ANW9 – Daytona City Finals Post-Run Thoughts

ANW9 Daytona Bootie Cothran Wingnuts

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR — “Daytona Beach Finals” — Pictured: Bootie Cothran — (Photo by: Myron Luzniak/NBC)

Thank you ALL for the support!! ANW9 Daytona is in the books, and if you missed it, you can watch all episodes online at NBC.com.

My first City Finals night was a LOT of fun, and here’s what it was like from my perspective on the course:

It’s a big confidence boost to be able to run the course the second night, having had my qualifying run the night before and knowing what to expect from the obstacles. I knew I could complete everything at least up to the Rolling Thunder, so I felt really good about attacking the course with confidence and speed. Honestly though, I was tired from the overnight shoot the night before, my arms were a bit sore, and Rolling Thunder was in my head. Even if I got through it, I was unsure if I’d have anything left for the salmon ladder. But instead of over-thinking it or focusing on those negatives, my plan was simply to trust my abilities and do the absolute very best I could. That’s all I could ask of myself. That’s all any of us can ask of ourselves in any situation, right? As long as I did that, I would happily accept any outcome.

So here it is by obstacle:

I got the signal to start and made it quickly through the Floating Steps but got caught up going in circles on the rope dismount, causing me to expend more time and energy than I had planned. I was calm and was never worried or panicked, knowing I would correct it, eventually. It was more of an annoyance to me than anything else. After what seemed like 8 or 10 swings, I finally dismounted. I recall slamming my hand down in frustration as I climbed up the platform, a little angry at myself about that, but I knew I shouldn’t dwell on it.

“It’s in the past, dude. It’s out of your hands. The most productive thing you can do is let it go and look ahead.”

So I did. Despite that hiccup, I was feeling extremely confident and was in a great place, mentally. I was running aggressive, and it felt amazing!

I got to the top of the Rolling Pin and didn’t hesitate. I grabbed on, unafraid, pushed off the platform, and held on for the ride. Nearly everyone who had completed this obstacle on both nights did so by landing on their backs at the end of it, and I had too, during qualifying the night before. But as I approached the end, I managed to let go at the right time and landed squarely on my feet, and then I paused briefly to look back at the obstacle with a little bit of an attitude.

I quickly eyed up the Wingnuts and jumped right into the first one. I attacked it with confidence, taking maybe 2 swings to move between each one, and then casually dismounted like I was taking a stroll.

The crowd was into it, and I was running with a confidence and energy I’d never felt before in any competition. I stepped up to the Broken Bridge and there was no question in my mind that I was going to beat it.

“There’s no reason to stand here and eye it up, giving it time to get in your head. You did it last night and it was easy. It’s not going to get any easier by thinking about it. Just go.”

I immediately ran right across in full control, again landing squarely on my feet on the platform, soaking in the roar of the crowd. It was such an incredible feeling.

I took a short rest and jumped up to Rolling Thunder, moving as fast as I could. I didn’t feel like I got as good of a start like I had gotten in qualifying. It felt slower going. I recall it getting somewhat stuck on one of the drops and I had to shake it loose. My hands, fingers and arms were wearing out before I was halfway through. I took a couple of breaks to hang by one arm and shake out the other, but about 3/4 of the way through I was wearing out fast, and was still too far to dismount.

“Just keep going! Reach! Pull! Reach! Pull!

I remember my face scrunching up as I was pushing through the last bit of pain, reaching as if my life depended on it. The next thing I knew, I was falling, and it felt like slow-motion while I just let myself relax and plunge into the water below. It almost felt good. I was completely exhausted, and didn’t have the energy left to get out of the pool. But I was satisfied that I had given it everything I had, and was thrilled to have gotten the opportunity. So with that, despite having fallen short of making it into the National Finals, I left Daytona feeling successful and proud.

I love this stuff. I hope you do, too. Thanks for doing season 9 with me, and I hope we get to do it again next year! Stay tuned every Monday night at 8/7c on NBC to see the rest of my ninjas compete in the remaining City Finals and then the National Finals in Las Vegas.

