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Ninjas reflect on the accomplishments, adventures, and love they experienced in 2019

Overall, it was a good year for the Ninjas.

Ginny MacColl

A new year is always a time for reflection and the Ninjas are doing just that. As always, it was a year filled with ups and downs, with the ups highlighted a bit more on social media. For much of the ANW community, Ninja was a huge part of their year. And why not! There’s a lot to love — the show, the training, the competitions throughout the year, the challenges, and the community of incredible people.

For Abby Clark, Ninja showed up in almost all of her top 9 Instagram posts, with more Ninja highlights mentioned in her recap of the year. Abby promoted Akbar’s book, Everyone Can Be a Ninja, at a Phillies game. Also, Abby’s dog, Ace, recovered from shoulder surgery, and is involved in the sport of agility — sounds like he’s taking after his parents. Clearly, Ninja is a family affair in Abby’s life!

For Drew Drechsel and April Beckner, 2019 was a huge year, full of baby news and Ninja victories. In June, they announced to the world that a Real Life Baby was on the way. In September, Drew became the second American Ninja Warrior winner and won a million dollars (filmed in June). In December, Korey Kade was born, making Drew a Real Life Dad.

Competing on American Ninja Warrior and speaking around the world to inspire people were two giant highlights for Alex Weber.

2019 was a breakout year for siblings Caleb and Caitlyn Bergstrom.

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What a year...

A post shared by Caitlyn Bergstrom (@kt.bergstrom) on

For Michael Torres, 2019 was a year filled with love. He met, fell in love with, and proposed to Sarah Streifel. A June wedding is planned.

Speaking of love, for Zuri Hall, 2019 was the year of real love. She set herself up for a great year by working on self-love in 2018. At the end of 2018, Zuri said (on Instagram), “But now I enjoy the person I’m alone with – because I’m starting to understand who she is. I’ve fallen in love with myself in a new way.” This achievement laid the groundwork for the past year. According to Zuri, “2019 has been about aligning my actions, my lifestyle, my circle, and my goals with my actual values – the things that feed my spirit…and I’m really happy!”

For Ginny MacColl, 2019 was filled with Ninja, family, and a return to acting. And she definitely continued to prove that “Strength is ageless!”

Nate Burkhalter had a year filled with adventure – engineering work in West Africa, travel and mission work in South Africa and Cuba, a trip to Israel, and a gutsy and successful showing at the American Ninja Warrior finals in Las Vegas. sounds like 2020 will be full of brand new adventures for Nate — watch for an announcement on his Instagram soon.

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2019 in Review Post: Taking scary leaps of faith, (sometimes) with a hang glider . At times I soared, other times it was a quick decent to the bottom. It was a year of uncertainty, but of breakthrough! I did less, and saw God do more. [swipe for picture review] ✈ It started with a subsea engineering project in West Africa. I spent the 1st half of the yr on or near a small volcanic Island close to Nigeria. It was loooong days on a 24 hr/7 days wk operation, but I managed to squeeze in enough ninja training to stay in shape. The work was interesting and challenging, the location was EPIC, and the pay was , but my heart just wasn't in it. I knew it was wayyy past time for a life/career change. . . Leap of Faith (LOF) #1 was acting on years of prayers, prompting, & planning, and taking a leave of absence from my engineering career and company of 10 years. God has used my company and coworkers to teach, train, encourage, provide, & equip me for the next season, and I'm so grateful for that blessing! . . I kicked off the Leave with a week vaca in CapeTown, South Africa, then headed over to Jo'Burg with my church fam. We got to serve, meet physical & financial needs, love on many people, encourage prisoners, pray for the sick, share the good news of Jesus Christ, and show people that with God they are #NeverWithoutHope. We saw God move, we saw people healed, we saw hearts come alive, and we had a blast in incredible South Africa. Playing with Penguins & Lion cubs was just a nice bonus! . . I went straight from S. Africa to Las Vegas for the @ninjawarrior National Finals. That was a rough transition, but it worked out!! My 6th season on the show finally resulted in the breakthrough I knew was possible!! Many mental, physical, and spiritual limitations were broken, and fighting through a painful sickness just added to the testimony of what God can do when it seems all hope is lost. . . ☝ ‍♂️ ‍♂️ [Post continued in comments]

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We know that every year can’t be amazingly perfect, but we hope your 2019 had moments of growth, moments of pride, moments of fun, and moments of love.