12 Months of Ninja Warrior Training
Last year I ran, a whole lot and at the end of the year I was looking for a new challenge. Several of us agreed to run a tough mudder in March which seemed like a good idea but I felt like my upper body strength was severely lacking. I'd heard the tough mudder was quite a challenge and I didn't want to fall straight off each obstacle so I thought I should get some training done in advance. I found this place called Ape Index in the middle of Leicester, they do bouldering, obstacle racing and ninja warrior training. As a geek who's seen many episodes of ninja warrior it totally had to be worth a try.
I rocked up the last day before they closed Christmas 2018, the place was heaving with children because I'd arrived in the middle of the home ed session. The guys there showed me round the facilities, demonstrated many obstacles in ways that I could only dream of. The whole thing was very friendly and welcoming, it quietened down quickly in the afternoon, not that it mattered, I was quickly knackered but I knew I wanted more. I was totally surprised by how little strength I seemed to have, I remember hanging off things as a kid but I guess we just don't do that as adults. My shoulders and arms ached for days after and I was barely hanging for any time at all.
I've been going back, pretty much weekly ever since. Sometimes I go to their race nights and join in the challenges, sometimes I challenge myself to complete a new obstacle. I have the place largely to myself during work/school hours so I don't feel too stupid taking videos. I've been posting them for my friends but I just realised I should at least be telling you about this place (clearly now that I'm better at it I don't feel so stupid either). This whole video was taken from a single 2 hour session today, largely over the year I've been posting my progress on a single obstacles so it's nice to reflect on how far I've come since then.
Nearly every week there is a new obstacle or some crazy activity to copy and attempt to complete. Probably one of my worst and ultimately most satisfying would be this ring climb, 6 staggered rings to lift yourself up between and at the top you're rewarded with a much larger leap to the final hoop. I tried for 3 weeks in a row to get there and I didn't even get a good video of my success, so here are the attempts on the way there.
If you're within reach of Leicester, why not go and give it a try.