While American Ninja Warrior’s season 12 finale gave us so much to cheer about, it also gave us a few less pleasant moments. One of the worst moments was when Jessie Graff fell on the third obstacle of the Finals course. Even worse was when she came out of the water testing her shoulder and smiling through pain. Jessie was injured.
Before that moment, the year had been a success for the Ninja. In the Qualifiers, she had hit her fifth career buzzer. In the Semi-Finals, Jessie reached the eighth obstacle, Corkscrew, which we’re sure wasn’t exactly gentle on her limbs. While she fell there, the run still advanced her to the Finals. She’d have one more chance to reach her goal of an extended course buzzer.
You can watch that run above but we warn you, it’s hard to revisit. On the Falling Shelves, Jessie mapped out her moves. As the second X dropped into place, the jolt wrenched Jessie into the water. As she came up, she gingerly moved her shoulder, indicating something had gone wrong.
We know now that things were pretty serious. Shortly after the season finished taping, Jessie underwent both knee and shoulder surgery in rapid succession.
On her Instagram account, Jessie has shared every step of the journey with her fans, from moments before the surgery, to just a few hours after.
Her posts provide a fascinating look at the recovery process for a high level athlete.
We are sure this has not been easy for Jessie, but she’s still smiling through it.
She’s making sure to celebrate the wins and have a little fun.
View this post on Instagram
I can run!!! Kinda Don’t worry. My doctor cleared me to use my stationary @elliptigo_usa. Normally I’d only ride it outside, but right now I’m so grateful to have it completely stationary and stable! *If you’re wondering why I’m in a swim suit... I guess i was just too lazy to change after my walk in the pool. Changing clothes is hard with one arm. ♀️
Things definitely get real. Allowing her body to rest and heal is a challenge for someone like Jessie who thrives on movement and growth.
View this post on Instagram
It’s not the #TransformationTuesday I’d strive for, but isn’t it fascinating to see how quickly the body changes after a surgery? And now that I’m back at the beginning, I have an opportunity to share how I build from zero strength to super powers! It’s a challenging journey, but I’m so excited to get started and see how thoroughly I can regain the ability to run, jump, climb, and flip better than ever! Want to join me? #operationx23 #wecanrebuildher #bionicwoman #shouldersurgery
She’s getting creative, finding ways to take advantage of everything she has at her disposal.
She’s still on the road to recovery, but she’s doing exactly what she needs to get the job done.
We’re wishing Jessie continued success on her journey back to full health! It’s an important reminder that these Ninjas are very human. Their bodies are instruments that need to be cared for and looked after. We appreciate all Jessie does in order to come back to Ninja Warrior year after year, inspiring us with her strength.