbing as they strive to beat the course
ANW is in its eighth season, and certain individuals have competed enough times to become household names. They’ve also developed something that sets them apart, not unlike when writers craft taglines. Here’s a sampling of some of the more celebrated American Ninja Warriors:
• James “The Beast” McGrath – a 4-time finalist
• Jessie Graff – a TV stuntwoman who wears a Wonder Woman outfit and who was the first woman to complete this year’s course
• Joe Moravsky – a.k.a. Ninja Weatherman
• Geoff Britten – a.k.a. “Popeye,” or Ninja Brittens, who became the first American Ninja Warrior last year after conquering Mount Midoriyama
You know what else a lot of these warriors do? They wear T-shirts with slogans on them. And their families and friends and fans on the sidelines wear their T-shirts.
But here’s what amazes me: Competitors wear each other’s T-shirts — and they’re yelling and screaming for each other. One guy runs the course — other competitors wear his T-shirt. The next contestant runs the course – now all the other competitors are wearing her T-shirt. And everyone is hollering “You can do it!” and “Keep trying!” — even though success for this person means someone else could lose their place in the competition.
And that’s why I want to be an American Ninja Warrior Writer.
I want to wear other writers’ (virtual) T-shirts. I want to cheer for them when they are fighting to meet their deadlines. I want to holler, “You can do it!” when another writer doubts herself. I want to jump up and down and HaPpY dAnCe when they win an award – even if it means I don’t.
Who’s with me?
Beth K. Vogt believes God’s best often waits behind the doors marked “Never.” A 2016 Christy Award winner and three-time Carol Award finalist, Beth’s destination wedding series continues with an e-novella, You Can’t Hurry Love (May 2016) and a novel, Almost Like Being in Love. Visit Beth at bethvogt.com.