Jamie Rahn knows a thing or two about American Ninja Warrior. Season 12 marked his tenth year on the course. And it was a season like none other that he’d experienced.
“It’s interesting. It doesn’t feel like a season - season. It feels more like a special,” Jamie told us. “It doesn’t feel like I’m going to be doing a competition. I don’t think until I’m up on that stage will it really feel like a regular season at all.”
When Jamie did get to the starting line, it was a return to form for the successful veteran. But getting there had a few bumps along the way. There was the pandemic, and there was a dramatic injury. But even with a pretty horrible thumb injury, his grip was on point, giving him one more buzzer to add to his collection.
Jamie had sliced his thumb, bone included, on a table saw. During our interview, he politely hid his hand under the table. “I got hurt in May. I was like, ‘Oh, okay. They’re not doing it (the season), so I have plenty of time.’ Then I heard they were doing it and I was like, ‘Alright. Quick rehab.’ I’ve just been trying to get things functional and ready. Build that grip and those callouses back up. It’s been slow. But with the gyms reopening, I’ve been working there 40-50 hours a week. A lot of mask wearing and a lot of breathing training more than anything else.”
We heard something similar many times of the course of interviewing Ninjas this year. They thought the season was a wash and had turned their focus elsewhere. What season 12 gives us are the Ninjas in their rawest form, in many cases.
“The next couple of days is thumb rehab and seeing what I can and can’t utilize,” Jamie shared. “Mentally, I’m just trying to stay out of competition mode. I don’t know how the course is going to be, what the whole competition is. Overall, I’m just practicing patience.
I’m ready to compete. I’m definitely not at the peak level that I like to be at. But this is a unique season and it seems more time oriented, so that may weigh in my favor. I have no idea until I see the obstacles and I see what degree of difficulty they’re putting it at.”
10 seasons on American Ninja Warrior is no small feat. That’s not lost on Jamie, who laughed a little when asked about what he wants to accomplish.
“Stay relevant. Stay in the eyes of the public and part of the community. Every year I just feel so honored that I’m still getting called back. This, cutting it down to 150 people, it really makes me feel privileged and honored to be in this competition. I’m going to enjoy the best I can, do the best I can, and try to lead by example the best I can.
I’m just trying to inspire others to want to do better and improve in whatever it is they’re going for. I love the obstacles and I love to challenge myself and see how well I can do. I always have the goal of leaving no obstacle incomplete. Beating every obstacle as throughly as possible.”
Currently, Jamie is six for six when it comes to obstacles. He’ll get to face 10 more when he returns for the extended Semi-Finals course.