Meagan Martin, Y'all

Last year, we celebrated when Kacy Catanzaro, a former division-one gymnast who is only five feet tall, became the first woman to complete a qualifying course in the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course competition, and again when Meagan Martin, a rock climber and record-holding university pole-valter, became the first woman to complete the Jumping Spider obstacle. She later went onto the Las Vegas finals as a wildcard.

A new season of ANW just started, and Martin became the first woman of this season to complete a city qualifying course, and again made history by becoming the first woman to qualify in two seasons back-to-back! WOOT!

Here was her amazing run in the Kansas City qualifier:

Video Description: Two other competitors, Kacy Catanzaro and her boyfriend Brett Steffensen, stand at the sidelines cheering. Announcer Matt Iseman says: "They'll both be competing next week in Houston." Cut to four white male competitors standing on the sidelines cheering. Iseman says: "And the Wolf Pack's Noah, Ian, and Brian are ready to watch Meagan rock this course!" Cut to Meagan, a young black woman, standing on the starting platform, intensely concentrating. The starting beeper goes off, and Meagan takes off!

[I'm not going to transcribe the commentators, Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, because they are annoying. Just pretend they said, "She is a girl! But also tough and so strong! Our minds are blown that these things can coexist!" a million times in a row, which is basically what happened.]

Meagan leaps her way across the Quintuple Steps, which are staggered steps hovering over a pool of water. After completing that, she moves on to a new obstacle called the Big Dipper, on which she has to slide over curving rails on a bar, then LEAP! at the end to grab a cargo net. Which she does with aplomb!

She crawls from the cargo net onto the platform for the next obstacle, the Floating Tiles, which is comprised of four suspended tiles that she has to leap across while maintaining her balance. She hops! hops! hops! and she's through! CHEERS! She waves to the audience; from the sidelines, Kacy cheers! "Yeah!"

Next is the Modified Ring Toss, in which she has to suspend herself from rings and move them from peg to peg across an inclining then declining then inclining again track. She swings forward and back, gaining momentum as she moves from peg to peg. But then: OH NO! On the transition back to the final incline, she starts moving side to side! This is where so many competitors fail, their arms giving out as they try to figure out what to do to right themselves. But not Meagan! She smiles and laughs as she slows herself down calmly, then begins to swing again, in the right direction. One more ring on one more peg and then BOOM! She's completed the Ring Toss! WOOOOO!

She lands on the platform and turns to the audience and raises her arms in the air. The crowd is going wild. From the sidelines, Kacy cheers and applauds.

Meagan takes a moment to give her arms and hands a rest, because the next obstacle is really going to test them. It's Stretch Hold, aka Bungee Road, in which competitors have to leap from a trampoline and grip two rows of hanging bungee cords, and then navigate across four sets of the dangling cords before jumping onto a downward angled tube, which they must wriggle down to reach the next platform. The thing about the bungee cords is that they will streeeeeeeetch if you grip them too low or hold them too long, so you have to be super accurate and super quick and super strong to get through this obstacle.

Meagan, of course, is ALL OF THESE THINGS, so she hops from the trampoline onto the first set of cords, then quickly moves her way through the next three sets and grabs ahold of the tube with the most unbelievable strength and agility.

image of Meagan Martin coming off the last set of bungee cords and reaching for the tube

She squirms down the tube and OMG SHE'S DONE IT! She's the first woman to complete Bungee Road!!! Meagan gestures to the cheering crowd. The Wolf Pack dudes are going wild! They have huge grins on their faces and they high-five each other in celebration! And now all that is left is the Warped Wall!

The Wolf Pack, who have followed her down the course on the sidelines, cheer encouragement at Meagan as she stands and looks at the Warped Wall, a towering curved wall competitors have to run up partway and then JUMP! to reach its top and pull themselves up. It's the final obstacle, and Meagan has done this before. She has three tries to get it.

She takes a deep breath, as the crowd cheers her on. "Let's go, Meagan!" shouts the Wolf Pack. Little girls in the audience watch her with fixed intensity. "BEAT THAT WALL! BEAT THAT WALL!" the crows chants.

She shakes out her tired arms, then lowers her head and runs for the wall. She runs at it, runs up it, and LEAPS! And she has reached the top! She scrambles up and does a triumphant leap and then hits the finish buzzer! Her time: Four minutes and 34 hundredths of a second! SHE HAS DONE IT!

"You did it, girl! You did it!" Gbaja-Biamila shouts at her from the announcers' platform. Meagan grins.

"Meagan, what do you want to tell the girls out there?" Iseman asks her.

She claps with a huge grin on her face, pumps her arms in the air and says, "Come on, girls! You can do it! WOO!"

image of Meagan Martin standing atop the Warped Wall, her arms in the air, shouting triumphantly; text onscreen reads #MightyMeagan

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus