Tall Drink of Nerd: Warriors, Come Out to Play!
a blogumn by Amy Robinson
If Amy cannot go to Mount Midoriyama, then Mount Midoriyama will come to Amy, or Venice Beach, which is close to Amy. G4tv brought Ninja Warrior to SoCal this weekend, to test American Ninja Warrior wannabes. That made the super-fan nerd in me squee with delight. Even though the pinky toe on my right foot is broken, swollen and barking at me to sit still, I wanted, no needed, to go meet Makoto Nagano, the coolest Warrior of all times. Lurching through the fancy decorated, temporary gates, I caught Warrior fever. Pain is temporary, now my only goal was to achieve the total victory of having fun despite a lame injury.
Quick background on NW; it airs in Japan under the name Sasuke, consists of 100 “warriors” running an obstacle course on Mount Midoriyama that looks absolutely impossible to conquer, with 90 seconds on a clock. If a warrior clears the first level, 3 more levels follow that would challenge the personal trainer of Captain America. In the 25 times that the contest has occurred, only 3 (THREE) people have completed all levels (aka Total Victory). So you know these guys have mad skillz. Two years ago, G4 began running reruns of the show and it became one of their biggest hits. The best part about NW is that in addition to being mesmerizing and addictive TV, the athletes inspire me to get off my hiney and work out. Perhaps someday even big-ole lanky me could dream of achieving Total Victory! I must not be the only one who dreams of Midoriyama, as this is the second year that G4 has held auditions on our own soil for the next American Ninja Warrior.
So Ninja Warrior is visiting our shores as a full on “Fan Experience”. The first booth I hobbled up to was the swag booth, which consisted of 5 t-shirt designs. Other than buying a nerdalicious yellow tee, the rest of the whole event was free! Ninja Warrior + Free = my kind of event. After a quick visit to the Be-A-Ninja photo booth, we sat in the bleachers to cheer on the competitors. The course conquered many hopefuls, but a handful made it through. Just like when I’m watching in my living room, I was completely caught up in the successes and failures. There was much cheering of victory and “awww”ing if someone fell into the water.
There was a separate mini-course set up with a spider wall, rope swing and curved wall, but my toe told me absolutely, no-way could I try that. Stoopid bossy broken toe. So the hubby and I went over to the booth where the All Stars were signing autographs. Excitement over meeting Makoto Nagano was just as dangerous for me as any mini-course could have been, because I began to jump up and down and clap my hands like an excited little girl. The All Stars were all incredibly nice, quiet, respectful and muscular. They signed my t-shirt and made me so happy that I forgot my toe even hurt! I thanked them with a jubilant “arigato!”
We lumbered out of Venice, sunburnt, happy and promising ourselves to train hard. Next year, I swear that I will compete, win and be the next American Ninja Warrior. Just try and stop me toes!