Have you ever met a lazy Ninja? Nope! Didn’t think so. Saying that Ninjas are an active bunch is putting it lightly. Surrounding the Baltimore taping, Mike Molinski gave us another example of the heart, dedication, and physical fitness that Ninjas showcase all the time.
Mike was a Season 11 hopeful, but he didn’t get “the call”. Rather than giving up, Mike devised a plan. First, he did the obvious – decided to join the Baltimore walk-on lottery. The not-so-obvious part was his mode of transportation to get there. Airplane? Car? Train??? Nope, nope, and nope! A 330 mile bicycle ride is more his style! Of course, this plan didn’t come out of nowhere. Through his submission video, Mike had already promised ANW producers that if chosen, he would ride his bike to whichever city they chose – even LA…from upstate New York! Mike trained all winter, putting in 1,307.88 miles on the stationary bike.
After realizing that the call wasn’t coming this year, Mike decided to follow through with his bike riding plan, living up to his nickname “Endurance Ninja”. He left his home on Wednesday, April 23rd, four days before the walk-on lottery in Baltimore. His ride was filled with wind, rain, set-backs, and triumphs. Here’s a summary of Mike’s journey.
Day one of his ride featured a ton of wind, a turtle, the Appalachian Trail, and the New Jersey state line. Mike powered through about 110 miles before stopping for the night and recovering with an ice bath.
Day two brought dirt roads, a wrong turn (that cost Mike 10+ miles), the Pennsylvania state line, and a friendly YMCA (for charging batteries and filling water bottles).
Day three brought the Maryland state line, a bad tear on his Achilles tendon, a massive rainstorm, a friendly homeowner who offered shelter from the rain, and finally…Baltimore, which called for celebratory donuts!
Day four –walk-on lottery day! After the grueling three day bike ride, Mike’s lottery ticket wasn’t drawn. Here’s what Mike had to say:
Regrets? None. Mike is living life to the fullest.
When asked what inspired this huge undertaking, Mike thoughtfully replied, “There’s a quote in one of my favorite books, The Alchemist, by Pablo Coelho, that not only inspired my commitment to biking to the course, but also inspires my entire ethos.”
”‘Everyone believes the world’s greatest lie...’ says the mysterious old man. ‘What is the world’s greatest lie?’ the little boy asks. The old man replies, ‘It’s this: that at a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.’” --The Alchemist, by Pable Coelho
Mike went on to explain, “I want to set an example of what people are truly capable of when they put their mind to it. If I can set a positive example and inspire others to do the same, that’s a real achievement. It’s greater than any physical obstacle we may leap, swing, or climb over. I think most ninjas believe that too. I think we all want to be a part of a higher standard and serve as a role model for those who need it most.”