Obstacle Academy

So during a week in early November, I was in Minnesota, mostly freezing my ka-zizzie off, and training for American Ninja Warrior at Obstacle Academy, owned by the Ninja of the North, Sarah Schoback.  And I just have to say I was also able to witness, in person, the other-worldly talents of Kyle Soderman and Hunter Guerard.  That was worth the trip, right there.

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On the first day we just kind of played around, to see what I was able to do.  It was my first time trying devil steps (and actually most everything I did), and I was excited to see I could actually do it!

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I don’t have too many pictures from the first day, but it was very exciting and encouraging.  I was super nervous to meet Sarah in person, I didn’t want to disappoint her since she had spent so much time mentoring me long distance.  But she was a great cheerleader and encourager, and I soon felt comfortable(ish).

The next day I took a class with Leif Sundberg, and he was just an awesome teacher.  So kind, so encouraging, it was really great.  And my hands got tore.up.

But I had to push on, so I just wrapped it up and kept going.  It was significantly harder and more painful after this, I must say.

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As the days went on my hands got more and more tore up until I just couldn’t do anymore.  The last session I had on the last night I pretty much just had to sit out.  It was very disappointing.  I was very disappointed in myself, disappointed I couldn’t finish strong, disappointed I couldn’t do more.  But overall, the trip was a great success, and I’ll have great memories of it.  And I’m proud of myself for taking the leap and going.  And I thank Sarah for her hospitality.

I did have some down time between training, and got to check out the Mall of America.  I had to pick up souvenirs for the family, so I walked the whole thing twice I think.  That thing is big.

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Also, since I was staying in a hotel with a mini fridge and microwave, and not familiar with the area, I stopped at walmart and got a few things for some meals.  Since I was working so hard, I wasn’t worried about my intake, so I splurged on Stouffer’s mac and cheese, which is pretty much the best frozen dinner ever made, some fruit and a tiny pumpkin pie.

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I know most people can’t fully appreciate this picture, but it’s pretty much my bliss.  At home, I never get to sit down to a quiet meal by myself.  I usually scrounge leftovers after making a meal for 4 kids.  Or if I do make myself an actual meal, I have 2 babies climbing around my legs, usually spitting up on my lap while I’m eating, and 2 other kids begging for whatever it is on my plate.  It’s always loud.  Everything is always a disaster mess.  So to be able to sit in a quiet hotel room, with a heating pad in my lap to keep warm, eat my favorite TV dinner in peace, while reading a book.  It was just about the closest thing to zen I can think of.  It was definitely jarring to be in this peaceful setting for a few days, and then come back to the chaos.  It took a little getting used to.

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The coldness also took a little getting used to.  Much different than my little South Texas town.  But I actually really enjoyed the weather, too.  It makes it easier to get into the holiday spirit when it’s cold.  And I did go to high school in Chicago, so it was familiar.  IMG_2253

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