In the American Ninja Warrior season 13 Qualifiers, we were introduced to Josiah Pippel as a lizard-loving 15-year-old who’s trained with some of the best. Then he started hitting buzzers. Josiah cleared the Qualifying course with a high position on the leaderboard.
In the Semifinals, he kicked it up a notch and finished the course with the second-fastest time. That led to a Power Tower showdown with Vance Walker that ended with Josiah coming in second by only a moment.
Now, as one of the youngest rookies of the season, he’s moving on to the National Finals. Josiah is a straightforward kid. When we spoke to him after his Semifinals performance, he spelled out how he’s feeling as he moves to the next round.
1.) The Power Tower didn’t stress him out.
“I didn’t win the Power Tower but it was definitely a really close race. It was really fun to get to compete on really high obstacles. I felt calmer before the Power Tower than I ever have because, in my head, I was just going to have fun with it. I wasn’t putting pressure on myself to win. I knew that if I was stressing out over it, I wouldn’t do as well. I just decided to go into this and whatever happens, happens.”
2.) He’s mentally prepared for all possibilities at the National Finals.
“Honestly, I’d be happy just getting past Stage One. Obviously, I want to get all the way to Stage Four. But anybody can fall anywhere. No matter how I do, I made it all the way to Vegas. I’m going to be happy with that. This is my first season. I’m going to have more opportunities to be back here and try these stages again. I’ll be disappointed if I fall early, but it’s not the end of the world. Even if I fall on Stage One.”
3.) Although, he’s physically prepared to hit that final rope climb hard.
“I have stepped up my training a lot over the past few weeks. I’ve spent multiple days training for each stage. I did like 350 feet of rope climb training for Stage Four.”
4.) He knows this year is already a dream come true.
“This season has been amazing. That’s influenced by the fact that I’ve finished all the courses that I’ve done. It’s just been so fun to not only get to hang with people that share the same passion but also try new obstacles. Try bigger stages. Finally, get to live the dream of the past 13 years.”
Josiah’s dream will continue when American Ninja Warrior moves to the National Finals in a few more weeks.