Peace and Love,
Bootie


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Watch American Ninja Warrior August 7

American Ninja Warrior - Season 9

AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR — “Daytona Beach Qualifier” — Pictured: Bootie Cothran — (Photo by: Myron Luzniak/NBC)

Hey friends, now it’s time for the Daytona City Finals! Let this serve as your official notice to set your DVR, tell all your friends, and add a personal reminder to look for me on American Ninja Warrior THIS Monday night, August 7th at 8/7c on NBC!

In June, the Daytona Qualifying episode was aired, where I went far enough, fast enough to advance into the Daytona City Finals as one of the top-30 finishers. It was the first time I’ve made it to the City Finals, and a 5-year goal.

Will I make it to the National Finals in Vegas??? Tune in to find out!! Please share with your friends and family, and tune in on August 7th to see how it unfolds!!

Thanks for the support!
Bootie


Follow us on all these official sources:
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@NinjaWarrior
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ANW9 – Daytona Qualifying Post-Run Thoughts

IMG_4455 Group shot stands

A great bunch of family and friends made the trip!

Wow! What a ride!! Thanks for all the support!! If you missed it this past Monday night, you can watch the Daytona Qualifier episode online right here at NBC.com. It’s a great show all around but if you want to zone in on my run, it happens around 1:04 on that timeline. I hate it for all the folks that don’t get any airtime. There are so many competitors and not enough time to show everyone’s run, so any amount of airtime is appreciated.

See my photos from Daytona HERE!

I had a great experience, as always, and here’s a detailed look at what it was like from my perspective.

After getting over the flu just 1 week before competing, I got into Daytona a few days early to get settled in and was just beginning to feel like myself again as qualifying night approached. On every qualifying night, there’s a LOT of energy and adrenaline in the air as filming begins, and it’s easy to let that suck you in. It’s hard not to. But this year, the good advice from veteran ninja Reko Rivera convinced me to stay off my feet and avoid too much excitement before my run.

So I sat a lot more and used that time to get a lot more focused on my mental state, adding that to my typical routine of stretching, breathing, and visualizing the course and my run. I focused my best on keeping any negative thoughts at bay. I know a fall is possible at any time, but as with most things, it’s easy for the human mind to dwell on the negative, which creates doubt, causing us to question our abilities, creating more negativity and opening the door to failure.

I kept reassuring myself, “There are more reasons I CAN be successful than there are reasons I cannot,” and I was 100% certain of that. I also reminded myself to smile and to ask myself on the course: “Are you having fun?” After all, if I’m not having fun, why am I there?? That mental attitude took a lot of pressure off and helped me relax and enjoy the run. My goal became less about achieving a certain result and more about calmness, focus, trusting my instincts, doing my absolute best, enjoying the experience, and letting the rest fall where it may.

So here it is by obstacle:

The Floating Steps are tougher than they look, and you can’t take them for granted. They always take down a few ninjas every year. I was confident, trusting my ability and past experience on them in Atlanta last year. I got through them pretty much as I had planned, and was able to exit with only an extra swing or two on the rope.

The Rolling Pin was a new obstacle, and was responsible for helping a number of ninjas earn their dreaded, free POM towels. The favored technique was to pull your legs up and let your core take the impact of the drops. I was confident I could hang on for this ride. Much like the Rolling Log in Orlando for Season 7, my mindset was simply to hold on like my life depended on it. The dismount was a bit forced, and I just relied on the momentum of the bar to sling me off at the end. I landed on my back, which nearly knocked the breath out of me, but I was happy to be safely to the platform.

The Wingnuts was another new obstacle, and I was a little worried about it because I didn’t have much experience on that type of sideways swing and laché. I assured myself, knowing I could do it as long as I committed to it fully without holding back. My transition from the first to the second was confident and went well, but while I was building up my swing for the next transition, I found my mind going to a negative, timid place, and lacking confidence. In mid-swing, I interrupted those thoughts and consciously said to myself, “Shut up, dude!! Just go for it strong and you can do this just like the first transition!”  So I did.

