It all started as a joke. Connor and I were watching American Ninja Warrior and I told him I wanted to tackle the obstacles and be on the show. He of course believed me. He also believes that I will someday be the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. Aren’t kids great? He’ll figure out I am full of crap one of these days.
Anyway, this joke has gotten some legs. I’ve mentioned it here and there for a while that I would like to try out for the show. Finally, I came in contact with an actual American Ninja Warrior, Mike Steele, through social media. Our connection – we wear the same type of shoes, and are old. Well, Mike is old for Ninja standards at 39. I’m not that old, yet. He was my tender age of 38 when he got started.
So, after I complete my training and running of the Boston Marathon, I am considering training to be an American Ninja Warrior. If nothing else, get myself into “Ninja Shape”.
I interviewed Mike to get some insight on what it takes to be an American Ninja Warrior.
How did you get started with your AMW journey?
One day I came home from work and turned on American Ninja Warrior. I had never seen it before but was too tired to change the channel. I honestly thought it was something I wouldn’t be interested in. I was amazed at how athletic these people were, and couldn’t see how some of these obstacles would even be possible.
We looked up Houston obstacle course gyms on the net, and we found Iron Sports. One of the fan favorites from the show, Sam Sann, is the owner. The next day we started training, but with no goal in mind. He told my wife and I we would be on the show next season if we fully committed to the training. We pretty much laughed at that, but he was right. We trained 6 days a week for a year, and got in the best shape of our lives. Before ANW we did boxing, weight training, a lot of running at the track, etc.
How do you go about getting on the show and running the obstacle course?
As far as getting on the show, you have to apply on their website, then put together a submission video in hope of getting cast on the show.
When you are not scaling the Warped Wall or traversing cargo nets, what do you do for a living?
Outside of ANW, I’ve been a manager at a Lexus dealer for the last 10 years, and I also own a real estate company.
You recently got married. Congrats! And she is an American Ninja Warrior as well. How’s that work around the Steele household?
Having a ninja wife is the best thing ever. The commitment and hours of training it takes to do it is unreal. Most ninjas are single because of this. It’s a full time deal.
What kind of goals have you set for yourself?
Future goals with ANW, are basically train equally as hard to become stronger, faster, and overall better. I will hopefully be back for ANW7. If they don’t cast me again, at least I’m in the best shape of my life at 39 years young.
Any advice for a 38 year old runner looking to try his Ninja skills? I know my upper body strength is going to have to be addressed.
I was a 38 year old rookie as well. Age is just a number. It’s what you make of it. The advice I’d give you is to work on perfecting your diet, train often and hard, get proper rest, study a lot of ANW video on YouTube, and be prepared to be injured. Upper body strength and grip strength will have to increase exponentially. Check your area to see if there are any ninja, parkour, or gymnastics gyms.
Thanks for the advice, Mike. My goal is to work on upper body and grip strength and overall conditioning. Maybe drop a few pounds. If nothing else, I can pretend to be a ninja on the playground with my kids and embarrass the crap out of them.
The only thing that stands in my way is that application video. With the personality of a turnip and the looks to match, I have an uphill battle.