Warrior Wednesday- My road to American Ninja Warrior part 3

Warrior Wed

I wanted to continue to expand my training, so I reached out to Chris Wilczewski (an ANW veteran) at Movement lab (Mlab).  MLab is basically the mecca for Ninja training in NJ.  Chris welcomed me to train with him and his Ninja League.  The Ninja League is comprised of group of ANW hopefuls who train year around, ready to take on the ANW course when and if they get the call. I was pretty intimidated at first, seeing the fitness level of the Parkour athletes who train entirely different than I do.  They can perform some amazing feats of strength and athleticism, many of which I have never done before.  They also train their grip strength daily. I introduced myself and they welcome me to join in.

The Ninja League is designed to challenge you beyond your physical capacity so you can discover the areas that you need work on to breakthrough to the next level of fitness.  During my first Ninja League experience, Chris put together an obstacle course that mimicked an ANW course but included a lot more challenges.  In total there were 17 obstacles to overcome. Most of the challenges were very grip strength intensive and halfway through the course my arms were totally pumped out and then the dreaded Warp Wall was next! There were 4 other ninjas ahead of me who conquered the wall successfully.  I was hoping that I could conquer the wall for the first time with my new found shoes.  When I reached the wall, I was praying I would not be the first to not make it up. I ran through all the techniques in my mind that I had learned from Jamie and Phil at PPK and made my first attempt.  With my grip strength fried, but my legs at full steam, I made my first attempt to get up the wall.  I missed but everyone cheered me on anyway.  I had three attempts to make it up the wall or it would be considered a “fail” and I would have to skip the wall and move to the next obstacle.  So I went for my second attempt and missed! The cheering continued and even got a few ques on technique from the other ninjas in the group. I made my final attempt and hit the ground full steam, took four big steps, arched my back as far as I could, looked up and made the grab! I was so pumped! I swung my legs up and over the top of the wall!  I had just conquered the Warp Wall FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!

I returned to Movement lab the following week for another Ninja League workout.  We ran another amazing and challenging course; this would be my final trip to Mlab before the big weekend in Pittsburgh.


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