When most people pull an all-nighter, they end up feeling exhausted.
Not so for Margaux Alvarez.
“I was super excited,” said the Stevensville High School graduate. “It was definitely a new opportunity for me and one that I was really amped up for.”
The new opportunity for the longtime extreme athlete was a chance to audition for what some call America’s most challenging obstacle course on the American Ninja Warrior program.
“Men and women from all walks of life and every corner of the country come together to pursue their common dream of reaching Mount Midoriyama on the world’s most notorious obstacle course,” says the program’s promotional material. “Each possessing an inspiring story and a memorable personality, the unrivaled athletes push through seemingly impossible tests of strength and endurance.”
Each year, tens of thousands apply for a chance to compete in the regional competitions where the competitors are selected for the televised finals that happen in Las Vegas. In each city, about 100 are picked to show producers their best.
Alvarez was one of those selected to compete in Los Angeles last week.
“I can’t speak too much about the competition, but I will say that I really enjoyed the experience,” she said. “I had a chance to meet some of the veterans from the competition. Being a rookie, it was great to listen to their experiences.
“I think I would like to spend a couple of years doing this,” Alvarez said. “It’s so different and fun. It adds a whole new challenge for me as an athlete and a person.”
Challenge has been part of Alvarez’s life for about as long as she can remember.
“I’ve always loved pushing myself and finding new challenges,” she said. “I’ve liked doing that since I was a little girl.”
Alvarez’s family moved to Stevensville when she was 8. She stayed long enough to learn to ride horses, practice Taekwondo, test out ballet, play volleyball and develop a life-long love for the game of golf. She graduated from Stevensville High School in 2003.
Since then, she’s become a force as a CrossFit Game competitor, including earning a place as one of two women on Team U.S.A. who competed at the international games in Madrid, Spain in 2015. Her team took home the gold after competing in a grueling completion that included lots of rope climbs, thruster squats and stone ground to shoulder.
Alvarez credits her strength and resilience to her mother and grandmother. “They have both been through a lot and through it all, they’ve faced their challenges head on,” she said.
Alvarez also hasn’t forgotten her roots when it comes time to compete.
“Montana is definitely the place I call home. I am a Montana girl at heart.”
With the American Ninja Warrior audition in the books, she’ll now focus on the next competition that doesn’t have anything to do with jumping from bar to bar or scaling a wall like a spider.
She’s entered in a long drive competition that will put a golf club in her hands and focus her mind as she attempts to out drive other golfers in a timed event at a California course.
“You have a minute to hit as many balls as you can,” she said. “You try to hit them as far as you can…I have a lot strength and power and I’m working to transfer that to golf. It requires a lot of accuracy and mental toughness. You need to know exactly what it is that you’re trying to accomplish.”
Beyond that, she and her husband are working to expand their wine business, which they’ve named Vine Yard. Its webpage is www.thevineyardcrossfit.com.
“We’re enjoying the journey and celebrating the successes when they come,” she said. “I have lots of projects. Staying busy and working toward the goal is the goal. It keeps the mind and body going.”