One American Ninja Warrior fan took to Reddit to share the exciting news that he’d been selected to the run the course in Miami this year! But this wasn’t just a normal humble brag, the OP, Matthew Barclay, was sharing the news with the online community of /r/loseit/, a sub-reddit weight loss community. Matthew has lost 70 lbs while also training for the show.
The community responded with overwhelming love and support. Their passion for American Ninja Warrior, and for cheering each other on, gave us all the feels.
We touched base with Matthew to learn more about his path to Ninja-hood!
“I train weekly at Chad Hohn’s ninja gym Level Up (remember the Ninja Builder a few years ago? He took that name because he built obstacles. It was prophetic though- now he is the NINJA builder turning us amateurs into legit ninjas! 3-4 of us are coming from his ninja nights.)
I’m 37 years old, and have been overweight since college and obese for over a decade. I had to have a physical before we could adopt and the doctor called me in to have an intervention about my weight. I was sad about it but didn’t think I could really do anything. I was addicted to sodas, and kept falling deeper in.
American Ninja Warrior was a HUGE part of me leaving obesity and turning my life (and my family’s direction) around. This is day 750 without Coca-Cola (or any sodas) and so many of my decisions revolve around what is good for me as a ninja.
Getting the call was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. I’d been daydreaming about it while rowing away the fat for almost two years so even now I have to remind myself “no- this is actually happening.” I can’t stop smiling and I can’t WAIT to run a course over water with all the lights and everything.
I’m really hoping that I can inspire the geeks/gamers/couch potatoes like me that if they want it- they can do it. I said in the thread, I truly AM the “if he can do it anyone can” story. SERIOUSLY. Most ninjas have at least SOME athletic background. I have Nintendo thumb and a semester of modern dance in college which I’m pretty sure I failed. But- today? I’m a ninja.”
Here’s Matthew before his weight loss.
And here he is getting his Ninja on at Mike Cook’s Ultimate Backyard Warrior!
Congratulations, Matthew! We can’t wait to cheer you on in Miami!