Let’s Go!

Los Angeles bound! Feeling as good as I’ve ever felt before competing. I’ll be sharing some behind-the-scenes stuff to my Instagram and Facebook stories. Here’s a humble ask for your vibes, prayers and energy.

If you need a team this March, this is it…

After decades of relative insignificance and mediocrity, Furman basketball punched its ticket to the NCAA tournament by winning the Southern Conference Championship in Asheville last weekend. Their last tournament appearance was 43 years ago. I was 12.

This team is already getting national attention, and it has what it takes to surprise a first-round opponent and then perhaps battle their way into the sweet 16. Here’s the short history and what you’ll want to know while you enjoy the ride.


Where is Furman? Greenville, SC. One of the most beautiful campuses there is.

What is a Paladin: A knight renowned for heroism and chivalry.

The cheer: When we are happy or upset, you will sometimes hear us yelling our school initials. We’re just really proud of Furman University, that’s all. Yeah.


In the 70s, I watched in person as Furman traveled to beat NC State and UNC in the same weekend. Those were the old glory days, but the program’s success declined and they could never seem to gain any traction.

When Niko Medved was hired in 2013, his direction and leadership began to bring Furman basketball back into relevance. But as often happens with smaller schools, the successful coaches typically get gobbled up by the bigger programs that can offer more of that green paper everyone loves so much. In 2017 Niko moved on and one of Niko’s assistants, Bob Richey, was handed the reigns.

The first time I heard Bob Richey speak I knew he had the tools to be successful. There’s a charisma and energy about him that is inspiring. Under his leadership the Paladins boast a 111-46 record, a welcome change from where the program had previously been. But Bob’s leadership is about more than basketball wins, it is about life, and shaping the people on this team into men.

Last season was one of Furman’s best. After decades of missing out, they claimed a spot in the conference championship game against Chattanooga, and were ahead with only a few seconds remaining, ready to begin the celebration. But they were forced to watch in disbelief when an off-balance, prayer of a 3-point shot fell in to end the game, and their hopes for the NCAA tournament. I was heartbroken as a fan, but more so for them. I had seen the work they had put in.

Jalen Slawson and Mike Bothwell, each with a final year of eligibility, could have left Furman to play most anywhere in the country.

Head coach Bob Richey, now with plenty of coaching credibility and an offer from an SEC school, could’ve left as well. But Bob said he needed to stay. Bothwell and Slawson stayed too. They stayed to finish what they started, and Furman fans will never, ever be able to thank them enough.

Now they’ve broken the curse and have earned their way into the big dance. At this point they have nothing to lose, which will be to their advantage. If they can play loose and have fun, look out. They could sneak into the Sweet 16 with most of America cheering them on as the Cinderella they deserve to be.

The first game will be March 16 against Virginia in Orlando, FL. I’m moving heaven and earth to get there.

This team is special. We’d love to have you cheering us on.




#ncaa #basketball

American Ninja Warrior Southeast Qualifying

Hey friends, the time is here! The southeast ninjas traveled to Tacoma, Washington back in April to film the qualifying rounds for this season of American Ninja Warrior, and our episode airs TONIGHT (Monday, June 21) at 9pm/8c on NBC. Tune in to see how we did!

I’m constantly amazed and grateful for the opportunity to compete and to be a part of this ninja community. If you’d like to get your kids or yourself involved in ninja obstacle training, simply search for a ninja gym in your community. There are so many gyms popping up around the country these days tailored to this kind of training, and it is hard to find a more positive and supportive group of people to be around. A good source to check out is https://www.ninjaguide.com/. Good luck!!

And if you’re in the upstate SC area, come visit us at MOTIVE School of Movement!

Challenge Yourself

I love seeing how Nature is constantly improving itself and making itself stronger by pushing through its challenges and obstacles. We are each a part of that.

