Turning obstacles into exercise


A look at how obstacles, whether from obstacle course races like Spartan Race or American Ninja Warrior competitions, are motivating people to get off the couch and exercise.

It takes a special breed of person,” said Janice “JJ” McClean as she watched veterans of NBC’s popular obstacle course show “American Ninja Warrior” and “Ninja” hopefuls scale a 14-foot-3-inch warped wall, an intimidating concave structure that mimics one on the show. Then they took turns walking tightrope-style across a slackline – essentially a strap tied to two poles. Next they competed to see who could hold a handstand the longest.

“It’s just a typical night in here,” McLean said of CrossFit Loudoun and Northern Virginia Ninja, which she co-owns with Casey Passafaro. In its first year, NoVa Ninja has become a destination for people who seek more than a standard weightlifting or cardio challenge.

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