A great upside to becoming involved in any fitness community aside from improved fitness itself is the friendships that can be formed along the way. The gym owners, personal trainers, group fitness instructors, and fellow gym-goers are all people with whom a common ground is shared, opening the door to a possible friendship. I have made lifelong friends myself on this journey to American Ninja Warrior, and have also heard stories of people who have met their significant other, some of which are now married! In addition to the physical and mental strength gained from taking charge of your health, being involved in such a positive community also leads to a great emotional satisfaction.
September 1, 2014 was my first day ever going to my local “ninja gym” called Fit Lorenzo (try a Google search to see if there is a ninja gym near you; they are starting to pop up everywhere!). Thanks to the gym owner, Ed Lorenzo and his wife Elizabeth, my life instantly changed. I befriended my first “veteran ninja,” met fellow newbies like myself, and was introduced to a community of people who are so kind, helpful, and supportive. Despite the fact that a lot of us vary in age, occupation, do not live close to each other, and lead entirely different lives outside of training, we are able to unite through this one common ground, even if it is just once a week for a couple of hours or organizing a group rock climbing session together outside of that.
Ed and Elizabeth took the time (and money out of their pocket) to build replica ninja warrior obstacles at the warehouse that they own and operate after Ed was a competitor on season 5. Thanks to their time and effort–often arriving to the gym before 6am and leaving at 9pm to accommodate all their classes and clients–my local “ninja community” has been established, and since then, memories that I will forever hold close to my heart have been made.
December 1, 2015, and life must go on…Ed and Elizabeth have sold the business to one of their coaches, and they are preparing to move out of state to embark on their next journey in life. From my first day there, to those first successes on the difficult obstacles, to the fails it took before that, to participating in our own mock-ANW competition together, to being alongside them at the official ANW Orlando Qualifiers, our friendship that brought me great emotional satisfaction will surely be cherished! All in all, it has been the great community that has kept me coming back! You know what they say…it’s not “goodbye,” it’s “see you later.” I’m anticipating the changes that are to be made under the new ownership, and many more friendships to come from that