Ian Dory is one of American Ninja Warrior’s more subtle stars. He’s wildly talented, and wildly focused while on the course. He’s not one for playing to the audience or even taking breaks, really. But you can’t deny his success. At the Minneapolis City Finals, he hit his fifth consecutive City Finals buzzer.
Since Ian made his debut in season six, he’s yet to fail a course outside of the National Finals. He’s made it to Stage Two three times, and Stage Three once. Basically, if Ian Dory has a chance to move on, he generally takes it. He’s one of the founding members of the Wolfpack Ninjas, husband, father to two little ones, a rock climber, and is dedicated full time to advancing the sport of Ninja. Ian’s life is pretty full, but he still makes time for the show every year.
Read on to find out what Ian Dory had to say about learning to balance his life, preparing for the course, and his goal for season 10.
“It’s been a crazy whirlwind with Wolfpack. Doing events all over the world. We were just in Hong Kong. I’ve really been trying to plug into my family. Ninja has become so much of my life. Training 30-40 hours a week, being ready to complete these courses. I’ve been trying to integrate all my training with my family. Bringing my little girl. Bringing my little boy. I hang out with my wife more. We do a lot of yoga. Then also rock climbing together. Still getting the training in, being prepared enough that I feel I could actually complete everything, but also spending time training with my family.
That’s a big piece of my life that’s been missing. That family component.”
“I think that I’m still very focused. There’s definitely a relaxed element to it. There’s a healthy level of respect you have to give to the course. The challenges that are put in front of us, these obstacles. I want to take it seriously, but not too seriously. If you fall, you fall. It’s okay. Try again next year. I just don’t want to give it power over me. Fear over me.
I’ve trained a lot of recovery time and endurance. Not a lot of coordination. Any kind of lower body stuff is a little more pressure. I have been doing some stuff, but not as intensive as before. The course is heavily upper body focused so that’s good for me.”
“The mental side is a massive component. You can train, you can have the best endurance, you can have crazy recovery time. You get up there and your mind’s not right? It’s over. It’s competition. You’ve seen some of the best athletes who are in crazy-good shape just go down. I’ve fallen. Mental mistakes. It takes just one little second.
Everyone gets nerves. I have nerves. But being able to push that aside once you start running, once you start engaging the obstacles. That’s a big piece of it. Not letting that fear creep back in. It’s fun, it’s an amazing opportunity to be up there.”
“I want to get at least back to Stage Three. I gotta get past the Flying Bars. The only thing I could do better is actually just win the whole thing. I’ve gone so far. I just have to complete it. One obstacle at a time. That mental side I’m working on still, every day. I’m going to do my best. I’m going to get out there and perform at the best of my ability. That’s all I can do.”
Ian Dory will take on Stage One of the National Finals on August 27!