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Barclay Stockett returned to Ninja Warrior to be with her family

After the loss of her mother, Barclay decided to return to one thing that brings her joy.

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

American Ninja Warrior can seem like life for a lot of competitors. Barclay Stockett’s Qualifying run was a stark reminder that it’s not. She faced so much more than the obstacles when she stood on the starting line.

Barclay did not take part in season 12 of Ninja Warrior as she was focused on spending time with her mom, Eva, who was going through cancer. Less than a year before Barclay’s run, Eva passed away. Standing on the start platform, Barclay’s pain and heartache were visible on her face and in her demeanor.

Her run was short as she fell from the second bar of the second obstacle, Overpass. Barclay will not advance into the next round this season.

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

We knew this year would be heavy for her. We knew she was walking up to the course in a totally different place in her life. This was going to be tough, no two ways about it. So why did Barclay decide to do this?

“I want people to be inspired. To just try to keep moving forward no matter what’s going on in life. Just take one step. Put one foot in front of the other. Be gracious with yourself,” Barclay told us prior to her run.

“That’s what I’m trying to do here at Ninja. I know I’m not prepared like I typically am. But I’m here. I’m trying to put one foot in front of another in life and on the course. I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m trying to just enjoy myself again.”

“Ninja is one of the things that brings me joy. I’m here regardless of the outcome. I’m trying to find my way again. The Ninja family has always helped guide me. It really is like being with family, being back.

I wouldn't say that I’m ready (for the competition). But I am excited. It’s felt like a lifetime since I was on the course. It’s really only been a year and a half. But the course feels like home and it feels like it’s been a really, really long time since I’ve walked into my front door. I’m ready to get that feeling of being on the course. The energy. The electricity. Just have some fun.”

Our hearts and thoughts are with Barclay and her family as they navigate these difficult times.