Sandy Zimmerman is determined to never stop growing and learning. That’s obvious from her American Ninja Warrior progression and her incredible history with the Tacoma Dome.
When Sandy was just 12 years old, she won the National Judo Championship right there. On season 11 of American Ninja Warrior, after two seasons of lackluster results, Sandy broke through to become the first mom to hit a buzzer right there in the dome. Back for season 13, Sandy felt the reverence of being in that space.
“So here we are back in the Tacoma Dome and you know, it’s like another, ‘Who knows what’s going to happen,” Sandy told us before her run on the second night of the Qualifiers. “That’s the thing with Ninja. It’s a fine line between huge success and failure. But honestly, I feel like I’ve already won. I’ve already won.
You control what you can control, and I go out there and I’m going to do the best that I can absolutely do. And then we’ll see, we’ll see what happens, but I’m so excited to just walk through those doors of the dome again.”
Sandy may not have hit another buzzer, but her strong run brought her to the fifth obstacle, V Formation, which moved Sandy into the top 30 and the Semifinals. The mentality that earned Sandy that national championship and her hard-earned Ninja Warrior success is embedded into her approach to life.
“Oh, I feel like I’m kind of a constant work in progress,” Sandy said after we asked her what’s different for her this competition season. “Part of the whole growth process for me has been trying to win the inner game. And what I’ve discovered is there’s a whole lot of us out there who need help and need work on that part and how it really limits us. That’s been a big part of my growth in my journey. Listening to the right voice, navigating those voices, listening to the 44 (year-old) confident woman that I have become and not the six-year-old scared, timid, shy, little Sandy.
But that for me is a big one. It’s like, are you going to believe the truth or the lies?
I think we all have so much potential in us. And in order to reach that, we have to listen to the right voice. We have to listen to the truth and not the lies and the conversations we have with ourselves are huge. So mentally, I think that’s a big part, is going into this.”
But just as much as Sandy is grounded in hard work and constant perseverance, it’s her high hopes that motivate her. That plays into her plans for American Ninja Warrior.
“I’m a big dreamer and I have some big goals, so buzzers are in sight. I’d love to finish the course. Long-term, I have always had it to be a really big goal of mine to make it to the Finals, to get back to Vegas, to finish Stage One.
And I’m just crazy enough and greedy enough to make that happen. And it may happen this year, it may not. But it’s a big dream and a big goal and it will happen eventually. Sometimes big dreams and goals take time, but I’m doing everything that I can physically and mentally to get ready for it. And so I’m excited. I’m excited about this year.”
We can’t wait to see where Sandy’s dreams take her as she continues into the American Ninja Warrior Semifinals!