HomeMoorestown News‘Don’t let failure be the end’

‘Don’t let failure be the end’

Josiah Pippel advances to second stage of NBC’S ‘American Ninja Warrior’ finals

Courtesy of NBC
“No matter how I do, win or lose, it’s not all about winning the show,” said Moorestown resident Josiah Pippel, of his three years competing on NBC “American Ninja Warrior.”

Moorestown resident Josiah Pippel advanced to the second stage of NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” (ANW) this month, after completing an eight- obstacle course in stage one during the show’s 15th season.

This is Pippel’s third season competing in ANW and his third time advancing to the second stage, an accomplishment that makes him proud. His first season on the show was a chance for him to prove himself, but now he’s focused on staying consistent.

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“I think that first season – for me at least – was very much just to kind of get my name out there,” Pippel said. “Obviously for all the teams, they didn’t really know what we were capable of or who we really were, so it was kind of our time to show what we could do.”

“Now, having kind of almost proven myself, it’s about staying consistent and really pushing to be the best.”

Last month, Pippel advanced to the national finals after competing against Jamie Rahn in the semis. Like anything else, he didn’t know what to expect when he started competing on ANW, but now he’s well prepared for all the game’s challenges.

“ … In anything, when you first start it, you don’t really know what to expect going into it, especially with “Ninja Warrior,” Pippel explained. “And now we kind of have a feel for not only what it feels like to be up on the course, but what the atmosphere is going to be like, and really adapt to the situation.”

Show ninjas must complete stage one’s eight-obstacle course in under two minutes and 50 seconds, facing new obstacles such as the Gambler and Thread the Needle. The most difficult obstacle Pippel faced was obstacle two, the Three-Ring Circus, which consists of a ring, a hanging wall, a hanging disc that spins freely and a track with a ring on it.

According to the site Fandom, competitors must first unhook the ring and generate enough momentum to latch to the hanging disc. The hanging wall is placed so that competitors’ momentum will be disrupted. After transiting to the disc, they have to again latch to the gliding ring and ride it down the track by kicking it over a stopper and locking it in place after they reach the end of the track.

Finally, competitors have to dismount to the angled landing platform.

“ … It’s so finnick-y,” Pippel acknowledged. “It wasn’t even necessarily physically hard. It’s just mentally, you know that you have to be 100% precise. Some obstacles have a little bit of leeway, but that one, if you miss by even an inch, that could end your season.”

The obstacle that Pippel was most excited for? The Gambler.

“It had a lot of moving parts and a lot of people were pretty scared of it,” he remembered, “but I looked at that and I was like, ‘Oh, this looks really cool.’ And (I) was able to kind of run through it in my head before I got on the course, and (I) kind of had already figured it out.”

There’s always a certain level of nervousness for Pippel each season, until he gets to the starting line.

“If you’re not nervous, then you don’t care enough,” he pointed out. “A lot of the nerves for me come in the hours and days before competing, where you’re prepping to compete and thinking about the course and what you’re going to have to do. But as soon as I step up on the starting block it all fades away, and I just do what I need to do, get in the zone and just execute the obstacles.”

Pippel’s biggest takeaway from the show’s 15th season is simple: Failure isn’t the end.

“No matter how I do, win or lose, it’s not all about winning the show,” he observed. “That is the goal, but there’s so many other things that I’ve learned from being on “Ninja Warrior” for the past three years – whether it be the friends I’ve made or the memories – that I wouldn’t trade that for anything.”


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