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Jon Stewart on season 10: ‘This year, I feel better than I have the past 56 years.’

Jon talks about the mental game that keeps him a contender on the course.

Cooper Neill/NBC

Jon Stewart was been taking on American Ninja Warrior since season five. In his six seasons, he’s made history a few times. In season six, he became the oldest competitor to finish a City Finals course. In season seven, he became the oldest competitor to scale the Warped Wall.

However, Jon broke that record himself in season 10, when, at 56 years old, he completed the Dallas Qualifiers course. To get there, he took down the Bouncing Spider that ended his Denver run in season nine.

Jon has a dedication to Ninja Warrior that’s nearly unrivaled. In fact, in order to compete on season nine, Jon had to fly back from France where he and his family were traveling. Jon is a father, grandfather, rock climber, and multiple business owner.

“It’s been a big change, taking a year off and coming back. I’ve started two businesses since I came back, so I’ve been busy doing that, as well as training for Ninja Warrior,” Jon shared with us before his run in Dallas.

“Training for Ninja Warrior can take a lot of time. You have to be in incredible shape. You have to be physically and mentally strong. It takes a lot of time. It can take time away from your family, your friends, your other hobbies. It’s a balancing act. You have to find a way to train. Sometimes you have to go late. Sometimes you have to go early. Sometimes you have to do it when it’s raining or snowing. I’ll go train in bad weather. I don’t care.”

In season 10, Ninja Warrior lowered the age limit of competitors to 19, putting the age difference between Jon and the youngest Ninjas at 37 years. The fresh faces didn’t distract Jon from his goals. Staying focused on his own mental strength is a constant training priority for him.

“If you have a doubt going into an obstacle, chances are you’re going to fall. You want to go in mentally prepared. Confident. You have to believe in yourself.

I try to work on my strength while I’m out for a long run. I try to repeat something in my head. Like I know I can do this. I’ve trained my whole life. I’ve climbed. I’ve rode mountain bikes. Bouldered. It’s like I know I can do this. I just reinforce that over and over again. This is who I am. I’m going to do it.”

Jon’s season 10 came to an end when he fell on the Nail Clipper. He was on the back half of the course, but with a strong field of competitors, he was just edged out of the top 15. Jon shared his season’s goals with us before be competed, and we’re ready to see him stick to them next year.

“This year, I feel better than I have the past 56 years. I have a lot of expectations this year. I want to go all the way. I want to be on that rope on Stage Four. That’s my goal.”