'American Ninja Warrior': 42-year-old Sandy Zimmerman, the first mother to hit the buzzer, says her life has come full circle
In an exclusive interview with MEAWW, Zimmerman spoke about how got into the show and the hard work it took to bring about her victory
42-year-old Sandy Zimmerman created history when 'American Ninja Warrior' season 11 aired with its Seattle/Tacoma City qualifiers episode on Monday, June 24.
Contestants on 'American Ninja Warrior' have created exceptional moments and milestones on the series that has run for years.
However, Zimmerman, a mother of three, set an impressive and inspirational milestone that no one else has done till date.
Zimmerman made history not only as the first woman to complete the course this season but also as the first mother to have ever climbed the warped wall and hit the buzzer. It was no easy feat but Zimmerman accomplished it.
In an exclusive interview with MEA WorldWide (MEAWW), Zimmerman spoke about how much of a full-circle moment it was for her and the hard work that went into it.
"I started this crazy American Ninja Warrior Journey about four years ago, and it was just this random thing. We never channel surf, but we happened to be channel surfing and my oldest kid said, 'What's that?' I looked over and it was 'American Ninja Warrior'. I thought, 'wow, that looks really fun. I think maybe if I trained I could do that.'" Zimmerman said.
"So we just kind of started playing on stuff and discovered very quickly that it was an absolute blast. And so I thought, you know, I really do want to apply and this would be really inspiring for people. I was just thinking about my students at that point and it grew into so much more and so much bigger than that."
This was not the first time Zimmerman appeared on the series. Previously, she tried the obstacle course in season 8 and 9 but sadly didn't succeed.
She didn't take part in season 10 due to injuries in both her thumbs and knee.
Zimmerman eventually came back in season 11 and created history.
We asked Zimmerman if there was any moment where she thought she wouldn't make it.
"Oh, man, there were lots of those moments over the last four years, many of those moments for sure. You know, it's a really difficult sport. It's a really hard sport, but because of that you see so much growth in the people that do it and it just attracts incredible people, because I think the whole world and our kids all need to see. That failure is part of the learning process. This sport is learned by trial and error and we have to all embrace that and love that. And so it's like you follow on, get up and go try again. And I think that is so important."
Zimmerman, who had won the Judo Nationals in this Tacoma Dome when she was 30, says she came full circle when she created history at the Tacoma Dome on 'American Ninja Warrior.'
"The moment I heard American Ninja Warrior released their cities and that they were coming to the Tacoma Dome, my heart just stopped. I thought are you kidding? There are just so many things that... How can you not believe in a higher power even if you're not really religious?"
First of all, it was Mother's Day weekend and then it was back in the Tacoma Dome and the Tacoma Dome was so significant for me because I think we all have moments in our lives that just change the trajectory of our lives. For me, one of those moments growing up was in the Tacoma Dome."
Now that Zimmerman has won the qualifiers, she moves on to the city finals where she hopes to be one among the Top 12 or even among the Top 2 women and head to Vegas for the nationals.
'American Ninja Warrior' airs every Monday night on NBC. Check your local listings for more information.