We’re huge fans of Allyssa Beird’s American Ninja Warrior strategy. Over her four previous seasons on the course, she has always approached the obstacles with a thoughtful eye that has proved quite successful for her. And now season 12 is off to a great start for the veteran Ninja.
Back for her fifth season, Allyssa used that analytical approach to navigate the new obstacles. A slip on the Warped Wall wasn’t enough to throw her off. She casually made the adjustments needed and locked in her third Qualifying buzzer. Watch her full run below.
We spoke with Allyssa prior to her Qualifying run. It was almost impossible, between the masks and the over-six-feet-distance between us, not to ask about how it felt to make Ninja Warrior during a pandemic.
“It’s like a strange Twilight Zone feeling!” Allyssa responded. “I’m super excited things are happening. We train all year to get on the big stage. But there’s a different vibe. It’s exciting.”
While it was exciting, it also came with a bittersweet feeling.
“Being so close to people that I love and not being able to hug them and interact with them in ways that I want to,” Allyssa said when asked about what would be difficult for her. “That was harder than I expected it to be. The weird pandemic part of things is difficult. I look forward to this all year not just for the course, but for the people and my whole Ninja family.”
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Shenanigans in STL! Some @ninjasforblacklives ninjas went out for a photo shoot in between filming for ANW and played around on some city obstacles. Always a good time with the ninja crew, even behind masks and while socially distanced! . @rachael.goldstein1 #ninjasforblacklives #nfbl #ninjafam #anw #ninjawarrior #americanninjawarrior #anw12 #obstacles #cityplayground
It’s well known that Allyssa is a teacher. That means her whole life and career were turned totally upside down as lockdown settled in and schools closed. However, it may have changed how Allyssa was able to prepare for the season she wasn’t even sure would happen.
“During the school year, September to March-ish, I wasn’t training as much or as well as I usually would like to. It was a little stressful. Then when lockdown hit, I actually had more time to myself, so I was able to train everyday.”
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I've never done a "then & now" post, but quarantine has been good to me! Left photo: June 10th, 2020 Right photo: September 28th, 2019 I recently read that the average American gained 5 pounds over quarantine. Five. Pounds. Now, I get it...it can be hard to be motivated when you have nothing but free time and no official schedule forcing you to be timely. And for the first few weeks of quarantine in March, I too sat around and ate what I wanted and did the lazy thing. And it was great! For like a week. Then I just started to feel...bad. I felt bad about my athletic goals stagnating, I felt bad about not being productive, and I felt bad about how I was starting to see my body. So, I decided that there was only one way to fix that: make better choices! I created a 5 day workout schedule, with 2 rest days. Every 4 weeks I created a new round of 5 workouts to keep things interesting and make sure I'm working all muscle groups and not getting too bored. I also decided to be keto! It's working okay. I'm tracking all my food macros (carbs, fats, proteins, calories) and while I'm not perfect at it, it has helped me be far more aware of portion size and how much my constant snacking actually has an impact, even though it seemed like it was "just a little here and there". I was probably eating 3x more carbs than I thought I was, and about 700 more calories per day than I thought! That was eye opening. I'm happy with my progress so far, but I still have a lot of goals I'm working toward. I've been so thankful that quarantine has allowed me to actually give myself the time I deserve, rather than squeezing my health in as a last priority in a long busy workday. I've found far more balance not having to be at school 10-12 hours per day. I'm drinking more water (because when you have to pee every 20 minutes in the classroom when you're hydrated, you choose to be dehydrated so you're not inconvenienced). I'm getting more sleep. I hope you've found ways to help yourself this quarantine! #ninja #americanninjawarrior #ninjawarrior #anw #anw12 #training #strong #cardio #conditioning #workout #stayathome #quarantine #keto #goals #beforeandafter #progress #selfcare #balance
What could all that extra training lead to? Allyssa’s accomplishments include multiple Qualifying buzzers and a buzzer on Stage One of the National Finals. With no trip to Vegas on the line this year, we asked what her intentions are for season 12.
“For this season, I have so many unmet goals. The goals that I haven’t yet reached are always first in my mind. That extended course buzzer would be amazing.
I’m my own worst critic and I’m hardest on myself. Usually, what’s most motivating for me is feeling proud of what I’ve done when I walk out at the end. Some seasons are better than others in that regard. Just feeling like I gave it my all and if something happens, that something was a crazy fluke, not because I didn’t do something that I planned on doing. Just feeling good about everything that happens.”
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Check out our American Ninja Warrior season 12 TEACHER squad!! We got to cheer for each other on the course this season and used our teacher voices to make some noise! I'd like to introduce to you @funkymrhuie and @mr.robertanw ! . Here are some fun facts so you can get to know us a bit better before catching our runs THIS MONDAY 9/7 at 8pm est!: . Robert: "My fun fact is that John and I were able to get Allyssa to dance. I love to cook, sing karaoke, and dance. I believe that all students have unlimited potential. I love trying new things and traveling." . John: "One time I won a plank contest, doing a 10 minute plank! I rewarded myself with an INCREDIBLY LARGE bowl of Maple Bacon Ice Cream! #WorkHardPlayHard . I once ran a 5k race where I had to run, eat a POUND of bacon, then finish the race! . I raced in the Donut Derby, a 36 mile bike race where you bike and eat donuts! Each donut you eat gives you a faster time- I ate 13!!! #ApparentlyEverythingIDoInvolvesFood " Allyssa: "I have reread the Harry Potter series over eight times. Dumbledore is my favorite character! I also do handstands everywhere I go and I avoid celery at all costs." . Catch us on @nbc this Monday 9/7 at 8pm EST for the premier of American Ninja Warrior! I'm so excited to kick off this season with my amazing new teacher ninja friend crew! #anw #ninjawarrior #americanninjawarrior #ninja #anw12 #obstacles #obstaclecourse #challenge #strong #ninjafam #teamwork #nbc #teachersquad #teachers #stl #workhardplayhard @ninjawarrior
Allyssa is off to a great start this American Ninja Warrior season. We’ll find out if she can keep the momentum going when she returns in the Semi-Finals.