Remember that time I said “After Boston, what’s next? American Ninja Warrior?” If not, here you go:

“It all started as a joke. Connor and I were watching American Ninja Warrior and I told him I wanted to tackle the obstacles and be on the show. He of course believed me. He also believes that I will someday be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Aren’t kids great? He’ll figure out I am full of crap one of these days. READ MORE”

Since then I have done Boston several more times, tackled and conquered a 100 miler … line ’em up, I’ll knock them down. I got a little taste when I did a Spartan race with my wife not long after the 100 miler. I realized monkey bars, rings, and ropes were tough. But it was muddy and slick. Surely that was why I struggled. It couldn’t be getting old or having no upper body strength. Nah, I’m a hundred miler. I can do anything.

Fast forward. Cole has started taking Ninja classes at a local gymnastics facility – East Coast Gymnastics. He has great instructors and has enjoyed working his way through the obstacles. We even had his birthday party there and I was able to run up their warped wall and grab the bar (not the top one, but still …) on the first try. 

This past weekend we went back to Garrett County, Maryland to visit my mom and show Cole some of the sites up there. New to Deep Creek Lake is a Ninja course they installed in the Deep Creek Marina building. Perfect! Off we went to swing and jump and conquer that wall. We signed in and went to work on the obstacles. Cole and Connor breezed through. There are 4 lanes, each a different difficulty. I went to #3. There were some hanging challenges, some grip strength and some balance. I struggled but got to the end. Lined up at the warped wall and dug my heels in to race up it. Boom! I take off, dig one foot into the wall, the other, leap upward to the top and … miss. Down I drop and catch the bottom curve of the wall. Snap! My ankle gives way and I roll across the floor. Of course I spring to my feet like I meant to do it, but I knew something was not right in that ankle. 

I walked around a bit, feeling kind of nauseous and nervous. That stupid wall. Once I got the stars out of my eyes, I did as any smart dad would do. Rack it up as a loss and walk away.


Back to the wall I went. I made it this time. Yeah! In your face Wall! Evened the score.

Warped Wall 1 / Dad 1.

But as I sit here typing this, I have not run in a week and have been icing my ankle daily and wearing a compression sleeve on my ankle. I even had it x-rayed and fortunately it is just a bad sprain. No breaks.

So I think the wall got the best of me.

This time.

My days of dreaming of gracing the TV screen on American Ninja Warrior are over. For now. I will have to live vicariously through Cole. That little bugger is getting better and better at his Ninja skills!