Enter the age-defying ninja: unleashing our inner child to run riot | Jack Marshall's column
One day, without you ever knowing, your mum or dad put you down and never picked you up ever again. It’s a weird thing to think about, a strangely morose yet inevitable truth: we all grow up eventually.
That being said, growing up can be done in style. And it was with this ‘young at heart’ mantra firmly at the forefront of our minds that myself and a few friends recently visited Ninja Warrior.
You probably know Ninja Warrior for being that wacky TV show where bubbly contestants who seem like they’ve been given too much sugar take on physically challenging obstacles culminating in something called The Warped Wall because, naturally, all true ninjas can run fast up semi-vertical surfaces before slapping a big red button in celebration.
That’s ninja-ing 101.
Anyways, embracing the kind of inner desire to throw ourselves around in what is effectively an adult-proofed children’s play area which most other grown members of society manage to subdue, a group of five of us went for it. I was the youngest ninja in our group. I’m 27.
The challenges were genuinely physically taxing and required us to contort into hilarious facsimiles of the human adult form, offering endless chances to make yourself look graceless and uncoordinated. We were easily the oldest group there.
Which we wore as a badge of pride, obviously.
After the obstacle course dutifully manned by spotty teenagers on minimum wage who rolled their eyes as we rampaged across monkey bars alongside seven-year-olds, we took to the inflatable area with relish.
Reader, this is where our inner children truly emerged. I challenge anyone faced with a landscape constructed entirely of slides and bouncy surfaces to react with anything other than a five-year-old’s glee and enthusiasm
It goes without saying that we had a lot of fun.
We raced each other, barrelling along at all times; we jumped down huge slides arm-in-arm, collapsing into heaps at every turn; and we never once stopped laughing. Everything was great because this was a place made for child-like joy and we did nothing if not bring the child-like joy. And we all conquered The Warped Wall.
The whole thing was great and sweaty and hard and exhilarating and something people should do more often. Not Ninja Warrior itself, necessaril-y, but letting go of inhibitions.
Being grown-up with true style.