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Gritting through the pain, Joe Moravsky continues his quest to make this his year

Using his Safety Pass, Joe is off to Stage Two.

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Joe Moravsky will head to Stage Two of the American Ninja Warrior National Finals. And he did it in a dramatic fashion.

After failing his first Stage One attempt due to a bad trampoline jump to The High Road, we learned Joe actually had food poisoning that night. He faced that internal pain and exhaustion as he stepped up one more time. But Joe got the job done with a time that put him in fifth place on the leaderboard.

The night after it all happened, we asked Joe to break it down for us.

What was happening on Stage One?

JM: Stage One was interesting. I have specifically trained while having the flu. I’ve literally trained, thrown up, come back out and trained, for moments like this. I always had Michael Jordan in mind. Michael Jordan was in the playoffs. He had the flu and he carried his team to a victory. And he’s on the bench over his knees. Like I felt like I was on Stage One.

It was an obstacle within an obstacle. Obstacle inception. I was totally up for the challenge. I would never wish that on my greatest enemies. That was really rough. It was really tough to dig through the pain. I felt like I was going to get sick. I felt like there were belts tied around my stomach and it was pulling on me. I had no choice but to hunch over.

The good news is I didn’t throw up at all. I was in the bathroom a bunch. Like, I’m talking about double digits, just two hours before my run. It was terrible.

I was able to somehow, without a warm-up, put together a run. If it was Stage Two, I probably wouldn't have beaten it. It would have taken too much. But thankfully, it happened on Stage One.

You know what’s really great actually, because of it, I woke up the next day and I’d actually lost four pounds. So I’m 158 pounds right now. I’ve never competed at this weight. I’ve never been in the 150s before. I just hopped up on a bar to do some pull-ups and I feel like Superman.

It’s given me some confidence. I feel pretty good today (ahead of Stage Two). I don’t know what it was but I’m going to call it God’s gift because here I am today lighter than I’ve ever been. Ready to take on Stage Two, Three, and hopefully Four.

No Safety Pass now. Does that bother you?

JM: I’ve never needed it before. Everything happens for a reason. I’ve been on Stage Two six times and beaten it five. This is my seventh appearance and I’ve only failed once before on Stage Two. I like those odds.

Previously, Joe told us that he has a feeling about this year, saying, “Every year I come here and say I’m going to win it. But this year is different. This year I feel like it’s destined to happen versus I know I can. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it. I’ve tried to find the right words. I feel like the pieces are finally connected. This is the time.

I have the experience. I have the confidence. I think it’s all here. It’s all ready. It’s time.”

While we did see the start of Stage Two on the second night of the National Finals, we haven’t seen Joe yet. His Stage Two run will air on Monday, September 13 during the American Ninja Warrior season finale.