Sandy Zimmerman, Y'all

Well, another season of American Ninja Warrior has begun, so you know what that means — more women making history!!!

We've previously celebrated the history-making exploits of Kacy Catanzaro, who became the first female Ninja Warrior, in either Japan or the U.S., to complete the finals qualifying course and move on to the finals; Meagan Martin, who became the first woman to complete a city qualifying course, making her the first woman ever to qualify in two seasons back-to-back; Jessie Graff, who became the first woman ever to complete Stage One in the finals; Allyssa Beird and Jesse "Flex" Labreck, who became the first two women to finish a qualifier course on the same night; and Jessie Graff again, when she became the first woman ever to complete Stage Two during an international competition.

And now it's time to add a new name to the list: Sandy Zimmerman, who made history at last night's Seattle/Tacoma city qualifier as the first mom ever to complete a city qualifier course and hit a buzzer! Other mothers have qualified by being among those who went the farthest the fastest, but no mother has ever ascended the warped wall and hit the buzzer. Until now!

Video Description: Sandy Zimmerman, a 42-year-old, olive-complected brunette who is 5'6" and muscled, stands at the starting line of the obstacle course. The buzzer goes off, and she heads toward the first obstacle — the Shrinking Steps, which is a series of increasingly high foot-sized steps, spaced wide apart over water. She traverses the steps and then LEAPS! onto a rope and swings across the water onto an angled platform. And she's made it through the first obstacle!

Next, she approaches the second obstacle — the Lunatic Ledges. She leaps up onto a swinging ledge, hanging by her fingertips. It swings out over the water and she stretches her body and swings her legs forward to pick up momentum.

image of Sandy Zimmerman hanging from a ledge, swinging in the air

A couple of swings and then she LEAPS! onto a second swinging ledge, standing on a narrow platform at its bottom. As it swings back and forth in the air, she crawls around to its far side and then LEAPS! onto a platform. And she's made it through the second obstacle! THE CROWD GOES WILD!

She stands on the platform facing the third obstacle, the Barrel Roll, visualizing the steps to make it through. She then takes a running start, jumps onto a small trampoline, then SPROINGS! onto a barrel swinging high above the water. She swings back and forth, building momentum, then LEAPS! to the next barrel, pulling herself up to its top using a series of grips. "WOO!" she shouts with a huge grin, as the crowd cheers.

image of Sandy Zimmerman balanced atop a barrel high over the course, grinning broadly

She reaches to her side, grabs a bar on a spinning part of the barrel atop which she's balanced, and then SWINGS! beneath it. She flies through the air as the barrel spins, then LEAPS! onto the next platform, and she's made it through the third obstacle! She pumps her fists in celebration and the crowd roars.

She stands on the platform preparing for the next obstacle, the Broken Bridge, breathing deeply. As the crowd cheers, she smiles briefly, and the crowd begins to chant her name. "Sandy! Sandy! Sandy!" She moves her hands one on top of the next as she visualizes her steps across the balance obstacle — a series of narrow steps suspended across the water. She takes off and, in a blur of quick motion, runs across the steps.

image of Sandy Zimmerman running across the Broken Bridge

And just like that, she's through to the next obstacle! She drops to one knee and pumps her fist in celebration as the crowd cheers. Her husband and three kids cheer wildly along the sidelines.

She moves forward to prepare for the fourth obstacle — a new obstacle called the Lightning Bolts, in which competitors have to navigate their way through a series of rolling cradles using a long bar from which they are hanging. They must leap from one set of cradles to the next, rocking between two positions on every cradle suspended high above the water.

Sandy stands on the platform, readying herself, then hops onto the trampoline and SPROINGS! onto the bar nestled in the first cradle. She swings back and forth, then gently shifts the bar into the second part of the first cradle. The crowd cheers. She LEAPS! to the second cradle, swinging, then gently shifts the bar into the second part of the second cradle. OMG SHE'S DOING IT!!!

image of Sandy Zimmerman suspended from a bar high above the water

She takes a moment to adjust the bar so that it's centered in the cradle, then LEAPS! across the six-foot gap to the third cradle. The crowd is going wild! She gently rocks into the second part of the third cradle OMFGGGGGG and now all that's left is the dismount!

She swings her body back and forth and then LEAPS! onto the platform, barrel-rolling to a stop, and the crowd is screaming and the announcers are shouting and her kids are losing their minds and IT'S SO EXCITING!!!

She gets ready for the final obstacle, the Warped Wall — a 14'6" foot curving wall, up which competitors have to run as far as they can, then LEAP! up to grab the edge of its top ledge, and then pull themselves up on the platform, where the buzzer awaits. "Beat that wall! Beat that wall! Beat that wall!" chants the crowd.

"Listen to this crowd," says announcer Matt Iseman. "No mother has ever hit a buzzer on American Ninja Warrior," says announcer Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, "and it's about to go down!"

Sandy takes a deep breath, winds up, then runs up the wall, but can't quite reach the top. OH NO! She slides down the wall and the crowd gasps. Her kids look worried. She has two more chances.

She retreats to regroup, and the crowd chants, "Sandy! Sandy! Sandy!" to encourage her. She winds up again, then runs up the wall for a second time—

image of Sandy Zimmerman hanging by her fingertips from the top of the Warped Wall

—AND SHE'S DONE IT! She takes a moment to hang on the edge of the wall, flexing in celebration, before scrambling up to the top of the wall, hitting the buzzer, and then pumping her fist in the air in celebration. EVERYONE IS GOING WILD! I AM GOING WILD! YAYAYAYAYAY!

series of images of Sandy Zimmerman defeating the Warped Wall, hitting the buzzer, and celebrating

"Sandy Zimmerman has made history!" exclaims Iseman. She covers her face with her hands in disbelief. The crowd cheers and cheers.

"Sandy!" Gbaja-Biamila calls to her, and she turns to face him. "You just made herstory!"

"MOM!" she shouts, hitting the buzzer. "The first mom! The first mom!"

Not only was Sandy the first mom ever to hit the buzzer, but she was the first competitor of the night to hit the buzzer in Sea-Tac, the first woman to hit the buzzer this season, and the oldest woman to ever hit the buzzer, too!

You can read more about Sandy, who also won the National Judo Championship in the Tacoma Dome 30 years ago, here.

Congratulations, Sandy! WOOT!

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