I love watching American Ninja Warrior competitions. Those who know me well will say it’s because one of the co-hosts fits my affinity toward bald black men. Yes, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila (former pro-football player) is completely dreamy and is an added bonus for watching. But mostly I love to watch because I admire the determination of the competitors. Anyone who can persevere through tough training for an end goal that may not come to fruition, inspires me. I love the tenacity, the grit, the I can do it attitude, the test of a human spirit.
The final obstacle of most Ninja Warrior events is scaling a 14.5 foot warped wall. The thought of scaling a wall period, is laughable. I remember getting stuck on a 4 foot fence when I was 14, does that count? To prove worthy of Ninja status the wall has an added challenge of an inward curve at the top. So if you can reach the top you then have to hoist yourself over the angled ledge. It’s insane and impressive all at the same time.
If a Ninja Warrior is skilled enough (and lucky enough) to make it through the first few obstacles, they get to face the warped wall. They take a quick pause, inhale a good deep breath, then give it all they’ve got to get up that wall on the first attempt. Because if they fail, they have less and less energy to utilize. The wall is depleting, an energy sucker, and they only get three attempts.
After a completely shitty week at work, I had a Ninja revelation. Nurses have their own warped wall! It may be invisible. It’s definitely not shrouded in glamorous technicolor lighting. There are no screaming fans with matching #loveanurse t-shirts. And Akbar Gbaja-Biamila is DEFINITELY not emceeing. (Although if he’s reading now, I’m available, just don’t tell my husband!) The warped wall represents battles with management, trying to do the right thing without the right resources, and often making lemonade out of lemons.
In big business hospital nursing, we fight for every inch of that warped wall. Sometimes we get a good running start, fueled by passion and what’s right, and we scale the wall with minimal effort. The majority of times it takes more than one attempt. We keep trying, take a breather, and sometimes we altogether fail…saving the wall for another day. We may not have the same type of “training” but we definitely have the same tenacity, grit, and I can do it attitude of an American Ninja Warrior. To all my fellow nurses battling the warped wall, our end goal may not come to fruition but keep persevering. I’m your screaming fan wearing a #loveanurse t-shirt!