I’m a little late, but congratulations to Jeremy Guarino of Buffalo, who now can call himself “American Tarzan.”
A week ago, Guarino was the winner of a grueling competition in which seven challengers competed in an obstacle course on the remote Caribbean Island of Dominica in the Discovery Channel series, “American Tarzan.”
In the fourth and final episode, Guarino swam, he climbed vines, he ran through forests and got to the top of a mountain ahead of three other competitors in time to give out a yell.
It wasn't Johnny Weissmuller quality, but you could sense Guarino's satisfaction.
“It was one of the most incredible journeys of my life,” Guarino declared on the program.
During the final episode of the four-hour series of programs, Guarino said he was inspired by the memory of his deceased best friend Nick.
If his name sounds familiar, Guarino was the first winner of the Buffalo Ninja Warrior contest in July of 2014.
Guarino becomes the second Western New Yorker to win an intense reality series in two months; Colden’s Mark Bouquin was the co-winner of the Fox program “American Grit” in June and earned $250,000.
Guarino, a small business owner of Build a Machine Fitness Center on Niagara Falls Boulevard, didn’t receive any money prize.
According to Discovery, his reward is getting to be known as “American Tarzan.”
In a September, 2014 story, Buffalo News reporter Scott Scanlon wrote that Guarino “embodies the obstacle model. Strong, flexible and sinewy, his Build a Machine Fitness center on Niagara Falls Boulevard offers a mix of training styles that includes interval, circuit, Olympic weightlifting, small gymnastics, parkour and yoga. He excels on the 'Salmon Ladder,’ an obstacle that for many ‘American Ninja Warrior’ contestants is the most challenging of them all."
An earlier Discovery release noted that Guarino "is a jack-of-all-trades, who competes in Ninja Warrior, practices yoga, does parkour, runs, swims, bikes, practices martial arts, and all kinds of climbing. He’s a well-rounded athlete."
"Family is important to Jeremy. He lives with his mother, where he helps to raise his two teenage brothers. He does everything he can to be good role model. After his best friend passed away when he was 22, Jeremy acquired a new outlook on life. His motto is, 'Give it your all –you may never have a second chance.' Jeremy had intense survival training through SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape) School. It prepared him to survive in any situation, and survive without food for three days. He says, 'The body won’t quit – only the mind will, if you let it.'"
Guarino had to deal with plenty of insects on his jungle journey.
That brings me to one of the lead stories on Channel 2 news Tuesday night: The summer drought has led to insects looking to enter our homes, apparently in record numbers.
I guess it’s a legitimate story. But at or near the top of the news?
The placement of the story made me laugh out-loud.
Then I scratched myself.