Ninjas must try the Great Eastern Warriors Challenge

Testing the obstacles at the the Great Eastern Warriors Challenge at the National Stadium.
Testing the obstacles at the the Great Eastern Warriors Challenge at the National Stadium.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

SINGAPORE - I will never be a Ninja warrior.

Having tried the Great Eastern Warriors Challenge at the National Stadium on Friday (Sept 15) during a media preview, I realised I have a limited tolerance for dirt, and I can be clumsy.

The obstacle course is a new inclusion for the Sports Hub Community Play Day, a quarterly community engagement initiative to be held on Saturday at the National Stadium. It is free to all.

Having torn my anterior cruciate ligament in my left knee and received surgery about two months ago, I knew I was not at my fittest but I wanted to give it a go.

Ten of us started off with a Pound Fit workout. To music, we did lunges and squats.

Then it was time to step up on the Surf Set. It is a wobbly board, aimed at simulating conditions surfers face in the open sea and also good for core muscles.

We had to lie, stand, squat and even jump on it.

It was easy enough at the start but then the moves became increasingly difficult and my brain was unable to process the instructions and keep my balance at the same time.

It was a relief to see other Ninja-wannabes also struggle.

Finally, we were ready for the obstacle course. With a crack of my fingers I took on the Rubber Burn, squeezing through two tight horizontal rows of tyres.

Using my shoulders and arms to lift up a few tyres on the top row, I clumsily used brute force to create an opening and climbed over the bottom row.

I was covered in dirt.

Next was the Fence Climb which was as described, and not too challenging.

But the Cargo Net Climb was an uphill battle. I had to climb up a wobbly net, roll on my side across the net at the top and then climb back down the other side.

I saw another participant drop his phone. Maybe he needed it handy for a takeway from Ninja Bowl, a restaurant in Duxton Road.

The rough ropes left my hands sore but we still had the Monkey Bars, something I enjoyed as a child.

But this was an obstacle course and the bars were replaced with tyres. Getting a good grip was difficult even if they were Yokohamas or Bridgestones. Halfway through, I felt like giving up.

I was tired and felt 5kg heavier with each passing second. I was also close to bidding sayonara to my quest to complete the course.

But finally we got to last station - Ladder Traverse. I had to hang my legs up and slowly move through the bars with my back facing the ground.

And then it was done. I had completed my own version of the Ninja Warrior test and received a shirt to mark the occasion, which I used immediately because I was covered in grime.

I left with real respect for the Ninja Warriors on television, sore limbs and a free shirt.