On July 6, Christopher Moore, L/CPO, a contestant on the show, American Ninja Warrior, qualified to continue onto city finals, coming one step closer to achieving his dream to win $1 million for the kids of Shriners Hospital for Children.
“Second Chances. That is our theme for the American Ninja Warrior campaign,” Moore, who is co-owner and a practitioner at Adapt Prosthetics and Orthotics in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, said. “Shriners gives kids second chances. They take care of kids who otherwise would not be taken care of. I fell on the qualifier but still made it, [so] I got a second chance to go onto city finals.”
Working to help others
Moore’s passion began when he was young.
“I was a medic in the service, and I became a patient during that time. I decided I need to be a physical therapist when I grew up to take care of myself and anyone else, so I started working toward my physical therapy degree,” he said. “While I was doing that, I discovered prosthetics and orthotics and saw it is like mechanical therapy — [you get to] set stuff on fire, make things and help people.”
Moore decided to obtain a prosthetics and orthotics degree and graduated from School of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Washington in 2002.
His work at Adapt Prosthetic and Orthotics allows him to see a diverse group of people, according to Moore.
“Our youngest patients are 3 months old, newborn, all the way to our current oldest patient, who is 103 [years],” he said.
Moore said he would do his job even if he did not get paid for it, as he finds it “pretty cool to help people and help them take their lives back.”
Moore said he wanted a job where he could make a difference.
“I know I never changed the world, but I have changed lives over the years,” he said. “When I was in the service, I saved a couple of lives, but changing lives is awesome in its own right, and it is pretty rewarding without overfeeding your ego.”
After his run on American Ninja Warrior’s military qualifier episode in San Pedro, Calif., Moore, a former Navy Corpsman ranked 24 out of 30 even after falling on the high-beam cross. Only 11 competitors got farther than he did on the course. Luckily, the show ranks not only for distance but for time, allowing him to remain in the competition.
According to Moore, the obstacle to beat that night was the beam cross. He made it to the end but did not make the landing. It was his “rookie mistake,” he said.
“I did really well,” Moore said. “I was not concerned about it. I was tired and my forearms were burning pretty good toward the end. There was never a point where I was like, ‘I cannot do that.’”
He added, “I did well enough for a 43-year-old guy. I think I was the oldest man to advance.”
Moore claims he has been a “fitness freak” his whole life. He typically trains 6-7 times a week, and the days would vary depending on given tasks. As soon as he received word that he would be competing on American Ninja Warrior, Moore increased his training and began focusing on his areas of weakness that he felt the courses would exploit.
Moore said he felt prepared for the show.
“I did a lot of power lifting, circus act type stuff, basic gymnastic-type work, climbing, jumping and running,” Moore said. “American Ninja Warrior is a combination of rock climber skills and gymnastic skills, and you have to throw all of them in there.”
For the kids
American Ninja Warrior was never on Moore’s bucket list, but learning about families who could not afford their children’s medical care inspired him to apply.
“What happens is sometimes parents are put in a situation or they have to make economic decisions about the medical provisions for their children and that is not OK,” Moore said.
Moore’s beliefs — the idea that “if you need [care], you should get it whether you can pay or not” — are shared by the founders of Shriners Hospital for Children, he said.
Shriners is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization relying on donations. Moore said times have been tough for the hospital in the past few years, so he wanted to contribute. Therefore, he applied to American Ninja Warrior, which was offering a $500,000 cash prize to the winner.
“[I thought], ‘I can do that show. I can do it for the kids,’” Moore said. “‘I will hang myself out there on national television to win, lose or fall.’”
After Moore applied, the prize doubled to $1 million, reinforcing his efforts to do something for the children. Since there has yet to be a winner on American Ninja Warrior during the past six seasons, however, Moore started the fundraiser, AmericanNinja4kids, as a side project.
“Physically, the odds of winning are low, especially if you are over 40 [years] like me,” he said. “As of last night, we are creeping up at $8,000 from fundraising.”
As of press time, the fundraiser had hit $9,281.
Making a positive difference
Moore hopes to use his television time to “win the hearts of a few Americans citizens,” leading to an increase in donations to Shriners. He wants to raise $1 million through his fundraiser but would also love to win the $1 million through the American Ninja Warrior competition.
Moore’s goal for the money earned is to increase Shriners’ investment pool, which funds operating expenses.
Since Moore is advancing to city finals, the mission continues, he said.
“I am hoping to get more airtime to plead my story on NBC. I think it would certainly help the fundraiser,” Moore said. Many of the other TV channels have already offered support, he said.
For now, Moore’s inspirational run continues at city finals, set to air on NBC 6 weeks from his qualifier sometime in mid-August.
To make donations to Moore’s fundraiser, visit AmericanNinja4kids.com. – by Monica Jaramillo
Disclosure: Moore reports no relevant financial disclosures.