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Tyler Humphrey shared the long, winding road that leads to American Ninja Warrior

His story illustrates that it’s not a one step process.

Tyler Humphrey/Instagram

In case you haven’t heard us talk about it about a million times, we’ve been watching live streams with the American Ninja Warriors as we’ve settled into social distancing. These little broadcasts are amazing distractions during the day. They also have given us some great insight into the competitors.

Tyler Humphrey has competed on the show twice, in seasons 10 and 11. During his live broadcast, he wanted to share how he went from American Ninja Warrior fan to running the course himself. He discussed the moment he thought, “I should be a Ninja,” and the long, winding, bumpy road it took to get there. It’s great information for anyone who has their eyes set on the course one day.

Tyler’s debut was years in the making. He started watching the show back in season four with his family and was struck by the urge to get involved. Looking for more information, he learned competitors had to be 21. He was only 17-years-old at the time.

But that didn’t stop him. Even with no Ninja gym nearby, Tyler started training at home. Looking back, he recalled how he felt he was in shape when season nine rolled around. Tyler was 21 and old enough to apply. However, he did not get the coveted call back from the casting team.

Tyler remembered feeling very bitter about not being cast. So much so that he decided not to take no for an answer and pursue the walk-on line at the Denver, CO location. Back then, to have a shot at the course from the line, you needed to be at the taping location weeks ahead of when the crew arrived to record the show. The trouble was, Tyler was a student a Texas Tech and he had finals to take.

Tyler emailed his professors explaining his predicament. He was surprised to find they were all supportive of his Ninja dreams, making arrangements to reschedule finals for him. Finally, Tyler was off to make his Ninja-quest a reality!

Hold on, not so fast. Once he was in the walk-on line in Denver, Tyler waited patently for his turn. Walk-ons are only run if there’s time before and between the competitors who were cast to be on the show. After a long, cold night of waiting, production shut down... five runs before Tyler was scheduled to go on.

Well, that’s one season down. But Tyler wasn’t discouraged. He realized he need to tweak his training to be ready for the course and gained experience with the casting process. Come season 10, he was ready!

Tyler got the call and was off to the Dallas Qualifiers. FINALLY it was happening for him! That night, Tyler ran the course just after Quest O’Neal, who had a break out run. He remembered freaking out with excitement for her. Then it dawned on him that it was his turn to go...

Tyler called walking up to the starting line “one of the freakiest moments.” He has so many vivid memories of that night. Including hitting his very first buzzer.

Getting on American Ninja Warrior is no easy task. Tyler’s story is one that’s shared by many competitors and hopefully offers some insight for those that want to join them one day. “No call back is not an insult,” Tyler shared. Only so many people can get on the show every year. Use every opportunity to learn and grow and there’s a chance you’ll be up there on the starting line having your own surreal moment!

Have you applied to the show? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.