Recently, we asked parents to share how their kids got into Ninja Warrior training. The whole sport lends itself to kids, teaching valuable lessons about perseverance and problem solving. In turn, we’re now seeing athletes on American Ninja Warrior who’ve been training for basically their whole lives.
The responses were insightful, inspiring, and heart-warming.
But one story in particular grabbed our attention. It came from Jim Rogers on Facebook. He shared the tale of how “Big Red” came to American Ninja Warrior.
“Seth (Big Red) picked ANW for an 8th grade research project. Alan Connealy was very generous with his time for interviews and showing Seth how the obstacles are done. When Seth starting doing local youth competitions Alan and Brian Kretsch took time to mentor him. Seth got hooked on the ANW community with every Ninja that he met at local competitions. At one local comp when Seth came in 2nd to Flip, Flip gave him the prize money to reward his effort. The Ninjas seem like nice people on TV, they are even greater in person!”
“Big Red” is also known as Seth Rogers. He was a rookie in season 11 and made it all the way to Cane Lane on Stage Three at the National Finals. That’s a HUGE deal in a competitor’s first year. It made Seth the last rookie standing for season 11.
According to Jim’s comment, Seth has literally been studying American Ninja Warrior since eighth grade! He interviewed Ninja Alan Connealy to learn more about the sport and the obstacles. He was also mentored by Brian Kretsch, one of the “OG” Ninjas who have competed on every season of the show (and Brian got the call for season 12, so the streak lives on!).
And there’s this: “At one local comp when Seth came in 2nd to Flip, Flip gave him the prize money to reward his effort.”
That would be American Ninja Warrior superstar, Flip Rodriguez.
He gave his prize money from a local competition to a hardworking young Ninja to honor his efforts. Let that sink in.
The integrity of the American Ninja Warrior community is something that’s discussed frequently. We all love to point out how the athletes support one another to no end. This is such a concrete example of talking the talk AND walking the walk.
Seth was a kid who liked a show. But it was the real, human competitors on that show who then went out of their way, in many different ways, to foster that budding interest. The result is a rising talent in front of the camera, who, in turn, is now probably inspiring other kids to put their hands on Ninja Warrior obstacles.
Way to go, Ninjas! Class acts, all around!