The Otter Story

Just a few thoughts from the otter…

“Mercy Now” audio available

Mercy Now Artwork smI believe we each have the power to affect and change our Universe through our actions, no matter how small. Even the smallest acts can often grow to have larger impacts. Such is the case with things like mercy. We each need and deserve some degree of mercy from others, and we also each have the power to create and give mercy to others. Think about what it feels like for you to receive mercy, and then consider helping to make your small corner of the world a little better by sharing some mercy of your own where you can. It can be as simple as initiating an apology or the letting go of a grudge. It can be given to someone in a grocery store line, a fellow driver on the road, someone in your community or almost any situation of conflict or need. Not only will it positively impact someone else’s life, watch what it does for you and your Universe.

I was introduced to this song a few years ago and was struck by its simple message and plea for mercy in our broken lives and world. Originally written and recorded by Mary Gauthier, I have performed it a few times in various settings, and it has always been well-received, so I cranked up the studio and spent some time making a good recording.

I’m happy to announce that “Mercy Now” is now available at the links below, and may also be found on streaming outlets like Spotify, Rhapsody and Deezer, etc…

Thanks for your interest! Enjoy and share!

Download from CDBaby
Download from Amazon
Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Follow me on twitter (@bootiecothran), instagram (@bootiecothran), here and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bootiebandwagon/) to stay in the loop for music and more!

A live performance of this song is available here.

Don’t steal music. “Mercy Now” Copyright Mary Gauthier Songs, License LPL055228

My Dog Abby

IMG_0946I just finished burying my dog. I think there is something therapeutic about digging a hole in the ground, burying the body of a loved one and covering it up, recognizing she came from the Earth, was on loan for a while, and now I’m just putting her back.

I thank the Creator that this miraculous and amazing thing we call Life is possible, allowing us to experience relationships so meaningful that it drives us to tears when they are over. I would never trade the joy of the relationship to avoid the pain of its loss. It’s so worth it. Life is joyous, good and wonderful.

Celebrate and be thankful for all that it brings. #Joy

Original music written and recorded by me.

Everything You Need to Know When Watching American Ninja Warrior, Atlanta

Hey friends! The time is almost here!!! I’m just a little bit excited! Here is pretty much everything you need to know while watching for me on #AmericanNinjaWarrior this Wednesday night, June 8th on NBC at 8/7c!

Bootie Dougie sm

Me and Dougie! We met in season 7 in Orlando and were both featured in the Orlando qualifying episode, back-to-back. And the shorts match perfectly!!


  • After sifting through over 70,000 applications this year, producers select 100 lucky ninjas to compete in 5 regional qualifiers, held in different cities around the country. Each region also allows up to 30 “walk-ons”, who camp out up to 2 weeks ahead of time for a chance to run the course.
  • At each region, the show is filmed in 2 overnight shoots. The “City Qualifying” round is the first night, and consists of all 100+ runners attempting the qualifying course, with the finish being the top of the infamous Warped Wall.
  • Those who finish the qualifying course the first night advance to the City Finals on the second night, where the course is extended by 4 additional obstacles after the Warped Wall. The top 15 finishers on the Finals course qualify for the national finals, filmed in Las Vegas in early summer.
  • The southeast region for season 8 was held in Atlanta, GA, in front of Turner Field.
  • The obstacles differ from city to city. The opening steps, the warped wall, the salmon ladder and the final obstacle are always the same, but the obstacles in between will be different. Some may be recycled from previous seasons, and some will be brand new.
  • The height of the Warped Wall has been increased this year to 14-1/2 feet, 6 inches taller than previous seasons.
  • Competitors do not get to touch the course before their run.
  • The night before filming, many ninjas meet up at a local gym to play together, maybe do some ninja-karaoke, and stay up most of the night in order to help acclimate themselves to the overnight shoots.
  • We do not know who’s run will be shown on TV until it airs. Unfortunately, there just isn’t time to show everyone, and more than half of the competitors don’t make the final cut for a qualifying-round episode. If your favorite ninja wasn’t shown in the City Qualifying show, perhaps they’ll be shown in the City Finals!
  • The season 8 premier was last week, and was the Los Angeles Qualifier. The Atlanta Qualifier is this Wednesday, and then the series moves to Monday nights for the Qualifiers in Indianapolis, Oklahoma and Philadelphia. The City Finals for each region will be aired after all of the Qualifiers have aired.

