‘Many Are Called … Few Are Chosen’


No, that’s not some weird paraphrase of a passage from the Bible. It’s actually the tagline for a show that my younger brother and I love to watch, “Ninja Warrior.” A Japanese-based show, it is a grueling obstacle course known in Japan as Sasuke. Sasuke is run two times per year with four brutal stages. Competing on the course has become a badge of honor and brings athletes from all over the world to test their strength and agility. Since its inception in 1997, only three men have achieved “total victory” (finishing all four stages). One man has even managed to do it twice. That’s how difficult this course is.

Competitors are so serious about getting better each time that they dedicate extra time in the gym, try new training methods and even build replicas of the obstacles at home. That’s serious dedication! And with obstacles with names like the Salmon Ladder, Bungee Bridge, and Bridge of Blades, you know this is a serious course.

Not to be outdone, us Americans have to have our own version. OK, not really our own version, but our own ways of determining which athletes get to go and compete in Japan. But this year is different. This year, the course was rebuilt in Las Vegas and the country was broken up into six regions to find the best 100 athletes.

Unless you’re a fan of Parkour or free running or like to watch nerdy and geeky channels like G4, you probably have no idea what I’m talking about or why this even matters.

What I have seen from these athletes over the years is nothing short of amazing. People have overcome life-threatening illnesses, broken bones, organ transplants, personal tragedies, and such to have their shot at becoming the first American Ninja Warrior. I am in awe of their dedication and how setting the goal of finishing the American Ninja Warrior course has literally changed lives.

Obviously, for some people, this course has the power to change lives. But what would it take for you to make the changes necessary to achieve your goals? How badly would things have to get before you do what is necessary to make your life better? Whether it’s weight loss, disease prevention, or finishing a marathon, you have to decide what you will sacrifice in order to achieve total victory. And make no mistake, sacrifices must be made. You will have to move more. You will have to eat better. You will have to change the way you think about how you take care of yourself.

Just like the American Ninja Warrior hopefuls, make a plan and work the plan. Have accountability for your progress and set yourself up for success. Need professional help? That’s what trainers and coaches like me are here for. Find one you connect with and the journey will be less intimidating.

Our body is a temple. Treat it as such and soon you’ll have your own story of total victory!

Do you have a story of total victory? I would love to hear about it! Leave a reply below and share your victory!

In the meantime, if you want to know more about Sasuke and American Ninja Warrior, see the links below:

Ninja Warrior

American Ninja Warrior

(Image from g4tv)

American Ninja Warrior 2012 Regional Tryouts – Miami, Florida 

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.