I Want to Be Kacy Catanzaro

The other day, my husband shared a video with me. You’ve probably seen it–Kacy Catanzaro, who weights all of about 100 pounds, a gymnast, totally slays the American Ninja Warrior course in the Dallas finals. She’s the first woman to ever finish it. We were gasping and cheering as we watched.

We were still talking about it when we walked back from coffee the next morning. She’s inspiring. The way Catanzaro moved through the section where competitors use rings to hook onto pegs to propel themselves along as they hang down was incredible; she made it look effortless. Now, I have a hard time with that obstacle course thing where you hold onto a rod across parallel bars and move across by swinging your body, hopping the rod along. That whole spider monkey thing she did, where she moved from pole to pole, leaping? Sheer poetry in motion. Did I mention those poles were placed farther than 5 feet across, and Catanzaro with a wingspan of slightly less than 5 feet?

I can’t go back in time and magically pick up that gymnastics background that I longed for as an Olympics-watching, Nadia Comaneci-admiring girl. My folks really didn’t see the need for all those gymnastics lessons (and various other sports-related sign-ups) that I requested as a child, so I practiced backbends and attempted cartwheels on my own; I never quite got a good cartwheel down. I didn’t grown up with any athletics, so I didn’t build push-up muscles and try to do a pull-up until I was an adult. I never thought of myself as an athlete until I started doing road races in my mid-30s. That was almost 20 years ago. I’m not exactly American Ninja Warrior material.

Truth be told, I might never get that pull-up. I wrote a short web piece about the problems women have with pull-ups, so I get some of the issues. First–I need to weigh less, so I’ll keep working to get the extra weight off. Then, I need to keep building muscles; I’ve made progress in that I do push-ups without modification on a regular basis and I box twice a week, which has done wonders for my upper body. Love that boxing! And I’ll keep trying those assisted pull-ups. The day I can do one will be a red-letter day.

And I think I’ll go hit the obstacle course and pretend I’m Kacy Catanzaro.

Published by Leah Nyfeler

I’m a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I’ve come to learn it. In addition to my blog “Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life” at www.leahruns100.com, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

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