I am one of those guys who is inspired to action watching dramatic sporting events.
For example, every four years, after watching the summer Olympics, I sign up for a gym membership.
Just a couple of months ago I played a round of miniature golf after being moved by Tiger Wood’s thrilling victory at the Masters.
There is something about overcoming adversity and performing at high levels that stirs in me an intense desire to overcome adversity and perform at high levels. Even when I am able to do neither.
A flash of self-disillusionment takes over my brain and I think to myself: I can do this!
I recently had such a reaction watching the US Women’s soccer team win the World Cup. The win was exhilarating. It made me want to play soccer.
I have never played soccer. I am not even sure if I can run without pulling a hamstring or tripping.
But as ludicrous as this notion is, I still envision myself hoisted in victory on the pitch as enthusiastic announcers wax endlessly about how I overcame age discrimination and an unfair pay cut to become the first man in history to score a winning goal in a women’s final.
It is hard to believe that only two days ago he was a couch potato in New Jersey. Now look at him. A world champion. His life-long dedication to the sport of day dreaming has finally paid off.
Sometimes all I need is a splash of cold water to bring me back to reality. Or if I have the energy, a trip to the gym. I find that exercise quickly brings expectations in line with my physical abilities and will to succeed.
And this is why I have yet again renewed my gym membership. This time to pump weights.
Because I have decided to become an American Ninja Warrior.
I saw it on TV recently.
American Ninja Warrior is a sensationalized competition where everyday buff men and women work their way hand over hand through a high wire obstacle course suspended over dunking pools of water-filled failure. If they finish the course dry they go on to the next round. If they finish the course wet they go home and train some more.
Along the way the television audience is overstimulated by adrenalized announcers who scream and groan as contestants challenge their strength and balance through the course. It is the announcers job to create drama where there is none.
My dream started after I watched a lithe man in his late 40s without body fat confidently enter the course. He stumbled on the first obstacle, missed the rope swing, careened off the cushioned landing pad and splashed down hard from ten feet.
Heck, I thought to myself, even I can do that.
The announcers groaned in sympathy but applauded the man’s courageous effort and his will to overcome adversity. You see six months earlier his rescue dog tragically died. The man was blind. Which kind of explains why he failed the first obstacle.
It occurs to me that more than strength and endurance and coordination and talent, what I need is a backstory. Something heart wrenching that will compel production assistants and casting directors to give me a shot at glory on National TV and give the audience something to cheer.
Our next Ninja Warrior hails from New Jersey where he spends his days confined to a couch after being diagnosed with a rare and crippling form of lethargy.
This is where they cut to a well-produced video clip of me in my home sitting on a couch eating a bowl of Cheetos. The Women’s Soccer Final is on TV but I can’t see it because I am wearing sunglasses and facing the wrong way so that people think I am blind.
Perhaps I should form a foundation to further inspire people. Maybe even start a GoFundMe page to make a little money. I can use my Ninja Warrior status to promote my cause wearing a T shirt that boldly says Get Off Your Butt and Do Something.
I also need a gimmick. I am thinking of pinching a hobby horse between my legs as I go through the course. Maybe wear a propeller beanie.
I should also probably learn to swim.
But what I really need is the inner strength to persevere. To not give up just because I pulled my shoulder attempting to hang from a chin up bar. To go to the gym just one more day. And the day after that. And the day after that. And the day after . . .
Who am I kidding. What I really need is to stop watching inspiring sporting events on TV.
That might be something I can actually do.