The mind is an odd and funny thing… it can either easily control you, or you can easily control it. It all depends on – well – your mind.

The Broken Bridge had me slightly nervous because the smallest mistake can cause balance obstacles like that to shift easily and take down even the best ninjas. But I also knew it was one of those obstacles that played to my strengths, being as light as I am. As long as I stayed over the top of each step and kept my momentum moving forward, all I had to do was focus on my foot placement, stay in the center, not get ahead of myself, and just keep stepping. Just like with Block Run in Atlanta last year, I was across before I knew it, wondering why I had been so worried.

Rolling Thunder. This was an incredibly taxing, upper-body beast. I knew if I had any chance of getting past this obstacle I had to move through it fast and get off as quickly as possible. The big downside for me is that the wheel, itself, weighs 100 pounds, just shy of my own 105, and it takes a lot of time to get to the end. Its squared edges were brutal on my palms. You really don’t want to stop moving on this obstacle if you can avoid it, but I was running out of steam not long after the second drop and couldn’t avoid taking a break to shake my arms out. That helped me get in a few more moves but I wasn’t able to get it as close to the platform as I had hoped. I had to get off of that thing fast, so I chose to try to dismount to the platform. But when you’re on an obstacle that moves like that, it’s more difficult to get a good launch because it counters your efforts to swing. As soon as I let go for the platform I knew I was going to come up short, and you can see it on my face. Both feet hit the edge of the platform but it wasn’t enough. Splash, free towel.

Overall, I was very pleased with my performance and my mental focus and attitude. I was having a LOT of fun out there, regardless of the outcome.

After my fall, I was in the top 30, but over half the field had yet to run. Last year in Atlanta I got bumped out of the top 30 late in the night, barely missing my shot at the City Finals, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much. But when filming shut down around 5:30 AM, I had officially placed 22 out of 30, earning a spot in my first City Finals! That was a very special moment for me, and I got just a little emotional thinking about it, as it had been a goal of mine for the past 4 years.

I went back to the hotel, got some sleep, and came back the next evening to run the extended course. I’ll post that recap in a few weeks, after the episode airs on August 7th, so don’t miss it!

Yeah, baby!!
Bootie


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Watch American Ninja Warrior June 26th!

 

Sheree Rae Photo

Many thanks to Sheree Rae photography for capturing this!

Well, friends, the time is here! This Monday, June 26th, the Daytona Qualifying episode will air at 8 PM Eastern time (7, Central) on NBC. Let this be your official notice! Set your DVR, put it in your phone, write it down, do whatever it is you do to be sure you don’t miss it!

We actually competed the first weekend in April, and everybody has had to keep their mouths shut about the results all this time! Read more about that and see the photos here.  It was a great time seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

I’ll be posting a detailed review of my run in about a week, so be sure to follow the blog here at http://bootiecothran.ninja to get updated!

Share the news with your friends and tell everyone to watch! And if you post anything on social media, please include the #BootieBandwagon and #AmericanNinjaWarrior hashtags, where possible!

Peace and Love,
Bootie


Follow us on all these official sources:
TWITTER:
@bootiecothran
@NinjaWarrior
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INSTAGRAM:
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@ninjawarrior
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ANW9 – Daytona: Wrap-up and Photos!

IMG_4368

I’m sitting on the plane, about to pull away from the gate, reflecting on my season 9 experience here in Daytona.

Wow. Aside from any amount of success or failure, I’ve had an amazing, unpredictable, and humbling series of adventures with this ever-expanding group of ninjas, friends and fans. The opportunities and relationships I’ve gained through American Ninja Warrior are life-altering, and the kind of things most people only dream of. I am appreciative beyond words. I’ve grown in so many ways since this all started for me in season 5, and it’s hard to believe I’m now in my 4th season.

It’s impossible to explain it to someone who hasn’t experienced it first-hand, but it really is so much more than just a TV show. It’s an amazing group of designers, producers, workers, athletes, fans, and new and old friends who make it all come together into this special family that is American Ninja Warrior. It’s about fitness, growth, progress, bettering ourselves, encouraging others, overcoming obstacles of all kinds, hope, optimism, positive energy, family, camaraderie, relationships and community. It’s all the stuff the world needs. Sorry to be so sappy but that’s how I get sometimes.

