1. How did you first hear about American Ninja Warrior--is it popular in Australia?
Bizarrely, it was a young Olivia Munn that got me into American Ninja Warrior. The original Ninja Warrior show from Japan is called Sasuke, and I used to love it with all my heart. Eventually they had a couple of American competitors who were interesting, but I never really thought a lot about it until they showed Ms. Munn coming back a second time after training all year to pass the first obstacle--and that lead me to investigate and find American Ninja Warrior which promptly became my favourite.
American Ninja Warrior has only just started airing on Australian television, so for years and years I tried hard to track down episodes Due to regional constraints you couldn't watch them on Youtube or buy them from Amazon, so I had to convince overseas family friends to help me out. Now that Australian Ninja Warrior has been announced to air its first season in 2017, I think interest is very definitely rising. I think Australian Ninja Warrior could be absolutely massive. Aussies are extremely sporty and competitive, so I'm guessing it should fit into our cultural identity more than any other reality TV show.
2. What made you decide that you wanted to be on the show?
I've always been hugely into computers, even as a young kid. I'm an IT guy by trade and loved computer games and programming more than anything else. Predictably, I developed extremely severe RSI in my hands and was suddenly faced with not being able to do any of the things I loved and was good at.
I was devastated for a long time, especially after a huge number of specialists would each promise resolution, and my condition would get worse as time moved along. Eventually, while moping around and feeling sorry for myself, I found the Japanese Sasuke and became a massive fan, and that got me out and training and excited about obstacle courses. I was always terrible at sports, but obstacle courses I was actually really good at really quickly.
A year ago, my partner and I were ready to change life up and decided to move overseas. America became our destination and so it was decided by everyone who had ever met me that I should train and try out for American Ninja Warrior. Then a couple of months ago they announced Australian Ninja Warrior, so looks like I'll be heading back home for a bit of fun.
3. What's your training regimen been like?
Training has been really fun, but actually extremely difficult. Unlike most other sports and disciplines, you have to be good at everything because you have no idea what is going to be thrown at you. So, rock climbing and parkour are a good start, which I started learning last November, and then it's just a heap of exercises. I don't do weights at all because I want to be light and agile, so a lot of body weight exercises and then a heap of training on obstacles where I can and swinging off all the things.
I actually developed a few tendonitis/overuse injuries because I just threw myself into training trying to develop all the muscles and all the skills. Now I'm a lot smarter and have structured three rest days a week into my training week so that I give myself a chance to recover and give all the tendons and fascia around the muscles to develop.
4. Why did you need to move to Portland, Oregon, and what are your plans leading up to appearing on the show in 2017?
I ended up in Portland, Oregon purely by accident. We had no idea it might be the fittest city in America when we moved here. We had no idea there was so much rock climbing and snowboarding and cycling to do here. We only knew of Portland from the television show Portlandia, so really, we had no idea what we were in for. I love it here now; it's such a fun city, and everyone is so active and health conscious. It's amazing.
5. Would you tell us a bit about your website and anything else you'd like readers to know about you?
I initially started www.australianninjawarrior.com.au just as a way to keep track of my own training for American Ninja Warrior. In my training, I've found that America has such a vibrant and supportive community of Ninja Warriors--it's the course versus everyone, so all the Ninja Trainers, Rock Climbers and Parkour Freerunners I've met have been so generous with their time and knowledge that I wanted to share that with my fellow Australian Ninja Warriors, so I’ve changed www.australianninjawarrior.com.au to be a one-stop shop for this budding community and sharing my experiences and training tips. When I first started training, I found it really hard to find any information on how to start, what do to, how to tackle anything, so I'm trying to remove that barrier for my Aussie Ninjas.