Daytona Qualifiers | American Ninja Warrior Season 9


The Day I Found Out I was Chosen to Compete on American Ninja Warrior Season 9

I was so shocked when I got the phone call as if I never even applied. I guess I wasn't familiar with the process, so I was so confused when my friend was arranging this phone call to film my reaction. I remember looking at the phone and seeing the LA area code. I just froze and my jaw dropped. When the woman on the phone told me she was calling from American Ninja Warrior, I felt immediate gratification of reaching my goal of getting on the show. It was surreal because I have set a lot of big goals for myself in my life, but I didn't know what it actually felt like to reach one of those big goals. I have auditioned for the Miami Heat Dance Team twice. I have applied to Ivy League Colleges that I didn't get into. Could it actually be that I got something that I wanted and worked for?


This moment taught me that no matter who tells me that I can't, I don't let those opinions change how I feel about my goals. No one can make me feel like I am not good enough to reach my dreams. If I listened to everyone who told me I was too short, I am going to get hurt, and ask me why would I get chosen out of all the people in the world? If I listened to those people, I wouldn't be where I am now and that is why I am writing about the experience. I don't want you guys to listen to the negative things that you hear. "Oh, I'm just playing devil's advocate," why on earth would you play devil for even a second? The enemy will try to use people to make you not believe in yourself or believe that God would provide these things for you. It is your responsibility to be aware of the attacks instead of being caught off guard.

Put yourself in a bubble full of positive, encouraging, fierce determination, and don't let anyone in.


Okay so my first experience competing on American Ninja Warrior didn't go as planned. Once again. I got what I wanted, but then I found myself asking for more. My goal was to make it onto the show, my goal wasn't to hit a buzzer on the show. I went out there with about 20 people in the audience there to watch me slay this course (or so I thought). I choreographed a routine that was a bit extra so that when I entered the stage I could show my ninja abilities (lol). It was about 3:30am and 50 degrees. It was all lovely until I splashed in the water on my third jump on the first obstacle. I never actually thought that was an option for how this competition would have gone. I thought maybe I would have some trouble on the 4th obstacle and yes the warped wall would be difficult being that I've never done it before and I am under five feet. But this? Falling on the first obstacle never even ran through my mind. I learned a very big lesson in life and in ninja and how we must focus on what is in front of us other wise we will trip and fall. If we continue to live in the past or the future, we won't survive the obstacle that is at hand.


Waking up the next morning was really depressing because I had the realization that it was over. The entire year I spent preparing for this, making the shirts, choreographing a routine, gathering people from out of state to watch me, all for that? I was devastated and embarrassed to even look at all the people who came to support me. I literally hid behind one of the signs and secretly called my mom over so I only had to face one person at a time. I could have used this experience to give up and live with the shame and feeling of failure. But I chose to use this as a learning experience and train better for season 10. I realized that I wasn't doing any of the things that I needed to become a better ninja warrior and was ready to get serious about it.


Hopefully my run will be re-capped on future episodes so that I can show the world what it looks like to fall and get back up!

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© 2020 by Christina Gambino.