Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I could have been a 5th grade American Ninja Warrior

In case you never saw it, here's the video of Kacy Catanzaro becoming the first women to complete the American Ninja Warrior course and qualify for the national finals in Las Vegas:

Unfortunately her tiny wingspan (she's only 5 feet tall) proved too much to overcome in the finals:

From the bit of American Ninja Warrior that I have watched, it seems to me that the most important attribute for a contestant to have is a tremendous upper-body strength to weight ratio.  I've seen many men who were obviously much stronger than Kacy fall because they couldn't hold themselves up (she weighs just 100 pounds).

If they had American Ninja Warrior for 5th graders in 1987, I think I would have been an exceptional candidate.  I wasn't that strong, but I was ridiculously skinny.  I weighed the least of any kid in my class, including the girls (48 pounds is the number I have in my head, but don't hold me to that).

I remember going to the doctor and being something like 50th percentile for height, but only 5th percentile for weight (I'll have to check with my mother to verify these stats, she probably saved them somewhere).

In gym class one day we did a thing called the flexed arm hang--you hang from a bar with your elbows bent for as long as you can.  Decades later my memory of this event is slightly hazy, but I believe the class record was something like 40 seconds, until I came along and shattered it with a time over 2 minutes.  Had I realized the implications, that could have been the start of my American Ninja Warrior career.

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