Need motivation?

Watch this!      And what about this

  or   ?

The new season of American Ninja Warrior is here! I love this show. These people are fantastic athletes. They work their full-time jobs, and then train wherever they can. They make their own ANW courses out of whatever they have on hand.

Some have full courses built in their backyard. Some use trees and park benches, or whatever else they can find  to jump and flip over or climb. They are firefighters, graphic designers, farmers, construction workers, ex-military and even the CEO of Clif bars this year. Some are college age, and some are in their 50s or 60s.

The one thing they all have in common is dedication. For anyone who thinks this is a game show, it is not. The only ones who make it through are the ones with serious focus. The ones who go out early often train harder and come back the following year. No one has yet conquered the final course and won the title–or the million dollars.  Right now ANW is moving from city to city for qualifying rounds–the final course is always in Las Vegas.

My favorite contestant in the qualifying so far this year is an autistic 21-year-old. He saw this show when he was 13 and it became his dream to be on the show. His dream took him out of his solitude and into the world. He trained in gyms, interacting with his trainers and other gym mates. Anyone who knows about Autism knows that interacting with others is one of the hardest things sufferers can do. And he went on national tv in front of a chaotic live audience and did his best. He didn’t finish the course, but I bet we will see him again.

I have always liked climbing and obstacle courses. When I saw this show for the first time, I was amazed. The obstacles these athletes conquer! And the ease with which some of them do it. I don’t look at them and say “well, I can never do that!” I look at them and say “if they can do that, what can I do?” I push harder after watching an episode. Last week a man smacked his knee into a mat edge as he landed. He made it 2 more obstacles before the pain made him fall. Turns out he fractured his knee. The determination and bravery the athletes show make me realize what can be done if you only want it bad enough.

I may only want to run a minute faster per mile. Or run 10 miles. Or finish my Urban Raid. I don’t ever expect or even want to be on ANW. But these people, these athletes who use this show to enrich their lives, also enrich our lives. We can look at them and realize the potential we have. Whatever our goals are, to run faster, to walk a bit further, to get off that couch and MOVE; this show can inspire us to do it.

Get Inspired at ANW!

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