The Armchair Ninja Podcast is hosted by American Ninja Warrior super-fans Rich and Bijan. Each week, they break down and review an episode of the show and feature interviews with many of the American Ninja Warriors.
Just after Jessie Graff’s awesome City Finals run in Los Angeles, she joined up with Rich and Bijan to break down how that night went for her. Here’s a recap of what we learned. You can also listen to the full podcast interview here.
- After spotting the Ring Jump and the I Beam, Jessie thought the course was ridiculous and didn’t expect to finish or rank very high.
- She was shocked when she completed the Wedge, expecting to fall on that obstacle.
- She says using a mixed grip on the Wedge felt natural to her, as it’s how she also approaches the Salmon Ladder.
- The Hour Glass Drop is one of her favorite obstacles of all because it was so hard. She needed to figure it out and master it. [The Hour Glass drop was not on the LA course.]
- Her pole vaulting coach told her to always take responsibility for what happens in your athletic performance so you can prepare for the future. You can’t blame the weather or else you won’t be ready for the weather in the future,
- At local competitions, she actually tries not to practice on the obstacles before hand. She wants to develop her ability to complete the obstacles in one shot, under pressure.
- While American Ninja Warrior tapes late into the night, her work as a stunt woman has her prepared for that. She’s used to getting herself mental prepared quickly.
- In American Ninja Warrior season five, she ran the course at 6:30 am. In season seven, around 10 pm, and in season eight between midnight and 1 am.
- She shares her home with a circus performer, martial artist, action actor and, of course, her pig, Sammo.
- Sammo actually helps Jessie sit still and rest, which is crucial to helping her body.
- The Ring Jump on the course was an energy sap that happened early in the run.
- She adjusted her strategy from Qualifiers to City Finals to save energy and be more efficient before reaching the back half of the course.
- Jessie wishes that full runs and interviews with all the contestants would be released on Youtube.
- The Helix Hang had very large transfers between grips and she was already drained by that point. She does wish she had been facing forward and moving a little faster to attempt a dismount.
- She would love to attempt the Sasuke course in Japan.
- While she didn’t audition for the role of Wonder Woman in the upcoming film, she did audition to be a stunt double. Two other stunt women were selected, and Jessie says they’re a better fit for the actress’ body type.
- She put a lot of thought into what costume to wear this year. She purposely picked Wonder Woman to inspire others.