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Did Adam Rayl get to the buzzer in time?

Juuust barely.

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Elizabeth Morris/NBC

Adam Rayl came into the American Ninja Warrior season 13 National Finals in a new frame of mind. This season, it’s all about calming things down for the six-time competitor.

After two buzzers in the Qualifiers and Semifinals, Adam took a deep breath ahead of the National Finals. “A little more meditation than normal,” Adam told us regarding his preparation. “A little more focus than normal. A little more nature exposure than normal. Contemplative time.”

His Stage One run gave us all plenty to contemplate. Adam’s cool, calm approach meant that he reached the buzzer almost exactly as time ran out. For a long moment, it looked like he wouldn’t advance. It was only after the producers slowed down the footage and double-checked the official digital clock that it was revealed Adam did get there in time by 0.01 of a second. He lives to face Stage Two another day.

It’s the first time back at the National Finals in two years for Ninja Warrior. In season 12, Adam made it all the way to the top eight, leaving the competition in the second round of the Power Tower playoffs. Keeping that in mind, we asked Adam what this season represents and means to him.

“I think each and every year, it evolves in the sense of being an example of what hard work can do and result in. There’s always the personal, ego-driven desire to be the best and do the best and show what I can do. There’s always some of that foundationally. There’s a certain levity that comes with realizing this is a stage where we can show that if you put your mind to something, no matter what it is, if you have a goal, set your mind to it, do the work, and you get the results.

I think more and more, as I get older and get more experience, I realize this is a platform to show people that. In a large, metaphorical way, it applies to all things. Focus. Do your work. Good things happen.”

After that breathless start, Adam will be looking for more good things on Stage Two of the National Finals.