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Watch Mike Bernardo’s triumphant start to the season

His run is a testament to strength of the Ninja Warrior community.

Mike Bernardo is a pretty crucial part of the American Ninja Warrior community. After all, he’s only missed out one one of the show’s 11 seasons (that was the very first season). He’s also propelled himself to four trips to the National Finals.

As Mike prepared for his season 11 return, he shared the terrifying reason he thought he might not be able to come back this time around. After a bad fall at his work as a D.C. Firefighter, medical testing thought there might be something more going on. Mike was hurled into a world of fear as possible diagnoses like ALS and Parkinson’s were put on the table.

Mike turned to his friends within the Ninja Warrior community for support during this time. Together, they re-inspired him to focus on the sport he loves. While Mike is still dealing with his medical concerns, it wouldn’t hold him back from the course this year.

In fact, he came back ready to charge into battle. During Mike’s very strong run at the Cincinnati Qualifiers, he made it all the way to the buzzer, symbolizing his strength on and off the course.

You can get inspired by Mike’s full run, which is available above!