Here we have competitor Drew, age 18, Lowell, MI.
Athletic background? Growing up, I was a multi-sport kid. I played basketball, soccer, baseball, and anything that the kids in the backyard were playing. In high school, I continued to play baseball and soccer for the first few years and eventually transitioned to track. I was named All-Conference and All-Regional in the hurdles. I also learned a good deal about pacing yourself and got faster which definitely helps when it comes to Ninja Warrior
How long obstacle course training? I’ve been training for a little over three years.
Why obstacle training? I’ve always been a fan of doing the unique, and Ninja Warrior is just that. When you tell people that you compete in Ninja Warrior competitions across the country, their jaws about hit the floor. This is especially rewarding with kids who love the show. Kids in my community had me sign their yearbooks this year as “Ninja Drew” and when I walk through the community, I often hear “There’s the ninja!”. I love that Ninja Warrior gives me such a great platform to invest in the lives of kids and the community by being a positive role model. I also enjoy Ninja Warrior training because it really does require every part of your body to be in tip-top condition. It’s definitely the ultimate challenge.
Why compete? Motivation? As stated above, competing allows me to show kids that anything is possible. If an 18 year old from their small town of Lowell can qualify for Nationals in New Mexico, take 3rd place at the largest ninja competition in the world and be a course tester for American Ninja Warrior, then surely they can try something new without fear of failing. I also love competing because it is the true test of your skills and strength and provides a certain edge that training doesn’t. It is also a great way to meet and pick up tips from other, more experienced, ninjas.
Favorite obstacle? Least favorite obstacle? I’m a big fan of the upper body obstacles. It’s hard to pick one but I’m definitely a fan of laches, the Cliffhanger, and the Salmon Ladder. My least favorite obstacles are definitely the balance ones. While I have yet to go out on a balance obstacle, it’s very easy at 6’3” to lose your balance.
Personal interests (movies, hobbies, music, books, charities, etc.)? Outside of Ninja Warrior, I enjoy writing music, playing pickup sports, volunteering at my church’s student ministries, and making movies. My band, Off The Radar (check us out on Facebook, YouTube, and SoundCloud), has already released one album and we’re set to release our second sometime in November. My brother, friends, and I are also currently making a Star Wars short film called “From the Shadows” so be sure to check that out on YouTube in the coming weeks.
Something interesting about you? I am currently studying at Grand Rapids Community College to become a Middle/High School Social Studies teacher. I also run my own businesses. I am a video contractor, a music instructor, and I run a Ninja Warrior business as well. My Ninja operation is called Ninjas on the Move. We run camps in my backyard on my full-scale course and have 38 kids enrolled in one class alone this fall. We also take the course to events in the community. This summer alone, we were a part of two camps, the county fair, and the nationally recognized Pink Arrow football game in Lowell that raises money and awareness for cancer. In just 3 months of operation, we’ve had over 1,000 kids take part at an extremely affordable rate. Our motto is to bring Ninja Warrior to kids who don’t otherwise have access to it (financially or based on location.)
Motto or how you live your life? I like to live by three words: courage, adventure, and initiate. Have the courage to try something new, talk to someone new, or go somewhere new. Seek your own adventure, enjoy it while it lasts, and don’t quit when it gets hard. And don’t wait around for someone else to make something happen. Initiate it yourself. Take the necessary steps to reach your goals and surpass your limits.
Piece of advice for obstacle course training. Be fearless. If you are scared of failing you’ll never succeed. Don’t be afraid to fall, lose, or get wet (especially in Ninja Warrior)…it’s how you get better.
Social media info, pics, videos, other links, anything you care to share?
Facebook: – Drew Struckmeyer
– Ninjas on the Move