Dressed as a banana, stepping off the train at Piccadilly station, Manchester. Of course I was walking about dressed as a banana, I’m an absolute tool hahaha. Passing hundreds of puzzled and amused passengers with my head held high and a huge smile on my face, walking with a big stride, probably looking like I had just escaped from a local ward with under-par security. It wasn’t the first time I had appeared in Manchester like this, and it was my second time in doing so in recent times, having also done so for an audition at a Reebok gym, but today was the big day…cameras would be rolling, the lights would be on full beam and the audience would be screaming loud…
Today, I would become a Ninja Warrior!
This would be a day that I would never forget.
For those of you that cannot be arsed reading about the full day, here is the video of my performance. But everyone else, please feel free to read all about my experience, after you have had a good laugh at me, of course 🙂
It all started when a friend sent me the audition application earlier in the year. I am mad on my fitness and Ninja Warrior is something I love watching, so I thought to myself, ‘Hey, why the heck not? Get it filled in Pete!’ So I did, and for a while I thought nothing of it, expecting that I hadn’t been selected for the chance to audition. Then, ‘ping! You’ve got mail’ (old school Yahoo pingage)…
Thank you for your application for Ninja Warrior UK.
We would like to invite you to attend an audition:
On: 1st July
Get in you bastard! I had an audition! That was my foot in the door. Now all I had to do is give them a damn good reason to put me on to the live TV show. That’s where the banana suit just had to come into play. There would be thousands trying to get on this show and I needed to stand out!
If you have followed my antics online over the past few year, you will already know that I have spent many a day running about the local streets dressed as a banana and an elf just to make people laugh, and it does the trick very well (I do actually have a day job for those who were wondering). Ninja Warrior UK needed to see this craziness, so I turned up to my audition dressed as the banana. This kind of behaviour seems pretty standard to me now hahaha. The laughs didn’t stop all day but I needed to show I had some skills on the course too. Having worked harder this year than ever before on my fitness, I knew I had a chance to impress so gave it my all.
I appeared on that crazy stage at roughly 5.30pm but I had been in the building since much earlier in the day! Upon arriving outside the arena, I was the first to turn up. I was clearly eager! As I waited for the doors to open, all of the other contestants for that day were arriving. It was clear that some people were wondering if they were in the right place as they walked up the road, but most were convinced they were at the correct place as soon as they saw a giant banana greeting them! I love my life hahaha.
Everyone was so friendly. As we entered, there was the obvious paper signing to clear up any insurance matters that could arise during the day. God knows what it said in the small print of my waiver! Anyway, that was the boring bit out of the way, now were were greeted by some of the awesome members of the team. Buzzing with enthusiasm, they explained to us about the layout of the day and what would happen. A buzz was in that room. It was a mixture of excitement, nerves, and a touch of ‘what the hell is going on in my life?’ hahaha.
We were all walked around the course and shown some techniques by course testers on how we could possibly tackle certain obstacles. At the time, this all makes perfect sense, but later when there is a screaming crowd and the tunnel vision sets in, some of your previously clear thoughts go right up your arse!
The arena, the course, everything was huge! You could hear a few ‘gulps’ as we walked around. Personally, I was extremely excited about getting on there. I just wanted to go for it there and then! Sure, I was nervous as well, but this was going to be a day I could think of for a long time. It was an opportunity to grab, not to fear!
Having watched roughly half of the competitors try their hand at this beast of a course whilst cheering them on in the waiting room, it was my turn to get out there.
Oh shit…here we go!
I was nervous, but I felt good. I knew it was going to be crazy getting up in front of that many people, but it was time to sink or swim.
We were taken through to the stage in groups of 5 after a warm up with a personal trainer. It was during that warm up that my mouth appeared to have turned into a pot of glue. I felt like I needed about 5 pints of water! Or beer! haha
As we walked into the area in a group of 5, we were greeted by what I can only describe as a wall of sound that hit me like an oncoming vehicle. It was absolutely booming! At that point, shit got real very fast. We were sat behind the main stand to wait our turn and as we all waited, I had so many kids shouting at me who had spotted me earlier in the day. One kid sticks in my mind to this day…
Do us proud banana man!
hahaha! There was definitely an element of pressure on me due to the way I was dressed. The kids were going absolutely crackers at me as I walked towards the start, it was insane. I was getting really pumped up in my head and at this point my legs were probably turning to jelly, but mentally I felt pretty focused.
I mentioned it earlier already…tunnel vision. Once I got up there, starred down the barrel of the obstacle course and set off on my way through the obstacles, it was almost like an out of body experience. I remember the rollers especially well because as I was looking down at my feet as I ran across each pin, it was as if it was somebody else’s legs! Like I was playing a 1st person computer game. I was just in some kind of auto pilot mode. It was mental!
The slipping point for me came as I went from the trampoline to a metal swing. I had thought so much about the prospect of under jumping this obstacle, that I then jumped that hard at it, my face slammed straight into the swing as made a grab for it. Anyone with a brain would have been jumping with their head to one side, but not me…no…I went face first as usual hahaha. This actually resulted in me busting my eye brow area and having to have it glued afterwards, but if I was going to come off the course, at least I got myself a temporary war wound 🙂 Anyway, as you will have seen on the show, I then took the plunge straight into the drink. At least a 6/10 for the dive in my opinion.
In all honesty, I was a little disappointed to have finished before the end of the course. Looking back, I know that I could have got through the course but in all honesty, when there’s all of those cameras and the crazy screams of 2000 people in the crowd, the every day things become a little more difficult. It suddenly isn’t like any other physical experience.
Ninja Warrior UK was incredible. It was one of the highlights of my year and I have applied for the next series already, so hopefully I will return. If I do, I promise that it will be in an outfit that makes the banana look like a smart work suit!
Thanks for reading everyone! If you get the opportunity to do something crackers this year, just go for it! Life is for bloody well living!