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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.