I am the furthest thing from a ninja: I'm not good at tiptoeing, I've never used a sword, and I don't wear hoodies because I'm genuinely afraid of the dark. Besides watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies during my childhood, I have little knowledge of the karate kind. So when I got the call to try out the famed "American Ninja Warrior" course in Las Vegas, I was beyond worried about how I should prep.
This was a course borrowed from the Japanese that no American had ever completed, a playground for men as strong as steel and as silent as secrets. Sure, I'd competed on some courses during my tenure at a Real World/Road Rules Challenge, but this was the Olympics for ninjas, not tug-of-war against a hung-over Trishelle or CT.
With only a few days' notice, I didn't have time to prepare myself fully for ninja-ing (that would take decades of training); but I did everything in my power to make the most of my sudden "American Ninja Warrior" opportunity.
1. No Hair, Nowhere
De-hair myself. Ninjas are the sphinxes of the human kingdom. Start with the legs and work your way up. Remember, if the razor doesn't work, you can always wax on, wax off!
2. No Shoes, You Lose!
Most ninjas are barefoot, but I've got a bunion that has set up shop on my big toe, so protective padding is a must. Basic running shoes work for me.
3. Seeing Is Believin'
Ninjas roll at night. Not me. I got to the course during daylight hours to actually see what I was up against. And let me say, I was up against a lot.
Thankfully, I knew one of the amazing hosts, Jenn Brown, so I hit her up early with a few questions about the course, as well as a few others, such as "If I perish, will you take care of my parents?" and "Does this obstacle course make me look fat?"
It's one thing to get defeated by the greatest obstacle course in the world. It's another to strain your ribcage because you didn't take a minute to loosen up.
6. Embrace the Face
Even if you aren't gonna win, you can look like you are. Find a game face. My game face is somewhere between the face I make when I'm sneezing and the face I make when my mom tells me its taco night!
7. Ask for Help
A true ninja would die rather than surrender. That ain't me! I surrender and then ask for help. After eating agua on the second obstacle, I needed some good old-fashioned assistance.
8. Take Home a Souvenir
Some ninjas capture secret scrolls or talismans or information. Not me — a huge bruise was all I needed. I might not be an American ninja, but no one could look at me and say I wasn't a warrior!
New episodes of "American Ninja Warrior" air on Sundays at 9 PM on G4 and Mondays 8 PM on NBC.