CR superintendent: Ninja Warrior?

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Superintendent Shane Wahls does some heavy lifting in preparation for applying to be America's Ninja Warrior. With a background in bodybuilding and motivational speaking, Wahls presented to Clayton Ridge students during an assembly in October. (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Clayton Ridge superintendent Shane Wahls could be the next American Ninja Warrior. If his unique application is selected, he’ll be allowed to compete for the title on the NBC show, where he’ll have to complete a series of outrageous physical feats. 

“Ninja Warriors are athletes that compete in a series of obstacle courses of increasing difficulty,” Wahls explained. “My family watches the TV show and one night this summer, I told them that I was signing up for next season. Before you know it my son had Googled the show and we were completing a lengthy application together.”

The concept for the show is based on the global hit Sasuke, now on its 31st season in Japan. To date, only three contestants have completed the Japanese course, which includes four stages of obstacles like warped wall, jump hang, halfpipe attack, spinning bridge, salmon ladder, and cliff hanger. Competitors climb ropes and walls, leap across impossible gaps, hang from swinging objects, and lift heavy obstacles all in succession. 

The Clayton Ridge Superintendent has a background in weight lifting and bodybuilding, and was competitive in the mid-90s. He once placed third at the Mr. Austin Texas bodybuilding competition. Even so, he says, “I will need to be in the best shape of my life if selected.”

Diet and fitness have never been an issue for the 44-year-old father of four. His alarm sounds at 4:50 a.m. every day. After 30 minutes in devotional time, it’s off to the gym for a 45-minute weight training session and then a 15-minute, two-mile run. Throughout spring and summer, he often works out twice a day. 

“My athletic ability is not what will be the determining factor, it will definitely be because of my unique story and the support from staff, students and family,” Wahls explains with regard to the acceptance of his application. He credits second grade student Seth Kregel, who dreams of becoming a Ninja Warrior, as part of his inspiration.

Wahls previously did motivational speaking on fitness topics for youth and adults, and had the opportunity to do the same for Clayton Ridge students and staff during an assembly that was filmed for part of his Ninja Warrior audition. “The application is quite long and includes many essay questions in regards to my athletic interests, my job, my family, my story,” said the superintendent. “I just want to motivate our students to live a healthy lifestyle and to find their own passion and what it is deep inside of them that can motivate them to do anything in life.”

  If selected by the show’s producers, Wahls will participate in a local regional qualifying round and will then compete to advance to the city finals. After that, it’s on to the national finals on the formidable Mount Midoriyama course in Las Vegas. The national finals course consists of four stages, and in seven seasons, only two have completed all four stages. The grand prize for the American Ninja Warrior who completes the final course in the shortest time is one million dollars.

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