Okay, enough acronyms for one post!
On Monday night, Kay and I were both exhausted and in pain so we made a light dinner and looked at what had recorded. She had seen some of the MTV (Music Television) Video Awards from the night before and wanted me to see some of the “highlights” (or low-lights depending on how you look at it).
As we were starting, Emma, from next door came in. Her Mom had to go out and wondered if Emma could stay for a couple of hours. She wanted to see the awards and I hesitated, but I know some of the movies she has seen and she has a pretty good head on her shoulders for a 10 year old. She didn’t like Miley Cyrus or any of her jokes and outfits. She was excited to see Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and a few others. She was playing with our dog and cat when Kanye West gave his acceptance speech and declared that he will run for president in 2020!
Kanye did bring up some good points about award shows in general. They take a look at everyone in the business in a specific category, find the top five in their eyes and have either the industry or the public vote on the “one”. He mentioned seeing Justin Timberlake crying at an awards show because the album he had worked so hard on did not win.
I know what it is like to pour my heart into something and come up short in the validation department. None of us, including celebrities of all kinds, should have to rely on other people to let us know we did our best. We should feel it inside, but we have learned that the world is competitive and the only way we stay in the race is to be the best.
Kanye made another good point about how the awards organizers picked Taylor Swift to present his achievement award to him, after their confrontation on the same stage a couple of years ago when he took away her acceptance time to tell the world that Beyonce should have gotten the award. He said they announced it well in advance to lure in an audience. Mylie was also fed lines about her previous appearance where she twerked with Robyn Thicke with little on besides a foam finger!
Well, after the awards were over (thank heaven for the “skip” button to hurry it along), it was about 10:00 and Emma was still there. We asked if she had ever seen American Ninja Warrior (AMW). She hadn’t and said she would give it a try.
Now this show could potentially be just a bunch of buff guys trying to out do each other on a bunch of runs and climbs. But it is not. I became interested a few years ago when I just saw the Vegas finale, and I have been following it from start to finish ever since.
There are the muscle men, the crazy costumes and fighting for bragging rights; however under the surface there is a lot more. First of all, it isn’t just men! There are several women breaking records and having just as much fun out there on the obstacles as the men.
There is $1,000,000 at stake for anyone who becomes the first “American Ninja Warrior”, which just means they have made it through their city qualifying and final rounds, and Stages 1-4 of the Mount Midoriyama course in Vegas. It is a replica of the one in Japan where the sport started. So far no one has made it past Stage 3.
What draws me to this sport are the stories of the contestants and how they are not just competitors, they are family. One person can get knocked out of the round and be very sad or angry and the next minute you will see them cheering on the very next competitor with very genuine enthusiasm.
And the backgrounds of the contestants do not always shout “athletic obstacle course material” either. There is a rookie this year who is a worship leader and opera singer. He talks about how people go up and ask him on the street if he is that guy on the Ninja show. When he says yes, they ask if he and his girlfriend use the same hair products…they both have long curly hair! (Oh, and in case you are interested, the answer was “No”). Another man entered because his wife is dying and she wanted to see him try. There are people from all walks of life wanting to see how far they can push themselves.
The training is very serious as well. Some even quit their jobs to train all year, while others open gyms and studios to have a place to train and help train others.
As a person who walks with a cane most of the time and has many physical and mental challenges, ANW is very inspiring. While I would never be able to get past the first obstacle, it does give me hope that I can be the best me possible just by trying and giving it my all.
What do I get from the MTV awards? A chance to watch a bunch of people with lots of money get together and entertain us with their music and, sometimes, with their personalities.
The PVR comes in handy in both as well – with MTV you can dash through commercials and boring speeches. With ANW you can replay a particularly interesting run…and fast forward through the commercials!
Oh, and Emma seemed to enjoy the warriors much more than the awards!