Meet Jessie Graff’s Mom, the Oldest Female American Ninja Warrior | Iris

published on July 2, 2020

at 63 I did my very first pull off now I

can do 10

I'm Jenny McCall I'm 66 years old and

I'm an American Ninja Warrior

how do you turn a good nutritious meal

into her I started doing commercials TV

commercials I hit that golden age of a

mommy and a housewife I got married I

had two kids I was able to make my own

living I was at the top of the top at

that point in my life everything was

going well and then it was a the carpet

was swept out from underneath me my

marriage ended I had to leave New York

with the kids we moved to Pennsylvania

but it was just very much a struggle we

went through the blizzard of 93 and 96

we were stuck back in the house for over

a week and we were in the very back back

of the woods the snow was making some of

the Roos fall in so the kids had to help

me shovel off the roof one time I had to

cross-country ski just to get medicine

for my son who had ear infections and

that's where I learned that if it has to

be done I had to do it I was diagnosed

with osteopenia which is the step before

osteoporosis and so that was the time

that I really got into doing exercising

my daughter is jessie graff and you may

know her from American Ninja Warrior

she has gone the farthest of any female

I've always been inspired by Jessie

because of her work ethic and her

determination and persistence and I saw

how she had gotten so much stronger and

I went I want to get stronger and so she

said do pull-ups I had never developed

upper body strength you have to develop

your arms your shoulders your back your

chest in the 60s women didn't lift

it wasn't considered feminine I'm glad

things have changed I like to think of

all the creative things that we did

along the way

like taking a sledgehammer to the tire

just eating it it got out of a lot of

aggression too it took three years to go

to ten pull-ups and it's it's still a

struggle I find that I get the most

strength in that last one not to give up

through the lifting weights I had my

bone density test recently and it said

my bone density had increased

significantly I was blown away I

competed in American Ninja Warrior

season nine I was pretty prepared for it

and when I got up there I don't know

what happened to my brain and you're

over water and the steps look very

different and the lights are there and

the cameras there and it's like they say

go and it's like boom I go just go Jenny

just go and I jumped and I felt my foot

slip and all I remember is bubbling

water going that couldn't have happened

I know I can do the steps I know I can

do that jump and I kept replaying it in

my mind and going over it and feeling

awful I talked to Jessie a lot and she

kept saying this doesn't define who you


look at all you've accomplished in that


how you've gotten stronger and how you

feel better and healthier I realized

that much times we don't know how to

take failure or a fall it's really a

lesson to be learned I learned my

weakness I learned what I had to work on

and the big news was getting up again

and getting going and putting that

behind now I realize I had to travel and

get to a gym and practice on the steps

and keep practicing on the steps and do

them different ways I always take an

obstacle in baby steps you just keep

trying to up the ante I get a little bit

further each time and that makes you

stronger after Pennsylvania well I met

my husband of today who is the most

supportive person the entire world when

he says will you'll do it again I went

why why do you think I'm gonna do it


how can you say that he goes because I

know you can anyway yeah I do know I can

strength is ageless and I really believe

that because I'm living proof that you

can build strength at any age

agent and experience shouldn't be a

barrier it is part of the journey

you can start at age 63 or above little

by little if you break it down and you

take it in baby steps what seemed

impossible becomes possible



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