Back when I had cable tv, I watched a LOT of Ninja Warrior. Not the new American version where super muscle-y men and women look WAY too serious about it, but the original Japanese version, where a little 5’3″ fishermen (Makoto Nagano is a total bad-ass) competed against firemen, delivery men and other ordinary people as they all tried to make their way to the top of Midoriyama.
When I learned that a new obstacle course gym called Hot Lava had opened up and modeled some of the obstacles from Ninja Warrior, I needed to round up some friends to come play with me!
Familiar to Ninja Warrior fans are quad steps, pipe slider and some wooden walls that can be climbed over or crawled under. There were also cargo nets, rings, a slack line, American Gladiator-esque joust sticks on Bosu balls, giant foam pit and a gymnastics floor for more tricks.
The obstacle that surprised me in difficulty was the slackline! I had this picture in my head that there would be enough tension to stand up like a balance beam, but there’s so much wobbling that happens when any weight is put on it. Our very helpful instructor gave us pointers to keep a focal point (DRISHTI!) to steady ourselves. We also practiced finding balance from sitting on it before attempting to stand on one leg at a time.
We spent a good amount of time doing flips into the foam pit and struggling to get back out with the help of a rope. I especially enjoyed the gymnastics floor as our instructor challenged us to different vaulting tricks and hurdling over giant foam blocks. Since there’s a lot of bounce and give to the floor, we goofed around a lot by hopping like bunnies and hula hooping.
I also got to practice my handstands with and without a wall. There were moments I had perfect balance for 5 or 6 seconds before freaking myself out. It was so much fun!!!
We’ll definitely need to get a group out there again because it’s more fun to play around on the obstacles with friends. $10 for an all-day come-and-go pass is well worth the money.
Hot Lava Obstacle Course
8303 Burnet Rd #4
Austin, TX 78757