We have been loving these Instagram takeovers, when an athlete from the American Ninja Warrior community answers questions on the official Ninja Warrior account. This time, it was Sandy Zimmerman, the 43-year-old P.E. teacher who is known as the first mom in ANW history to hit a buzzer when she scaled the Warped Wall in the Seattle/Tacoma City Qualifiers last season. This year was actually her third time competing on ANW, but her best by far.
Many of the questions for Sandy were about staying in shape, how to balance being a mom and a Ninja, and questions about training in general. Here are a few of our favorites:
@oneskineejosie: What are your top tips for balancing motherhood and family with a relatively demanding training schedule?
SZ: @oneskineejosie great question! A couple ways that I’m really fortunate is that first all 3 of my kids love doing Ninja. We train together, do competitions together and even got to experience competing on ANW and ANW Jr. together. It’s our family bonding time. The other big blessing in disguise is there are no Ninja gyms in the city I live in so it was a great excuse to build them all in our backyard. We have over 40 obstacles that can be scaled down for beginners and kids or scaled up to the show. No need to drive across town to train we just go out the back door so it’s very convenient. And, my non-Ninja workouts are mostly all body weight exercises where the workouts are really intense but short with little set up and equipment needed.
@gymnastmegs408 Do you have a strategy for getting up the warped wall?
SZ: @megan_zeichner definitely strategy involved to get up the wall. Foot placement is huge, get the last step on the runway close to the wall and first foot on the wall high. Think of it like the scratch line for a running long jump, get as close to the line as you can so your 3-4 steps on the wall get maximum distance up the wall. Plan your footwork out so your final step is a jump off your most powerful leg and lean back. Learn to safely come down the wall first by facing the wall, don’t turn around. But you also need the speed and power from you legs so I’d work those exercises in to your training days. Then of course good old fashion hard work, repetition. Good luck!
@rishan_p.n How does it feel to hit that buzzer?
SZ: @rishan_p.n before hitting the buzzer I thought people accomplishing big dreams or having huge moments in sports was something that happened to the other guys. Anyone who does this sport knows it’s a tough sport physically and mentally. And, there is a VERY fine line between huge success and early failure so I just feel really grateful. Grateful that I was able to finish the course, grateful for the woman I’m becoming through the journey and grateful for the community
Read all the questions and answers on @NinjaWarrior on Instagram.