As the editor here at American Ninja Warrior Nation, I’m never the one answering questions! I’m always asking them. But I decided to try something new and put out a call on Instagram for any questions you readers might have for me.
I had a ton of fun answering the questions via Instagram Stories, but there were a few I wanted to respond to with a bit more depth. Check out my responses below!
- Favorite shocking moment
A shocking moment that’s also a good thing, a favorite memory... Hmm.
Actually, I’m not going to reference a run this time. It would be the moment back in 2020 when my cell phone rang and it was an executive with the show telling me to clear my calendar, season 12 was happening and we were heading to St. Louis. Up to that point, I thought Ninja Warrior was off the table for 2020 and I was very worried. Like everyone else in the world, I was pretty stressed out. But the team behind Ninja Warrior came together and pulled off what I thought would be impossible. I was shocked but very happy.
- Favorite part of the job
Having the resources and freedom to tell more of a Ninja’s story. The episodes are just two hours long and the producers have to decide which competitors out of dozens will get air time and sometimes just for a brief moment. In my role, I can give Ninjas a little more time in the spotlight or explain more of what was happening on the course for them. I like that I can add more depth to what you’re seeing on your screen.
- Most thrilling run
So many, but going back to my first season on the show (season eight) I have to say Jessie Graff’s Stage One run at the National Finals. It’s pretty darn cool to watch history play out in front of your eyes. It’s even cooler to get to congratulate the history-maker in person right after it happens.
- Favorite Ninjas to interview
I definitely try not to play favorites in my role. The Ninjas, as a group, are all pretty incredible people who are always willing to help me get my job done!
But... Okay, I’ll admit that I love having the opportunity to watch a Ninja build their career over time. I love it when I get to know a rookie one year, then talk to them again the next season. We celebrate their success or talk about what they’ve learned. And then I get to cheer them on that year! It’s being a part of their journey and that’s really special. So I guess I have to say I’m most excited to talk to the returning competitors each season.
Season eight introduced a group of rookies that included the likes of Adam Rayl, Sean Bryan, and Jesse Labreck. Since that’s the year I started as well, it’s been really fun to watch those careers skyrocket to what they are now.
But, rookies! I love you all too! And the veterans who started before season eight who welcomed me immediately and I’ve gotten to know! Ugh. This is hard.
- Top three inspiring moments
Jimmy, who has Parkinson’s disease, standing there at the start line, while his hand tremored is something I’ll never forget. Then the message from Michael J. Fox played on the screens for all of us to see. Such a powerful moment. Such a powerful display of the true heart of a Ninja Warrior.
I have never witnessed someone who was so happy and proud just to be standing on the course. Her incredible energy was so palpable that the usually stoic crew started cheering her along as well. She made it to the City Finals, but she didn’t hit the buzzer. However, it was like Quest hit the jackpot. She climbed out of the pool whooping and shouting with joy. Such a memorable reminder to just enjoy it, darn it all!
I remember walking along the course during this run. An executive important to the show was walking ahead of me. As Jesse beat the Rolling Thunder and breached the Warped Wall, this person looked back over their shoulder, caught the eye of a colleague, and gave a wide-eyed nod. We all knew it. We were watching a legend come to life in front of us.
- Favorite season
I’ll always have a soft spot for season eight. Not only was it my first year so I was having a wonderful time being a part of this thing I already loved, but it was just a good season! The stories, the runs, the energy from season seven’s win. It holds a special place in my heart.
But again, I love all the seasons! Haha!
This was so much fun! Thank you for asking all those great questions and always let me know if there’s anything else you’d like me to talk about.