“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.

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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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


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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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