Written by Janelle Kopa
The dynamic duo, Allyssa Beird, and her mom, Daria Beird, have gratefully shared their ninja and life wisdom with us in this episode of The Ninjababes Podcast. Season 10 was Daria’s rookie year on American Ninja Warrior. When she isn’t in the gym, Daria is developing her inner and outer strength through her passion and job working on a horse farm. When Daria first saw American Ninja Warrior, she said, “Hey, where’s all the women? There should be women on this show!”, and that’s where her dream started. Her goal is to finish a ninja course and to make a statement for her age, inspiring other women that they can do it too! Allyssa, on the other hand, has followed her passions to teach and inspire 5th graders in the classroom. She has been a competitor on American Ninja Warrior for 3 seasons. She started Ninja Warrior by training with Jesse Labreck, and she is now rediscovering her love of running in her free time as well. Both Allyssa and Daria are not only thrilled to get a shot at the Season 10 course this year, but to have each other as they embrace the dichotomous uncertainty and predictability of it all.
Uncertainty and predictability are in a constant motion as we go about our daily lives. However, the Beird Babes explain that there’s a certain balance of both that is needed to channel in on our full potential as athletes and as regular people. We need uncertainty to capture our attention. Uncertainty makes you wonder what’s possible. What is the possibility of all you can contribute? What is the potential of who you can become? It motivates you to prepare; it motivates you to train harder. There’s something intriguing about not knowing the ninja course that lies before you. Yet, there’s something inspiring about believing in yourself and trusting your training to conquer each obstacle. Nevertheless, as we all know, too much uncertainty opens the door to fear. Thankfully, the Beird Babes have shared their advice on how they embrace predictability into their lifestyle to balance the uncertainty.
I know I’ve fallen into the trap of believing ninja warrior is completely unpredictable and that I have no control. Allyssa and Daria also know that feeling, but they combat that by making a game plan for every obstacle. By using mental visualization, they envision each hand and foot placement on the obstacle before they try it. Allyssa suggests timing your mental visualization to match the speed you want to run the course. Defining uncertainty of obstacles reduces fear, allowing you to put your best, confident self out there. Having a game plan also allows you to be more efficient on the course, making sure every movement you make counts towards your end goal.
The Beird Babes say that the best way to make a game plan is by knowing yourself inside and out as an athlete. By understanding your personal ability of strengths and weaknesses, knowing what strategies work best for you, and having awareness of your body in the moment, you deepen your understanding of who you are as an athlete and learn how to train and compete with a strategic mind. This also means acknowledging your weaknesses by accepting the role of a life-long learner. We can welcome the “not-yet” mindset, in which we set high goals for ourselves, with a plan to make real steps towards achieving what we once thought was impossible. Finally, instead of comparing ourselves to others, like it’s so easy to do, we can look at others and learn from their technique. With this mindset, the Beird Babes have taught us that our biggest comparisons can truly become our greatest inspirations. Though ninja is never completely predictable, these strategies can help us become more secure in our abilities, thus diminishing some of the uncertainty that comes with ninja obstacles, and allowing us to feel more confident in our abilities.
Written by Janelle Kopa