Lastly, if you are pulling for me on Wednesday night, please take a photo of you and your friends in front of the TV and post it to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #BootieBandwagon

If you have a question I can answer about American Ninja Warrior, post it in the comments and I’ll address it!

Thank you SO much for your support!!

NBC American Ninja Warrior on facebook
@nbcninjawarrior on Twitter and Instagram
@bootiecothran on Twitter and Instagram

Man vs Machine 2016

When it’s cold outside, it’s easy for most of us to just turn up the thermostat on the wall a few degrees if we need to. But many people in our community struggle to keep their homes warm, either because of financial hardship or because they live in an older home that is drafty and poorly insulated, making it inefficient and expensive to heat.

So on Saturday, February 27th at Noon, at the front lawn of First Baptist Church in Greenville, I will face off in a battle against a 20-ton hydraulic log splitter in our 3rd annual event to see who can split the most wood the fastest, all to help folks who need assistance heating their homes.  There will be great food, plenty of friends, and exciting competition.

Donations can be made in person at the event, or online at http://sustainingway.org/mvm.

Please share this post or the video below with your friends. I hope to see you there!

Thanks to First Baptist Church of Greenville, Nicholtown Missionary Baptist Church, sustainingway.org and Osteen’s Coal and Wood in downtown Greenville.



Better Yourself

Nature inspires me.  It is Life in action.  It is always striving, growing, and reaching, trying to do more.

There is a stand of mature white oaks and red oaks near my home, all growing tall and straight.  They grow like that because they are competing with each other for the sunlight, reaching to get through the shade of the other trees.  It is an obstacle they must overcome, or they won’t survive.  Some don’t.  But, interestingly, the very same acorn that produces that tall and straight tree, if it had taken root alone in an open field with no other trees around it, would not grow tall and straight.  It would grow shorter and rounder, spreading out to gather as much sun as it can.  It adapts to its environment and makes itself better.

When growing close together, the trees are in competition for the sunlight, and they must push and reach to get to the light.  Somehow they have that capacity to strive and try.  Somehow, they are able to change themselves, physically, to adapt to their obstacle.  However it happens, they are able to strive and make themselves better, and Nature, as a whole, is better off because of it.  It’s happening outside our doors and windows all the time, and we are a part of it, too.  All of Nature is striving and reaching right now, bettering itself.  Trees reaching for sunlight, vines reaching for a stronghold, animals pushing through adversity, grass creeping into the flower beds, callouses forming to protect against the struggle.  Life, facing constant obstacles and opportunities, grows, and betters itself through its struggles.  That’s pretty powerful, pretty creative, pretty miraculous.

What can I learn from that?  If Nature betters itself, and if I am a part of Nature, then it makes sense that I should strive to better myself, too.  I should reach for more than I think I can.  I should stretch just a little further than I did before.  I should strive to improve myself.  I should embrace the struggle of any obstacle, knowing that I grow better and stronger because of it.

Season 7 of American Ninja Warrior is coming up next summer, and I’ve just finished submitting my application.  I love what it represents:  Competition, relationships, fitness, the “bettering” of ourselves.   I could’ve given up, sat on the couch and resigned myself to being too old anymore, and no one would’ve blamed me.  Or I could try to do something more.  I could reach, strive, push, and better myself.
2014 Ropes_sm
Whatever your obstacle, do what Nature does.  The solution is to push, to strive, to reach and to try, to dig deep, to hang on just a little bit more, even though it’s a struggle, and know that you will grow stronger from that struggle.  Find something about yourself you can improve, and work toward it.  Grow, learn, teach yourself something new.  Better yourself!