So how did I do, you ask?? Sorry, no spoilers! But I will say I had an amazing time, as always, and I just hope I’ve got a few more seasons left in this 48 year old body because I love this stuff. I encourage you to set your DVR to watch the entire season which premiers on June 12th at 8/7c on NBC, and you will witness incredible things from all the regions. The Daytona qualifier episode is currently set to air on June 26th.

I also hope you will spread the word by encouraging your friends and family to jump on this train that is American Ninja Warrior. It’s something special and we would love for you to be a part of our family. So tune in on June 12th on NBC! See you on the course!

Enjoy the photos below! Click on each one to enlarge.
Peace and Love,

Bootie
#BootieBandwagon
#AmericanNinjaWarrior
#ANW9

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FREE T-Shirts and Ninja News!

FREE T-Shirts and Ninja News!

Hey friends! Season 9 of American Ninja Warrior is currently in production, and, despite the flu trying its best this week to crash my invitation, I’m headed to Daytona in a matter of days with 100+ fellow-ninjas from all over the to southeast to compete for a chance at total victory. Here’s all the info you need to know about everything ninja at this point in the year:

American Ninja Warrior – Season 9:
The Los Angeles and San Antonio regions have already wrapped up filming. Next up is the southeast region in Daytona, Florida, followed by Kansas City, Missouri, then Cleveland, Ohio, and Denver, Colorado rounding out the regions. The top 15 competitors from each region will move on to compete in Las Vegas in June, along with a handful of wildcard recipients.

This year over 77,000 applications were submitted for American Ninja Warrior, so everyone who got one of those coveted golden callbacks feels incredibly fortunate. The season 9 premier is on June 12 at 8/7c on NBC. Check out the recently-released trailer here:


Team Ninja Warrior – Season 2:
What?? You’ve not heard of Team Ninja Warrior?? Well last year it was on the hard-to-find Esquire Network (now impossible to find), but this year it has a new home on the USA Network and you have no excuses! This exciting spinoff show pits your favorite ninjas against each other as they race on identical courses, side by side, with Matt and Akbar bringing you along with the action. Season 2 premiers in just a couple of weeks, on Tuesday, April, 18th at 10/9c on USA. Catch the trailer and photos here:

http://www.americanninjawarriornation.com/2017/3/29/15111982/new-trailer-and-pictures-from-team-ninja-warrior-season-two-usa-network


FREE T-Shirts!
I’m celebrating my new .ninja domain name by giving away 3 FREE #BootieBandwagon T-SHIRTS to new followers! To enter, just follow my blog here and/or my social media accounts below. The more you follow, the better your chances to win!

Enter your email address and click the “Follow” button at the top of the sidebar on this or any page of my site (or on a mobile platform look for the follow link at the bottom when you scroll).

TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/bootiecothran
INSTAGRAM:  https://www.instagram.com/bootiecothran/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/bootiebandwagon

I’ll draw 3 winners from all those sources on May 1st!


Important Ninja Links:
To keep up with all the latest Ninja Warrior news, follow the official site fan site of American Ninja Warrior at www.anwnation.com and the social media links below. Nikki and her crew do an incredible job of supplying folks with all the inside scoop on everything “ninja warrior”!

NBC American Ninja Warrior on Facebook
@nbcninjawarrior on Twitter and Instagram
@anwnation on Twitter and Instagram
@bootiecothran on Twitter and Instagram

See you on the course!!

Live a Life That Matters

Ready or not, some day it will all come to an end.
There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.
All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.
It will not matter what you owned or what you were owed.
Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will finally disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.
The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.
It won’t matter where you came from, or on what side of the tracks you lived, at the end.

It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant. Even your gender and skin color will be irrelevant. 

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories that live in those who loved you.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s not a matter of circumstance but of choice.
Choose to live a life that matters.

– Michael Josephson