In 11 seasons, no mother has ever made it up the Warped Wall of the famed America Ninja Warrior course to hit the buzzer until now. Sandy Zimmerman, a 42-year-old mother of three became not only the first mother, but also the oldest woman, to successfully complete the extreme obstacle course that involves the ultimate tests of strength, endurance, skill, and speed.
Zimmerman was cheered on by her husband Charlie, a former ANW competitor, and their kids Blake, 8, Lindsey, 10 and Brett, 13. The family all practice together on their 40-obstacle course in their backyard, and Lindsey and Brett have both competed in American Ninja Warrior Junior.
The mother of three had previously competed in both seasons 8 and 9 of the popular show, but both times she never made it past the second obstacle. This time she told her hometown paper the Spokesman-Review what was going through her mind as she walked up the steps to begin her course run. “It’s like I have these two voices. I have this one voice which is that scared, timid, shy little girl, and then I have this other voice, this strong confident woman that I’ve become,” Zimmerman said. “I just remember kind of smirking right before they asked me to go up the stairs, and thinking ‘I sure hope, and I really think, that the strong confident woman that I’ve become is going to win tonight.’ ”
Zimmerman breezed through the obstacles during her challenge from the Barrel Roll to the Broken Bridge into the Lightning Bolts before she finally arrived at the infamous Warped Wall. She failed to make it up the Warped Wall on her first try, but with the entire crowd cheering her on, as well as hosts Akbar Gbajabiamila and Matt Iseman, Zimmerman not only soared up the Warped Wall on her second try, but stopped to give a victorious fist pump to the crowd as she hung on the edge, before pulling herself up and becoming the first mother ever to hit the buzzer, signaling her completion of the course.
This mom isn’t holding anything back. 💪 pic.twitter.com/bKS0Uj1COj— Ninja Warrior (@ninjawarrior) June 25, 2019
“I remember hitting the buzzer and thinking ‘We did it!’ ” Zimmerman said, adding the moment was “crazy surreal.” She credits her entire family as well as those in the American Ninja Warrior community for helping her complete the course and set a record. “This was not just me,” Zimmerman said. “It’s a team effort.”
Fans of the show took to social media to show their admiration for Zimmerman and comment on how amazing her entire run was.
I’m not even a mom, but I’m so inspired. Go mom’s, that buzzer is yours!— cat castillo (@catcastillo_) June 26, 2019
I think EVERYONE was fired up and pulling for her!! It was awesome! To be able to do it with ur kids there watching and so excited and proud of u muse be priceless— C (@barelymental) June 26, 2019
Zimmerman, who currently teaches physical education at Michael Anderson Elementary at Fairchild Air Force Base is a former National Judo Champion who also played basketball in college at Gonzaga University. She commented on her win and what it meant for her and those watching saying, “Everybody should dream big dreams, and I mean ‘BIG’ dreams.”
Zimmerman's next appearance on American Ninja Warrior, where she competes in the Seattle/ Tacoma city finals will air on August 12.
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