After the announcement that American Ninja Warrior would include some invited teen competitors for season 13, we saw the concerned comments. Some expressed that they didn’t want to watch a junior edition of the show. This was a competition for adults. Why did the show bring kids into it?
And then, on night one of the Qualifiers, 16-year-old Elijah Browning stepped on the course. In the blink of an eye, he was the first to hit the buzzer and took second place overall on the leaderboard. Elijah’s run silenced any doubters and clearly stated that we’d invited these “kids” to the playground, and they were going to play.
While Elijah made it look so easy, we wanted to learn more about what went into that performance. Read on for our interview with “The Boss.”
What were you thinking or feeling right before your Qualifying run?
EB: I was really nervous beforehand, the hours before. Kind of freaking out. But I was like, ‘Trust your training.’ A lot of veterans said as soon as you get on the course you’ll feel right at home and that’s exactly what happened. I think I was trying to remind myself of those thoughts.”
Did you have a least favorite obstacle on that course?
EB: I really enjoyed being on all the obstacles. Balance is always the scariest. Getting through it was one of the best moments besides hitting the buzzer. I’d definitely say that was the most intimidating obstacle.
What element of your training helped you the most?
EB: Traning a lot of big moves. Big laches in the middle of course runs to practice the endurance. Really big, taxing moves early in a course so you have the endurance to clear. Running as close to show replicas as I could with obstacles.
Semifinals are up next! What do you want to accomplish there?
EB: I am super excited heading into Semifinals. I feel ready to hit the course. I definitely want my second buzzer. I’m super excited. I’m less nervous than I was for Tacoma (Qualifiers). I’m excited to play on the course some more. I want to hit a buzzer. Maybe go to the Power Tower. That would be awesome.”
Will Elijah make it to the Power Tower? We’ll find out in a few weeks!