This happened back in 2019, but i was actually too embarrassed to share.
As some of you may already know, I spent my teenage years doing the opposite of what normal kids did. I never got to play sports, be active and have regular fun life experiences. Even once I turned my life around I was just learning how to love others and myself. I was busy learning how to be good father, husband and a post secondary student. This athletic hunger just didn’t fit in my life. Now as an adult I’m venturing out into things I never got to do.
I’ve never been involved in anything that u could win trophies, medals or even bragging rights. I never got to challenge myself physically and now I’m 40 years old so if I’m gonna do something, it’s now. If you know me you know I will try anything that’s fun, active and daring. One day I randomly noticed a poster for a Ninja Warrior Regionals Competition that was happening in 5 weeks time in my area. I’ve seen it done on TV and it looked like fun so that night I went on the website, paid the registration fee and signed up.
I purposely threw myself in not knowing what I was getting into, to challenge myself out of my comfort zone, plus I didn’t want to miss out. I know if I set a goal for myself I will be dedicated and push myself to do my very best so why not.
Rewind..For the last 6 months I had been working 2 jobs so I only exercised maybe once a week. I was really maxed out as far as time and energy on many things going on in my life so it really wasn’t wise for me to get involved in something like this but I love a challenge.
Once I signed up I was like, holy shit I better go check this place out. I went to the ninja gym for the first time, I played around for about 2 hours like a big kid and ended up tearing muscles/tendons in both my arms. I was injured for 4 weeks. This brought me a few days before the competition. With no training at all I really didn’t want to show my face and make a fool, but I kept telling myself I may regret not showing up and to “do what you’re afraid to do” so, I went and I brought my family.
I was shaking the whole time up until I had to do my run. My arms gave out half way through the course and my time and points were bad.
The last obstacles was the wall. It took everything out of me to pull myself up, but I did it. I placed 1st in Masters division (40 and up) To be honest I was also the only one in my region for my division so I now qualified for Nationals which I forfeited because it was too soon and really expensive to fly out.
I also qualified for worlds in Massachusetts. I really wanted to challenge myself, train hard and go to worlds but I felt like I have to prioritize and train for next year and kill it.
Someone asked me“ but what will you gain from this?” I used to be a full-time career criminal, high everyday in and out of jail since the age of 13 and now I’m teaching wellness methods to people struggling with addictions and inspiring them to be the best version of themselves. They hear my story and call me an inspiration..an Icon.
How can I be an inspiration if I don’t do the best I can, to be the complete opposite of the person I used to be and show people like me how fun and liberating it is to be a good father a great husband an athlete and a storyteller.
I’m an underdog nobody believed in. I was always seen as a failure, a fuckup, a lost cause, a delinquent nobody could trust. There are so many people just like me that feel hopeless and broken and feel like they will never change. Well I’m living proof you can change and if I can do it they can too. So what do I have to gain? I say “what do I have to loose.”