Ninja Warrior UK, one of the best Saturday night programmes on British tv.
For years I’ve tuned in to watch the strong, fit and fearless attempt the course that challenges strength, stamina and speed. I’ve laughed at the fancy dress costumes, I’ve gasped at the falls and cheered for the successful contestants as they run up The Warped Wall to hit the red button.
In April 2018 my excitement for the show multiplied as I was running the course!!!
I applied for the show in 2017 along with over 10,000 other people, from that impressive amount of applicants 1,000 were called for an audition. I was one of the lucky ones to be invited along. From the 1,000 auditioned 200 were chosen for the show and I was one of them.
I had a 50/50 split of nerves and excitement, Some obstacles looked possible, some looked impossible and as for the Warped Wall…….come on I’m 4’ 11”.
I was extremely happy with my strength and fitness, after spending months swinging on the bars in the local children’s park I had gained confidence with any obstacle that involved swinging and holding my body weight. I practised jumping from platforms at a local training centre for the first obstacle on the course, I kept telling myself ‘as long as I don’t fall in on the first bit!’.
I travelled up to Manchester with my nearest and dearest for the filming of my heat, the image of my hand on that red button stayed at the front of my mind, the cheers from the audience ringing in my ears and Ben Shepard calling out my name!
I met my fellow contestants, they were tall, fit and strong. They were professional climbers, parkour runners and athletes. I felt like the little mum that had taken up a dare for a free Chinese takeaway.
After being walked along the course and told the best way to approach each obstacle it actually sank in, me….little ole me was going to attempt the course that I’ve watched at home, in the comfort of my home, on my cosy sofa for years.
A group photograph was taken then a list was displayed given the order of contestants, I was number five. I had time to watch one person on their run then my warm up.
Then it was my time, I was called along with three other contestants to wait at the side of the course, I wasn’t sure if it was cold or just my nerves but my legs were shaking like a cocktail shaker in a stressed barmans hand.
Before I knew it I was there, on the starting platform,. Would I remember the pose I had decided on and practised in front of the mirror like a nervous teenager preparing for a first date or would I freeze like a rabbit caught in headlights?
Beep….beep….beeeeeep. I smiled, I bounced, I wiggled my arms almost uncontrollably.
“Come on Tracey!” a voice shouted from the audience, was that a cheer of support or a reminder that I wasn’t there to just grin and fidget like an excited child in the queue for the ice-cream van, I had a job to do, I had the Ninja Warrior course to run.
I jumped, landed and I smiled, the crowd cheered. I turned to position myself in preparation for the next jump, the next flatform increased in height. Ready….steady….jump! I landed safely and prepared myself for the next leap across the water. I launched myself up and across but unfortunately not with enough force. I landed on the toes of my right foot and down I went. With a splash I hit the water, still smiling my attempt of Ninja Warrior UK was over.
It was an experience I’ll never forget, next time I’m sitting at home watching Ninja Warrior UK on my television I will have so much respect for every single contestant that makes it onto the starting platform.
Watch my run here