The Female Perspective: Ninja’s Abound

Welcome! This is a weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

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*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc

With everything going on right now in politics and more, I wanted to write a blog that focused on the lighter, more fun side of life. It can be hard for me to not focus on the negative, but when you really look around, there’s a lot of positive in our crazy world. One of those positives is the show American Ninja Warrior. Yep. That’s right, I said American Ninja Warrior, the insane obstacle course show hosted by a comedian and a former NFL player.

I think June marks the start of the 8th season of this show. I’ve only been watching for one or two seasons, I always saw it as a silly show with no merit whatsoever. I have since changed my mind because there may be more male competitors than female, but the women that are creeping into the ANW team are powerhouses that give feminism, that give healthy, and strong good names.

Here are a couple examples of the cool women of American Ninja Warrior.

Kacy Catanzaro

The Might Kacy!
The Might Kacy!

You may or may not have heard this woman’s name, but Catanzaro was the first woman ever to make it up the famed “Warped Wall” on American Ninja Warrior. She showed that women can in fact compete on ANJ. Not only can they compete, they can stand toe to toe with the guys. An impressive feet for the 5 foot tall woman.

In 2014, Catanzaro became the first woman to complete the qualifying course of American Ninja Warrior, making it up the warped wall on her second try at 5:26.18 at the Dallas qualifiers, ranking her 21 out of 30; this also makes her the first woman to make it up the warped wall in competition. On July 14, 2014, Catanzaro competed in the Dallas finals of American Ninja Warrior. She was the first woman ever to complete the course (and the second woman to attempt it after Jessie Graff in season 5), qualifying for the national finals in Las Vegas with a time of 8 minutes, 59 seconds. Host Akbar Gbaja-Biamila remarked “I’ve seen greatness during my NFL career…And I’ve been in awe of people, but I am really in awe of Kacy”. Her achievement made her a social media phenomenon, with her run being viewed over 100 million times. –Wikipedia

Kacy had a really tough season last year, the stress and pressure of being the first woman through the course got to her and she had a few tearful moments that broke my heart. I have a lot of respect for her because she keeps coming back,she doesn’t stop trying. She does not give up and I have hopes for her 2016 season. She’s going to make it all the way to the end!

Jessie Graff

Jessie rocking it, ANW style.
Jessie rocking it, ANW style.

Jessie Graff is probably my favorite of the female competitors. She is a stuntwoman who has worked on Supergirl, The Walking Dead, X-Men: First Class and Iron Man 2 to name a few. She often rocks some kind of awesomely adorable outfit (last week she wore a Wonder Woman ensemble) and she is strong. Like, seriously strong. In season 8 of ANW they have raised the height of the “Warped Wall” to 14.5 feet and Jessie was the only woman in the LA qualifiers to make it up in one try. Many of the seasoned male competitors didn’t make it up the wall at all.

This chick is amazing. She makes me want to train even harder when I watch the agility and confidence with which she moves through this course.

I could go on, because thankfully, there are A LOT of women now on American Ninja Warrior and that makes it worth a watch for families especially. Little girls (and boys) can see what the human body can actually do when perseverance and commitment are at their top. For a show about jumping through obstacles, it continually impresses me with it’s message of hard work, dedication and heart. This show has a lot of heart. We hear stories about compeitors competing for their families, for loved ones they’ve lost, for loved ones battling disease and so much more.

It’s not just a show about being the best, it’s a show about being a human and it shows you that giving up is not an option.

The Warped Wall. Now 14.5 feet high!
The Warped Wall. Now 14.5 feet high!

American Ninja Warrior is on NBC on Thursday nights at 8pm. 

What do you think? Do you watch the show? Who’s your favorite Warrior? Sound off in the comments!

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