Unlocking Potential: American Ninja…Mentoring!

Unlocking Potential: American Ninja…Mentoring!

As I sat watching my eight year-old daughter run through obstacles at the Obstacle Academy every weekend for several months, I found myself reflecting on the power of American Ninja Warrior (ANW). It all began when my mother introduced my daughter to ANW at the age of three. She was mesmerized by the competitors, their inspiring stories, and their strength. What started as building obstacle courses in the basement turned into more formal training at the Obstacle Academy last year. As I began to see a physical and emotional transformation in my daughter, I started to notice parallels between the outcomes of ANW training and the results of our mentoring programs at Menttium.

The foundation and power of Obstacle Academy stems from the owner and ANW competitor Sarah Schoback. As the second-ever female ANW gym owner and the only ANW gym owner who also happens to be a mother, Sarah takes training women and kids both personally and seriously. Not only did she look to ANW training to inform her own work/life integration journey; she has since leveraged the entire platform to inspire others and fuel her passion for developing strong and confident women and kids. She is an amazing role model, and I continue to notice the effects of her training on my daughter—boosting her confidence, energizing her spirit, further awakening her drive and motivation (she does sit ups and push-ups daily!), inspiring her to rise to her full potential, and building her physical and emotional strength.

The physical obstacles in the gym can easily be seen as metaphors for obstacles people face in their everyday lives: making it up the warped wall or mastering the salmon ladder can give a person the motivation he or she needs to overcome personal or professional challenges. ANW training and competing has become so much more than conquering an obstacle course, and the heart-felt stories shared by many of the competitors we see on the show demonstrate the broader impact of their experiences. As I examined our mission at Menttium and the outcomes of our world-class mentoring programs in the context of ANW, our shared purpose became apparent: we’re here to help people overcome both physical and emotional obstacles, allowing them to rise to their full potential. It is that mutual purpose that brought Menttium and Obstacle Academy together to form a partnership at the end of 2018.

Menttium owner and CEO Lynn Sontag said of the new partnership, “I have been an ANW fan for years, so when Missy shared that her daughter was participating at the Obstacle Academy and put forth the idea to partner with Sarah, I shouted a resounding, ‘Yes!’ It was an honor and pleasure to meet Sarah and hear her amazing story of resilience and courage. Similarly, I have heard many stories from Menttium participants about how their mentors have helped them through personal and professional challenges. We at Menttium believe that everyone should have the support they need to be a Ninja Warrior in their own lives. We are all better together!”

We launched our partnership with a goal to continue to bring our missions to life. There are three main outcomes both Menttium and Obstacle Academy drive through engaging experiences:

  • Unlock potential
  • Build physical and emotional strength + confidence
  • Enable people to achieve their goals and aspirations

Our first event was an open house for our local Menttium community in the Twin Cities, hosted at Obstacle Academy. Remarks were shared by Lynn Sontag, three of our esteemed local mentors, and myself. Sarah Schoback followed up with a keynote presentation. But ultimately, it was my daughter who brought down the house as she introduced herself, shared her love for ANW, and then ended her moment in the spotlight with a resounding exclamation: “Girl Power!” Attendees included mentees, mentors, HR and business leaders from local client organizations, and friends of Menttium. They all left energized and inspired, with some even ready to get into the gym and try the obstacles!

After the event, Sarah Schoback said, “Having the opportunity to share my personal journey to owning Obstacle Academy was incredible, but what is more incredible is partnering with Menttium, a company that shares the same goals of helping people unlock their full potential, push past obstacles they face in life, and set professional goals. Menttium not only shares these goals, but also provides the mentors to help you reach them. We all need people who believe in us, who push us to be the best we can be, and that is exactly what I love about the Menttium community.”

Here is what some of the event attendees had to say:

“I had the pleasure of attending a recent partnership event with Menttium Corporation and
Obstacle Academy. What I appreciate most about this is Menttium’s innovative and
collaborative approach to building relationships in the community that serve to deepen the
developmental experience of its mentees beyond a traditional context of mentoring.”
—Jennifer K. Meyer, MBA, CSSBB
Director, UnitedHealth Group – Center For Clinician Advancement

“This event, co-hosted by Menttium and the Obstacle Academy, highlighted a perfect partnership of an amazing woman-owned business wrapped into Menttium’s beliefs of empowerment, support, and mentorship. Hearing owner and Ninja Warrior Sarah Schoback’s story was inspiring and energizing. It left me feeling that, with the right support and encouragement, the sky really is the limit!”

—Michelle Wieser, MBA, Ph.D.
Interim Dean, School of Business – St. Catherine University

“Thanks to the Obstacle Academy and Menttium for hosting a wonderful event! It was inspiring
and motivating to hear how both organizations are empowering women to overcome obstacles
of all kinds. The networking and stories that were shared offer hope and courage to all of us
who want to reach our full potential.”
—Marci Heerman
Executive Coaching; Leadership Development Consultant

Like Obstacle Academy, we at Menttium are committed to creating energizing experiences that help people reach their full potential with stronger performance. Through our Cross-Company and Internal 1:1 mentoring partnerships, we provide the rigor, structure, and resources needed to guide mentees and mentors through the experience. Our seasoned team of interviewers talks personally with all of our mentees and mentors, so we get to know them at a deep enough level to create the most successful matches in the business. And our approach works—we have a 95 percent match success rate! With monthly business education webinars on various leadership topics, opportunities for face-to-face events in key markets, and development underway for peer-to-peer discussion groups and curated content, our goal is to help people thrive at work and in life!

Look for us in Chicago in March as we continue to partner with Sarah Schoback and Obstacle Academy to bring our missions to life. More details to come!

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