I really shouldn’t have a byline on this article. It was completely put together by the fans and the competitors of American Ninja Warrior and I love that!
The other day, I decided to experiment with opening a line of communication through our Instagram account. First, I asked fans what question they would ask their favorite Ninja. I received a lot of really thoughtful responses. I selected a few to start with and tossed them out to the Ninjas. There was no requirement to answer, but I received so many responses!
I’ve collected a sampling of those answers below. I think they offered some insightful information to really good questions!
What made you start American Ninja Warrior?
- Donovan Metoyer: “Ninja Warrior on G4!”
- Jay Lewis: “I wanted to try all the fun obstacles I saw on TV.”
- Verdale Benson: “Reminded me of the fitness challenges and obstacles I face in the Army.”
- Rachel Degutz: “Jessie Graff.”
- Mike Beadle: “Matt Iseman, Spoke about overcoming obstacles at a conference.”
- Ryan Meeks: “My son saw it on TV and said, ‘Dad, you could do that!’ 3 years later, we are both on ANW!”
- Owen Dyer: “I was inspired by my younger brother to get into the sport.”
- Brian Kretsch: “I love watching SASUKE. Trying to conquer the near impossible course was my first inspiration.”
- Vance Walker: “Saw it on TV at Luke Milmans’ house and we decided to try it.”
What keeps you motivated after a failure?
- Jay Lewis: “Remember the reason that I do Ninja is to have fun on the course.”
- Verdale Benson: “I look at each failure as a learning opportunity and step to get me closer to my goals.”
- Ernesto Perez: “I remind myself that failure is a part of life. Stories are more fulfilling when there is failure.”
- John Mack: “The need to be better. Getting right back to work keeps (me) motivated.”
- Allyssa Beird: “The only true failure is to quit! Every fall is a learning opportunity and leaves goals unmet!”
- Enzo DeFerrari Wilson: “Failure is the motivation!!”
- Xavier Dantzler: “Think about all the reasons why I’m doing it.”
- Owen Dyer: “I watch footage of ninjas that I look up to. That makes me want to go after my goals.”
- Cody Johnston: “Wow! That was fun, let me try that again. Keep training and have fun.”
- Brian Kretsch: “Self-belief, recognizing how much I’ve grown, and holding on to the original passion for total victory.”
- Vance Walker: “The goal still isn’t achieved.”
How do you handle nerves when you’re struggling on an obstacle?
- Jay Lewis: “Understand the worst thing that can happen is I fall, which isn’t the end of the world.”
- Verdale Benson: “I focus on the objective of clearing an obstacle, the nerves go away once I start.”
- Ernesto Perez: “I take a deep breath. Remind myself that everyone feels the same and push through.”
- John Mack: “Breathing. Just focusing on something simple like that keeps me focused and calm.”
- Allyssa Beird: “No nerves on the course! I listen to the vibe of the audience and use it as motivation.”
- Xavier Dantzler: “Say to myself, ‘This is easy.”
- Brian Kretsch: “You can only feel one emotion at a time, so I (fill) myself with love and gratitude to block out the nerves.”
- Vance Walker: “I just try to treat it like stuff I’ve done before.”
Think we should do more “instant interviews” like this? Drop into the comments below and ask the questions you want the Ninjas to answer.