A beloved member of the Ninja community gave us quite the scare last week. On December 30, Mike Cook was in a serious car accident.
Mike was a competitor on season 8 of American Ninja Warrior and is the charismatic founder of Ultimate Backyard Warrior in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. His Memorial Day and Labor Day events attract top Ninjas and huge crowds every year. His positive impact on the Ninja community reaches across the country, and when Mike was down, support came from every direction.
Much of the Ninja community found out about Mike’s car accident from a Facebook post by his daughter, Megan. The support from Ninjas everywhere came immediately. Our social media feeds were overflowing with this message:
As the day went on, we learned that the accident left Mike with a broken arm, multiple fractured bones in his face, and fluid around his lungs, spleen, and brain, and a whole lot of pain. It sounded serious, and the thought was that he’d be in the hospital for at least another few days. Meanwhile, support continued to flow in. A meal train was started, and prayers and messages continued to lift Mike up.
The morning after the accident, Mike had surgery on his arm and had a permanent rod put in. By that evening, his daughter, Megan, reported on Facebook, “He is seeming to be back to his normal personality, joking with the nurses, talking about ninja, and saying he is going to be healed in half the time the doctors say!”
Mike Cook verified this report himself when a video popped up, showing that he was getting back to his high-energy self and was confident in his recovery. He also highlighted his selfless nature, as he gave a shout-out to a Ninja gym that was holding its grand opening in Winterville, North Carolina that weekend.
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For those of you who know @ubwmikecook the owner of @ultimatebackyardwarrior are aware that he was in a bad car accident yesterday but because of so many of you guys praying he is feeling much better and is ready to come to @warrior_zone_gym. Mike has impacted so many in the ninja community and I promise you God isn’t done with him yet! I’ll see you guys Saturday! @ashleyholloman8984 @dylancookphotography1 @megann_cookk
After two nights in the hospital (much sooner than early speculation), Mike was headed home. We like to think that his strong Ninja mind and body, as well as his mountain of support and faith played a big role in that. Of course, there was still a lot of healing to be done, but Mike was determined, thankful, and full of his trademark energy. The video he posted on Friday says it all:
From his daughter, we knew that Mike was still really sore, but he sure didn’t let on to that in the video. As Kevin Carbone said, “There’s strong, and then there’s Mike Cook Strong.”
While his spirits are up and his determination is high, Mike has a ways to go in his recovery. He will be heading in for more surgery next Thursday, but we are confident that Mike Cook will be back to Ninja in no time and he will continue to be a valued and incredibly energetic member of the Ninja community.