American Ninja Warrior has reached a full circle moment in season 13. The teens have arrived and they’re more prepared for the obstacles than any of us could have imagined. They’re ready because they’ve spent more than half their lives watching and studying for their chance. And some of the best Ninjas in the business have trained them.
Case in point, Josiah Pippel.
We got a look at the 15-year-old’s run before the second night of the Qualifiers aired, but we didn’t see the conclusion. The conclusion was Josiah attempted the Mega Wall, hit his first buzzer on the Warped Wall, placed fourth overall for the night, and secured his spot in the Semifinals.
“Chris (Wilczewski) has been my coach for years, and Najee’s (Richardson) my coach for a couple of years, and he really just taught me to not overthink things,” Josiah told us. “The things that are on the course, I can do them. I just have to make sure I don’t overthink and kind of mess myself up.”
“I think I’ve been training for about eight, nine years now. Originally, I liked watching the show, back in the first couple of seasons, and I also just like climbing and jumping off of things. My parents found Ninja, and it really stuck.”
So what does it feel like to be hand-selected to run the Ninja Warrior course years before you thought you could apply? If you’re Josiah, you put it simply.
“It was pretty cool. I mean, I was like, ‘Dang, I got to start actually training hard now.”
And how do you kick your training up a notch when you’ve been training for a huge chunk of your life?
“I started running a lot more courses. Before, I had just been training mostly just obstacles and stuff, but I started training, setting up courses of all lengths. Fast courses. Recently, I did a 60 obstacle course. That was fun. It took me 55 minutes.”
There you have it. If American Ninja Warrior plans to challenge Josiah, things are going to have to get a bit more trying. But that’s exactly what the Semifinals are for and that’s what’s next.