Michelle Warnky is trailblazer on American Ninja Warrior. She’s one of the most well-known female competitors, and a top competitor at that. In her five previous seasons on the show, she’s only missed the City Finals once. She was the second woman up the Warped Wall in season six. Her consistency and dedication has inspired so many others to take up training.
But don’t think that Michelle Warnky is slowing down. Back for season 10, she’s having her best season so far. She completed the Philadelphia Qualifying course in the tenth position overall. On the extended City Finals course, Michelle worked her way to the eighth obstacle, the new Captain’s Wheel. She fell there, but her time put her into the twelfth spot and the National Finals.
We caught up with Michelle before her Stage One run in Vegas to check in on how she was feeling and what she thinks is still ahead for her this year.
“It’s the first season I haven’t cried! This season has been great. It’s fun to come out of cities (Qualifying and City Finals) feeling good.
My favorite memory from City Finals was watching Chris Wilczewski crush the course. It was just a fun region with so many friends. Competing together and celebrating together. Seeing a lot of friends do well was exciting.”
“On the eighth obstacle in City Finals... I get so focused on one thing. Then right when I came down, Jamie was like, ‘Why didn’t you do this at the end?’ It was like, ‘OH. Yeah, that would have saved a lot of energy.’ But I just get so focused on one thing. I hadn’t thought through that yet. I would have done the end of eight differently.”
“A big thing I change is, I know Stage One is all about trampoline jumps. Pretty much half the course is trampoline jumps. There’s usually three. That’s a big thing. It’s okay if I get it 70% of the time on a trampoline. I have to get it 90 to 100% of the time. Get a good jump. So that’s been a big thing, just working on drilling jumps on the tramp.”
“It’s weird. I try not to have expectations necessarily, but I do. Everyone does. I want to finish Stage One. But as far as satisfaction, I mean, you’re never fully satisfied as a Ninja. But there’s different levels of satisfaction. I want to pass the Propeller Bar. I want to pass the Spider Jump. I want to pass the Warped Wall. I want to hit the buzzer. Pretty much there’s lots of little steps.”
“It is great to be back to Vegas. The big thing for me is not to focus on one gigantic goal. It’s just break down each little step and take them one at a time.”
We’re just a few weeks away from seeing Michelle on Stage One. The National Finals begin on August 27.