I was watching American Ninja Warrior (catching up on an episode I missed) and I have to tell you about one of the competitors.
Mostly, I’m not crazy about the little backstories the producers insert. The best I can say is that they’re usually short. I tune in to watch the ANW athletes, not to hear about their travels or to see the various obstacles in their backyards.
But Missouri State senior Caitlin Shukwit (a dance and theater major) is a little different.
Shuks (her nickname) has both OCD and Tourette’s Syndrome. The OCD means her tics come in threes, and before and during her run we can see the tics. She goes out partway through (it’s a pretty impressive run), but that’s not what I want to tell you about.
In the backstory before she attempts the course, they focus on her OCD and Tourette’s. And she says (I’m not quoting exactly—please forgive me): Sometimes I wonder “why me?” but then I think if this is the worst I have to deal with in my life I’m doing really well.
She goes on to talk about how she hopes to inspire people to change their mindset about things and see things that could be negatives as a positive.
Unexpectedly moving and motivating. And spot on. It’s all about mindset.
I hope she’ll be back next year.