Adding to the growing literature on mid-life crisis behavior and the post-divorce psyche, a study published last week by Miami University’s Department of Psychology found “American Ninja Warrior” contestants can pinpoint the exact moment their life went wrong, halfway through their ascension of the warped wall.
“The analysis of numerous case studies and extensive neurological testing led us to conclude that nearly every ninja warrior competitor finally understands what they have become as that final, towering obstacle begins to curve back over top of them,” associate professor Gregory Brown said. “Many see it as a metaphor for the regrets of their past coming back to swallow them whole, which can be a cathartic experience.”
Brown identified 40-year-old recent divorcees as the most susceptible to these mid-course epiphanies.
“A switch just flips for these guys as they charge up the wall,” Brown explained. “Like, they realized they’ve spent the last two years jumping on plywood in their condo after losing custody of the kids for leaving them in their hot SUV while they bought 5-hour Energy drinks.”
The research team also found a striking correlation between warriors who stared longingly into the crowd after completing the quintuple steps and men who had a history of public urination.
These offenders are about 30 years of age, on average, and tend to own more tank tops than collared shirts.
“Of course, many of them say they’re doing the competition for their community,” Brown said. “But reality strikes when they grab that inverted lip; they never really cared when a hurricane displaced hundreds of their neighbors.”
Brown points to additional evidence which uncovered a string of depressing contestants who hide their shame behind thinly-veiled charitable causes, like repairing damaged homes or volunteering with children every other weekend.
“But at the end of the day,” Brown explained. “They’re climbing that salmon ladder just to regain some semblance of that self worth they fumbled five years prior when they started eating only Lean Cuisine microwave dinners.”