One Time for the Little People

21 Jul

Meet Kacy Cantanzaro.

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She’s my new hero. Kacy is an athlete like you’ve never seen. She’s 5’0″, barely 100 pounds and she is a mother-effing beast. Kacy competed on NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” and wrecked shop. On four different obstacle courses, she barely stumbled. She faced each task at her own pace and killed shit.

In a conversation with pop-culture site Vulture.com, Kacy says “I … wanted to make these big steps for everyone, for all the women out there and for everybody else that thinks that they can’t do something or that they have an excuse.”

She has. Kacy is a little dynamo. She’s a NCAA Division 1 gymnast, so she was already used to heavy competition. She just wanted to challenge herself a bit more.

And that’s what we can all learn from her. This is the second time she’s competed on the show. The first time didn’t go as well as she’d liked, so she tried again. She continued to train to meet her goal. Nowhere in the interview does she say she wanted to just make it to this round. Kacy is a competitor. Her boyfriend/trainer even acknowledges this in while she’s on the course. An “American Ninja Warrior” participant himself, he calls her “the best competitor I’ve ever met.”

Not the best female competitor, but the best competitor. Kacy accomplished something no other woman has done on the show. And she’s not even done yet. The fact that she’s a woman was brought up several times by the hosts. I tried not to let that bother me so much. The fact that she’s small seemed to be a disadvantage, at least to the hosts. But watching the video, it seemed like a benefit. Kacy is small and light. Sure, running up the vertical would require great thigh strength, but she’s a gymnast so that’s taken care of. That thing with the poles would seem difficult if you had to stretch, but she’s light so she can leap.

Kacy took what would seem like disadvantages and used them to her advantage. She even had a great response for the Vulture interviewer who brought up her height as a disadvantage.  “Obviously, I’ve been on the shorter side my whole life, so I just know that sometimes I need to make adjustments and find my own way to do it,”

Obviously.

You don’t have to be in any major competition to feel the need to prove something to yourself. If you are still on your weight-loss journey or even if you’re trying to maintain, you are still in competition, only with yourself. Your are trying to meet your goals and you will hit some roadblocks. They may not be the quad steps (the first part of the obstacle course). Your goals could be breaking a 10-minute mile, running up a set of steps, pressing 100 pounds or even getting into a headstand at yoga.

It doesn’t matter what your goals are. It matters what you’re willing to do to achieve them. Kacy was willing to go on a strict diet and train for two years straight to prove to herself and inspire others that women could compete at the top levels on this insane show.

I’d never watched the show before I saw the clip. Now that Kacy is moving forward, I really want to see what else she can do.

What are you willing to do to get to the next level for you health, your fitness or even your training?

Kacy competed in the Dallas quarterfinals. Tonight’s episode goes to my hometown of St. Louis. I’ll be watching on NBC.

photo courtesy of NBC

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