Aussie Ninja Warrior - Adam Waring
The collective anguish of the Chicago Ninja Academy hits me as I fall off the new Ultimate Cliffhanger obstacle. I've been working on this obstacle for a couple of weeks now, and so focused on trying to get my second hand across the big transition that I had no idea an entire room had stopped to watch.
That's the thing about training for American Ninja Warrior in the US... it has such a ridiculous community. My successes are their successes, and my failures make the whole group stop and groan. Despite being older than pretty much everyone, and much, much newer, they've all taken me under their wing and treat me like a little brother they're trying to educate.
The weekend before, the gang invited me to compete with them at a local obstacle course comp... I was easily the weakest in our two teams, but you'd never know by outright volume of support I'd cop every time I'd tackle an obstacle. Despite my terribleness, my team totally smashed the whole comp because these peeps are hardcore.
It's taken me a while to get my head around this collectively supportive concept. Initially I saw everyone as competition, his success just meant I had to work harder, but the beauty of this sport is that it's us, all of us, versus the obstacle. 2 guys didn't get to the top of Mt Midoriyama on Season 7 of ANW, everyone did. Isacc Caldiero and Geoff Britten might have physically done it, but everyone they've hung out with, talked obstacles with, trained with, competed with, have all had an impact and helped those two dudes get to the ropes and then get up those ropes.
In the US, it feels like every second week there is an obstacle course comp at one of the various Ninja gyms around the country...heaps of people travel around to compete, so they all meet each other, help each other, make friends, chat, etc. That's what I'm excited for Australia, and that's why this sport is just so great... I can't think of any other sports where the entire playerbase is working together.
Training in the US has also made me realise just how hard Ninja Warrior is. You have to be good and super strong at so many different things, each obstacle requires specific technique, and the variations of the obstacles totally mess with you. The Salmon Ladder in Philly feels completely different to the Salmon Ladder in San Diego. I can get up the Warped Wall in Chicago but am hopeless at the one in New Jersey despite being the same height (different steepness though).
Obviously the irony of moving to America because Australia didn't have a Ninja Warrior, only to have them announce it 3 months later is not lost on me, but I'm excited about Australian Ninja Warrior Season 1 and hopeful/slightly confident about American Ninja Warrior Season 9. I think a boatload of inspiring fitness is going to hit Australia TV next year which seems a whole lot healthier than most reality TV offerings, definitely exciting times ahead.
To find out more or to keep up with his progress, check out his website at: