Date #18 – Do a photo shoot…Ninja Warrior Style!

Date #18


Let’s do a photo shoot! …Ninja Warrior Style!

I love that this experiment forces you to think about opportunities a little differently.  It gives you the chance to pause and think, would that make a good date with myself?  Would I like to do that with someone?  Would I like to do this just for me, by myself?

Timing is everything in life.  And for this date, I was in the right space at the right time with the right frame of mind.  I have days when I feel unstoppable and I’m crossing stuff off my to-do list like a ninja.  Then there are days I can barely cross off a simple task, like pay my mortgage, before 8pm rolls around.

Last week a friend tagged me in a post (Thanks Tim!) that stated they were looking for fitness models to help with an upcoming photo shoot on a ninja warrior training course. Now, there are some days I see stuff like this and get overwhelmed as I think to myself I don’t have time for that kind of stuff and don’t like to do things that are unknown, especially when it’s out of the way.  But I was sitting down on my computer and the timing was perfect as I immediately emailed the casting agent pictures and stated I was interested!  Within a few hours, I booked the time slot with the marketing project manager from Sports Facility Management (SFA & SFM).  I penciled “Ninja Warrior Photo Shoot” on my calendar and boom, date #18 was booked!  The location was in Sarasota, an hour away, but I told myself it was worth it and that I would make a “day date” out of it.

I got up at 2:30 am that morning so I could do some work and finish my latest blog post about my past dates.  I knew I’d be gone most of the day and also wanted to clear my mind to go on this date fresh and without distractions.  It’s easy to forget your on an actual date when you’re dating yourself.  You fall right into your daily patterns and routines you have with yourself and forget you’re taking yourself out on a date.

I wanted to turn this opportunity into a day-date.   I stayed conscious of being in the moment on my date and talking nicely to myself all day.  To start my day-date off right, I met a friend in the park for her first boxing experience.

I love holding mitts and doing a boxing session with people who have never boxed before.

Everyone gets this ridiculously awesome, genuine grin on their face as they start punching the mitts on my hands.  People get so excited with the rush of endorphins and the empowerment of hitting something that I see this release on their face and body as they just let go.

They start punching like crazy and in their head, I can tell they’re picturing themselves as Rocky Balboa conquering the stairs, raising their hands above their head like a true champion.  A rush comes over them as their inner voice screams, “I’m am a bad ass!  I am a Champion!”  It’s awesome.

After a new connection and first boxing session with Biz Women Rock rockstar Katie Krimitsos, I headed home to shower and get ready for the photo shoot.  At this point, I had already been up for about 8 hours, so I laid down for a quick 15-minute nap before heading to Sarasota.

I stopped at Fit Life Foods for some lunch to eat in the car and snacks for my hour drive. I opened up Audible and listened to Paul Andrew Smith, Sell with a Story, on the drive there.

The ANW Course and Photo Shoot

I didn’t know what to expect, but when I got to EVO Athletics, all I could do was stand there in amazement of what was in front of me.  I just stood there, quiet.  I didn’t speak to anyone and it probably looked like I was shy and bored.  However, I was ecstatic inside and overwhelmed with the fact there was an adult playground in front of me and I was about to PLAY!

It’s difficult to describe this date because I enjoyed myself so much.  I wasn’t thinking about anything other than doing the course and trying out all the obstacles.  I wanted to know what I could do, what I couldn’t do, and what I could conquer and improve in 2 hours.

I’ve always had respect for all the American Ninja Warrior contestants, but now I have mad respect for their athleticism and discipline.  The obstacles are no joke and take a tremendous amount of upper body strength and focus.  It also takes confidence.  It never ceases to amaze me how much your mindset makes a difference.   You MUST go into these challenges with the mindset and confidence of, “I’m going to crush this.  I can do this. I got this.”  The minute we tell ourselves, “There’s no way I can do this” or “I can’t do that” is the minute we lose our grip and our focus to move forward.


I didn’t conquer every obstacle, but I tried to approach each one without over-thinking or saying “no way.”  However, I did catch myself a few times doing that!  As I approached the “Floating Steps,” I saw how far apart they were and said to myself there was no way I had the wingspan to jump that far.  I slapped myself and said, stop it and just go.  Sure enough, I leaped and landed on the step I thought was too far away.  Mindset matters!

The photo shoot was great and I was in my element. They wanted to take some pictures of a family on the course, so the majority of the time I was referred to “photo mom” to cheer my “photo kids” on and stand next to my “photo husband.”  Good thing he didn’t know I was on a date with someone else! 😉

The photo shoot was for a new gym opening in Cleveland, OH called Adrenaline Monkey.  They’ll be using the pictures for marketing material and advertising.  Can’t wait to see the photos in a few weeks and how they came out.

My favorite obstacle was the Spider Wall and Warped Wall. I jumped right into the Spider Wall and I felt like I could climb in that all day!  As I gripped my hand on the edge of the Warped Wall, I felt a rush of superheroeness and a sense of accomplishment.

I could not complete the bar hop or the bungee rope swings.  I couldn’t believe how tough it was!  I was determined to do the bar hop, but it just didn’t happen. (see video of my many failed attempts!) I will complete it someday!

I MUST go back and keep trying and I look forward to that moment I hop that bar up to the next level!


I left feeling exhausted and exhilarated.  I enjoyed my drive home listening to my music with the windows down and the wind blowing in.

I finished my date by stopping downtown and sitting at Curtis Hixon Park.  I caught up on some emails and texts while uploading some of the videos from the ninja course to make a video of the date.

Check out the video here – Ninja Warrior Date!

I watched the sunset before calling it a day to head home to my baby girl.  I knew she was going to be so excited to hear her mom was a ninja warrior for a day!  She loved watching the videos of me on the course and is already begging me to go try it.  She continues to ask me if I’m going to be on the ANW show someday.  I smile and tell her I don’t baby, we’ll see.

Conclusion –

Going on an American Ninja Warrior training course, getting to do my hair and makeup, and have my picture taken while being active is a no-brainer.

I got to challenge myself, be in my element, try something new, do a marketing photo shoot, be active, and meet like-minded people. It gave me a chance to shine imperfectly by conquering some obstacles and coming up short on others. There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be making the trip back to EVO Athletics to play on their American Ninja Warrior course with my daughter and perhaps, with a date someday. 🙂

Until next time…

Have an idea for a date? Tell me!  I have 12 dates to go and hope to complete this experiment by Dec 1st. Lets hear your date ideas!

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