Dear Kid,

American Ninja Warrior returns DearKidLoveMom.comAmerican Ninja Warrior is back. In case you missed last night’s opener, ANW is in its sixth season of qualifying athletes to compete at Mount Midoriyama (which no one has ever conquered).

All sorts of interesting people competed including Olympian luger Kate Hanson (who made it through 2 ½ obstacles before falling). It’s crazy the upper body strength some of these athletes have.

The pre-show was almost more interesting than the first night of preliminary competition. They showed a lot of backstories including how many people create their own Ninja Warrior training courses in their backyards (no we don’t plan to do that). They also showed a segment about how they design and test the obstacles (this year there are three brand new obstacles in this preliminary. If I understood correctly there will be three different new obstacles in other locations. But don’t quote me on that.).

The pre-show also showed how many more women are participating. The exact number is: a bunch. No woman has ever made it through the first stage but we’re getting farther every year (and by “we” I mean women in general).

In order to participate, athletes send videos in to the show. This year there were over 3,000 submissions for not nearly that many spots. There is another option for getting on the course which is to be a walk-on. That involves camping out for days in order to get a front spot in line. Which of course would be exactly how I would want to spend my vacation. Not.

All the finishers from the preliminary round will make it to the local finals. But if there aren’t thirty finishers, they’ll take the top non-finishers (decided by the “who got the farthest the fastest” methodology) to round out the show.

One of the great things about watching American Ninja Warrior is that there are no commercials for vacuum cleaners.

Here’s to making each day your personal best.

Love, Mom