We’re reflecting back on American Ninja Warrior season 13 through the stories built week after week. We have the unique privilege of traveling with the show, allowing us to speak with the competitors multiple times as things unfold.
We publish those interviews along with the corresponding episodes during the year. But, now that the season is over, we’re pulling those articles together to tell a more cohesive story of a Ninja’s season.
Last week, we started off with Joe Moravsky’s season. Today, we’re revisiting Meagan Martin’s emotional year.
Qualifiers: First regular season buzzer since season eight
Meagan returned for her eighth season of competition. She arrived to the show’s set directly from a job commentating on climbing competitions. She had been away from home for a long time. She was dealing with an injury. Meagan was very open with us about one thing. She was tired.
“Right before my Qualifiers run, I was pretty exhausted. I was talking to Adam Rayl like 10 minutes before and I was like, ‘I’m already ready to go home. I’ve been away from home for so many days.’ I’d gone straight from a job. He was like, ‘No! Go warm up! You gotta get psyched!’
Right before I went I was trying to remind myself to have fun and relax. And then I rolled my ankle walking to the start line. So then I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I am such a klutz.”
Putting all that aside, Meagan moved doggedly through the course. Her pace would have knocked her out of the competition if she had fallen. But Meagan didn’t fall. Instead, she hit her first regular-season buzzer in years.
“The buzzer felt so good. I was so relieved. I started crying. I was like, ‘I can’t believe this happened. Now I can go home! And I hit a buzzer again. I feel so happy.’
I didn’t think I could put it together after being so exhausted. It felt like pure happiness. I was so excited.”
Semifinals: Secured a spot in Las Vegas
The next round of the competition brought more emotions for Meagan. On the bright side, she did qualifying for the National Finals with her run to Padlock, the eighth obstacle. However, she had lingering feelings about her run. Instead of falling because her strength was tapped, she’d made an error on the course.
“I was pretty happy with my Semifinals run. Always happy to be on the back half of the course. I’ve definitely messed up on the front half a few times before, so it’s always nice to get back there,” Megan began before her tone turned more introspective.
“I was definitely pretty bummed to go out on the Padlock. Just the way it happened. I basically threw my lachè too hard and hit the truss above me on the way to the second Padlock. It pushed me backward. That was kind of annoying. I wish I had fallen in a way of actually falling, versus hitting something that I shouldn’t have even hit in the first place. But that’s just a note to throw lachès a little less aggressively.
Looking ahead, Meagan revealed that she did want to hit the Stage One buzzer. At that time, it was an accomplishment that had only been completed twice before by a woman. After all those years of competition, of course, it was on Meagan’s mind.
“I have goals. I don’t know about expectations. I definitely want to clear Stage One. That’s been a goal for many years. I’ve timed out enough times. It would be really nice to hit that Stage One buzzer and then go from there.”
National Finals: An early and shocking exit
Unfortunately, this wasn’t the year for Meagan at the National Finals. She fell on the first obstacle of Stage One. A fall that rattled us both as fans of the show and fans of Meagan as a person.
But off the course, Meagan’s year was filled with so many bright spots. She was a commentator for the Tokyo Olympics. She’ll return to defend her title during the second annual Women’s Championship. And Meagan just got married.
Where will Meagan’s American Ninja Warrior story take her next season?