Gauntlet Fitness

Gauntlet Fitness in Ardmore, OK was the first ninja gym I had ever been to, and the first one we hit on the trip.  Shawn and Ashley Mason own it, and I had a private training session with Shawn.  I basically told him that I wanted to be a ninja warrior (and he didn’t laugh at me!), and that I had zero experience, but that I wanted an ‘intro to obstacles’ type session.  It.was.awesome.

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Coming in to this trip I had zero expectations about what I could actually do, but my goal for visiting these gyms was to just get exposure to as many obstacles as possible.  And since they weren’t local, if I totally made a fool of myself, I wouldn’t ever have to see them again.  Win/win.

One of the first things he asked me was how many pull-ups I could do.  I had been dreading this question and kind of cringed when I said ‘zero’.  But he didn’t even bat an eye!  After a warm-up, he had me do a few things so he could see where my starting point was.  He had a row of hanging rings and told me to see how far I could get.  I don’t know how many rings it was.  In reality, probably a dozen, but it felt like about 100.  It was really hard, but I was NOT going to fall off those rings.  I was going to get all the way across if it killed me.  I did not want to start off this session with him thinking we were both wasting our time.  And I did it!  I willed myself across!  I was so proud of myself, and he seemed impressed.  Whether or not he was just being nice, I don’t know, but it was effective.  It gave me a big boost for the rest of the session.

Then we went to the trapeze, and he taught me how to swing.  I couldn’t make my legs get as high as they’re supposed to, but I learned what to aim for.

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I was also able to try jumping into a spider wall, climbing a rope, and swinging from cannonballs, among other things.

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Yes, I am holding on for dear life. as a matter of fact.  If you look in the back of this picture, you can see the row of rings I mentioned.  They were different heights and everything!  Although it doesn’t look like a dozen from this angle…

And my very first warped wall!

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His gym has a really cool vibe.  Gritty.  And I always felt very safe.  He had lots of mats to put underneath me, and was always right there coaching me about correct technique and a safe way to ‘fail’ when I need to.

About half way through he said, ‘Let me see your hands, is it time for balance?’

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It was time for balance.  But I felt like a legit ninja with gnarly hands!  I realize now that this endeavor of mine will not be consistent with a future in hand modeling.  Sigh.

So we practiced a bunch of balance obstacles.  I’m gonna load up on spare 2×4’s and PVC pipes.  The pipe was pretty hard, but so much fun!

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Shawn was so encouraging.  Such a great coach and a great cheerleader.  He trains a lot of the top obstacle athletes, and has such a great facility.  If you’re ever anywhere close to Ardmore, you absolutely have to check it out.

After I was done, he let the kids try some stuff out.  My daughter, who is also a ninja wannabe, (and way stronger than me) but pretty timid and cautious, did great.

My 3 year old, who doesn’t have a cautious bone in his body, also did great.  The look on his face in this picture cracks me up.  My brother was there next to him, but he looks a little concerned.

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But I promise he had fun.

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I left Gauntlet Fitness feeling like a million bucks.  No, I couldn’t do all the obstacles.  But I could do way more than I thought I could.  I was even more hooked then before.  And he gave me a training regimen to do several times a day to gain upper body strength and get my pull-ups.  We made a deal that when I could do 10 pull-ups, I would drive back to OK for some more training.  He realistically estimated 1.5-2 months until I get my first one, if I put in all the work.  I don’t like to be mediocre, so I’m shooting for 1 month.  I just typed it out loud, so there you go!  Sept 1 for my first pull-up!!

 

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