Have you ever wanted to try your hand at obstacle course racing after watching NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior?” Those on Long Island’s North Shore can now do so.
The Grit Ninja, a provider of obstacle-course-based fitness classes and programming, opened a new 7,000-square-foot facility at The Waterfront at Roslyn, 55 Lumber Road on Sunday.
Allison and Eric Meltzer founded The Grit Ninja in 2019 after working in law and finance, respectively. They sought a joint venture that would allow them to pursue their passion for fitness, specifically obstacle course racing.
“What we really love about it is it’s fitness-minded, of course. The full-body workout is agility and balance, upper body strength, but it’s also mental fortitude,” said Allison. “It’s about literally overcoming the obstacles in front of you. We loved that and combined all of that together so it was something, you know, our 5-year-old could do, something Eric and I could do as a family or on our own.”
This is the company’s fourth location and its first on Long Island. Visitors will find obstacles such as five Warped Walls and numerous balance, agility and upper body obstacles. Their coaching staff now includes seven former contestants from “American Ninja Warrior.”
“Ninjas” can face enjoyable obstacles that help them develop strength, coordination, agility, balance, problem-solving skills, self-confidence and grit. Every week, the staff creates a new gym layout and obstacles to challenge attendees.
“We take a lot of pride in like the quality of the coaches that we have, and it’s an environment where [users] are encouraged to kind of go out of their comfort zone a bit to try new things — failure is part of the process,” said Eric. “Most of the time, you may not get an obstacle the first time. But then, hopefully, you’ll get some tips from the coaches and then you will get it. That really helps instill confidence.”
The Grit Ninja’s flagship after-school kids’ classes seek to combine fitness and fun. Open gym sessions, birthday parties, holiday and summer camps, team-building and fund-raising events and other activities are also available.
They offer sessions for ninjas of all genders, ages and levels, ranging from beginners (age 3+) to the competitive elite. The two said progress is measured against oneself, not others. This not only creates a more welcoming environment but also encourages fun and community.
“Whether you’re someone that’s viewed as a good athlete, or whether you’re someone that has maybe struggled to find a home in team sports for a variety of reasons,” said Eric. “We’ve certainly taken a lot of pride that kids that maybe haven’t found a home in team sports have found one in our programs.”
The Meltzers are Westchester residents. Yet, they said the North Shore was always on their radar to continue growing their community. They saw the potential to expand their growing business based on personal ties and observations of the area.
“We have kids that trained in one location that will travel to another location and check out the gym there and meet some of our other coaches and get a different experience,” said Allison. “So it felt like a nice proximity to where our other locations are to build our Grit community.”
If one is looking for more information, they can visit www.thegritninja.com or email [email protected].