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Sean Bryan revisits his gutsy and thrilling Semifinals run

“I’m very happy with Semifinals. I bonked my head and I was able to still finish.”

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Elizabeth Morris/NBC

We don’t think it was Sean Bryan’s intention to have an American Ninja Warrior Semifinals run quite as dramatic as his turned out to be. Obviously, he wanted to finish. He wanted a strong time.

But we don’t think he planned on having blood all over the place while that happened.

Sean fell victim to Drop Zone, a new obstacle in the fifth position on the course. On the third night of the Semifinals, the dropping pipes took a good nibble out of Sean’s forehead.

Impressively, though, he didn’t let it get to him. Sean calmly dabbed his blood away (over and over again) as he maneuvered through the rest of the course. Climbing the Spider Trap, the blood stood out starkly on his white and yellow shirt. But when all was said and done, Sean still had the third-fastest time of the night and a clear path to the National Finals. (After Sean completed his run, production was paused while the course was properly cleaned for the next competitor.)

So when we ran into Sean ahead of his Stage One run in Las Vegas, we had to follow up on that memorable situation.

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

“I’m very happy with Semifinals. I bonked my head and I was able to still finish. In retrospect, looking back, if I didn’t have to take care of my face and take care of all the bleeding, I could have been in the top two and maybe had a chance at the Safety Pass,” Sean shared, laughing about the situation.

“I legitimately got third and I’m very happy with that because of the circumstances. I knew it was deep enough to bleed to the extent that it was bleeding. Afterward, when I finally got to the hospital, I took a video of myself talking and I saw that any little facial gesture opened it up. But the physician’s assistant who stitched it up did a good job.”

But what was the aftermath of something like that? Did Sean need to delay training? Any concussion? Will we see the effects of the Drop Zone knock at the National Finals?

“I took about three days to make sure I didn’t bump the stitches. The first week I gave my body a little bit of a chance to recover. But I was still able to train almost normally.

I’m feeling great coming into Vegas. This is the best I’ve ever felt as a Ninja, the best shape I’ve been in. Largely due to training with Adam (Rayl) and taking this year very seriously with respect to developing a training plan and being accountable to one another. Two-a-days, sometimes three-a-days. Watching my diet a bit more closely. I’m just ready for this.”

Okay, so we can put the injury out of our minds. Sean was okay and he’s ready for this return to Stage One.

“Without a doubt, I expect to approach the course in the way that I’ve been. With focus, strategy, and fun. Whenever I come up to a course, I kind of get into a zone as soon as I raise my hand. The gymnastics salute. I have reverence for the course. I am aware that I can go out on any obstacle. In the middle of it, I don’t think too much. It just happens.”

Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Sean’s experience, faith, and training bring him into the National Finals with a headspace of trust. He’s learned to plan, but be flexible. To trust his instincts in each moment.

“In the Semifinals, I changed my beta in the middle of a couple of lachés. I had a plan, I was executing it. I realized it wasn't going to work out too well, so I changed my mind in the middle. That requires a good amount of focus and trust in the training and intuition that I’ve been developing as a Ninja. It worked out pretty well. So I’m hoping that I can keep that focus. Especially on the new obstacles that I’m sure we’ll see here in Vegas.”

After his gutsy Semifinals performance, we’re looking forward to seeing how Sean’s instincts and trust guide him on Stage One of the National Finals in a few weeks.