American Ninja Warrior season 8 will be my 5th season competing. Every year has always been the same, you have all the excitement of training for qualifying and if your lucky a trip to Vegas. It always tends to end in a little disappointment (unless your Isaacc this year) with a very long time to think about your successes and your failures till your next go around.
This years off season has been a lot different for me. I have been so busy that its even hard to think about last season. So get ready for my long blog post, about what I have been up and how I have been training.
My busyness started last fall when I was honored to be named team captain for Team Ninja Warrior! it is a new spin off television show that takes teams of 3 and has them race head to head versus other teams! I was so grateful to end up with 2 great competitors on my team.
Ben Melick AKA Tarzan and Rose Wetzel, Spartan racing beast This event was so much fun! not only did I get to fly down to California and spend 4 days with a lot of great competitors that have all became good friends. We also got to race each other head to head and see would come out on top. The atmosphere at this event was great, it seamed like all the built up stress from the previous season was gone and people were here to have a good time.
The competition itself was Awesome! There were so many great races and you honestly never really knew who was going to win. With 2 identical courses set up side by side it forced competitors to go fast and I loved seeing this fast pace, especially out of competitors that are not known to go fast. unfortunately my team did not perform very well, losing every single match up. but I was still extremely proud of my team, because we came out aggressive just made some small mistakes. one of the fun things that I loved about this competition was that you could run all these races and have a different outcome almost every time. After competing, I think my team definitely knows how prepare for the next season if were so luck to have one. Between the talk of the competitors, we all defiantly see this as the possible future of Ninja Warrior.
After Team Ninja Warrior I received an exciting call that I had been selected to compete on another show. This time it was called Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge and it was going to take place in Atlanta Georgia in December. This show is made by the producers of “American Ninja Warrior” and was inspired by Spartan Race.
Now I can’t say to much about the show since it has not aired yet. but what I will tell you is that it was an extreme amount of fun. myself and another well known American Ninja Warrior competitor were on a team with 2 extraordinary strong and competitive women and a elite Spartan racer. This competition not only pushed you physically but mentally as well.
Going into this competition I had to start training a lot differently than I do for American Ninja Warrior. I was running a lot and I don’t normally run, in fact I don’t really like to run, but after awhile it started to grow on me. because of this competition I have been adding in a lot more running and I am excited to see if it shows this year in qualifying. another thing I truly enjoyed about this was the comrade between all the competitors. Spartan racers are very passionate about obstacles and helping out fellow competitors. I meet so many amazing people that became my friends and I am excited to try out some more Spartan races next summer.
Besides competing in 2 different shows this off season, I have also had the opportunity to travel to do various gym openings and appearances. the great part about this is that I have been able to play and train in a lot of different places. I went to Rush Air Sports in Bakersfield CA on 2 different occasions.
Rush Air is a Trampoline Park that has just recently opened up a ninja warrior section. this place is so much fun and ran by terrific people. I could literally play at this place all day.
I was able to make a localish appearance down in Boise Idaho over Thanksgiving at Camp Rhino Boise. This new facility is the first branch off the famous camp rhino in Las Vegas. I really enjoyed this opening because it was in my home state of Idaho. I had so many fans that came out and showed there support and encouragement. on top of that, the place was a fantastic! it was a great place to train and tons of room. They had Ninja Warrior obstacles, Spartan Race obstacles and a crossfit section. they had a 16ft warp wall (which I was the first to complete, not bragging hahaha). This was also couple weeks before I left for the Spartan show, so everyone was super nice and helping me out with the Spartan style obstacles. They even gave me a spear to take home and practice with.
I Also made a trip to San Antonio TX, to surprise a young kid for his birthday party. This trip was a lot of fun, this boy was so unbelievably surprised when his saw me walk up, it just put a huge smile on my face. If felt good to be able to make a kids birthday a unforgettable experience.
during the kids birthday party I was able to hang out with some Friends from the show and train at Power Park Fitness. Power Park is owned and operated by Vance and David Yarter, and they have done a great job. They have not only built a world class Ninja Warrior training facility, but they have also made a huge outdoor OCR training course. I definitely wish I had more time to spend here!
I also had the great opportunity while I was I San Antonio to meet up with Brent Steffensen and have dinner. It was fun to catch up and talk about past and future seasons of ninja warrior and just talk about life in general. I was also able to train with Brent at Alpha Warrior’s training grounds. and this had to be one a the biggest and best constructed course I had ever been on.
Spending the time to learn and train with one of the best ninjas out there was an amazing experience. Thanks Brent!
Another place I visited this winter was Slingshot Enertainment while I was in Atlanta Georgia for the taping of Spartan team challenge. slingshot was a lot of fun with about everything you need to train on. what I really enjoyed was the huge inflatable stunt crash mats that they had beneath all the obstacles, so no matter how you landed it would not hurt. This also made you feel invincible when trying big and daring moves.
Even with all this other Traveling I was able to make a weekend trip with my family down to Karson’s Voiles Ninja Warehouse for a competition at the beginning of this year. there was a lot of great competitors like Lorin Ball, Jake Murry, and the ageless wonder Jon Stewert.
Its always fun to get together, train and compete. these comps are good bench marks to see where I have improved over the off season and what I still need to work on.
With Qualifying just around the corner my training is in full swing, but I have one more exciting trip planed! I have the amazing opportunity to travel to New Zealand to open a Ninja Warrior park at Jump !
with the timing working out perfectly with my wife schedule, I get to bring her along as well. we are getting so excited for this trip, it will be our first time away with out the children. I will make sure to make another blog about the trip.
Now even with all this traveling experiences and opportunities to train in gyms and on obstacles that I would not normally of been able too. It is still great to be home with the family and work on the ranch.
and there is just something that feels right about playing on obstacle in a barn and jumping around on ranch equipment.
I want to Thank everyone that has taken the time to read this and follow my adventures. Here is to another GREAT season of American Ninja Warrior!
AND REMEBER TO ALWAYS COWBOY UP!!!!