If ever someone decides to produce a junior version of Ninja Warrior UK, I’m sending Kara to the front of the line.
I am constantly amazed at how strong and supple Kara is. Two years of gym classes – and recently squad training five hours every weekend – will do that for you, I guess.
We walked out to our nearest play-park one evening this week and she merrily traversed the monkey bars with ease. It was tiring just watching her. Certainly, I never had that kind of strength and co-ordination. (In truth it’s been more than a little while since I was even able to touch my toes.)
For Kara, however, that is literally child’s play. She can do the splits with ease now. And while I walked to the park, she turned cartwheels most of the way there. There’s balance and co-ordination to match her wiry, muscly frame too. She may never become a competitive gymnast but she already has the physical tools to be naturally sporty in general.
Which brings me to Ninja Warrior. If you’ve never seen the show before, it’s essentially an obstacle course for masochists who don’t think rock climbing or parkour is challenging enough. The format originates from Japan – where else? – and the UK version has been running for four years. Although the strength and depth of the contestants here isn’t a patch on its equivalent, American Ninja Warrior.
Kara is fascinated by the course, not least because there are elements of it she can try out at the gym or the park. Better still, it’s a competition where men and women compete on the same course with the same rules. The US version has made stars out of athletes such as Jessie Graff, who routinely outperforms all but a handful of her male counterparts and provides a fantastic role model for young girls. She has become as well-known for her achievements on ANW as her performances as a Hollywood stuntwoman. Maybe one day this will be Kara too – she’s certainly off to a decent start …