Kyle “the Ninja Legend” Rear

Junior+Kyle+Rear+training+on+ninja+obstacles+at+his+team%27s+gym.

Courtesy of Kyle Rear

Junior Kyle Rear training on ninja obstacles at his team’s gym.

Lexi Nielsen, Reviews Editor

Most people know of the television show American Ninja Warrior and the phenomenon that it has become. After twelve seasons, many athletes on the show have inspired people of all ages to train with ninja obstacles so they can be on the show in the future. One of these inspired athletes includes junior Kyle Rear.

Rear has been a long-time fan of the show and was inspired by some of his favorite ninjas Jamie Rahn, Flip Rodriguez, and Daniel Gil to become a ninja himself.

“I was inspired by so many athletes when watching old seasons of the show,” Rear said. “I thought the obstacles were really cool, and I decided to go to a ninja gym and just try the obstacles out!”

Rear has now been training for three years at Centercourt Lawrence Gym every Wednesday with his team. He trains tirelessly for two hours every single day whether it be at the gym or his home.

As a member of Centercourt Lawrence’s ninja team, Rear attends team practice at least once a week. These practices are an hour and sometimes longer. Rear also represents his team in National Ninja League competitions in which he has been performing really well.

“These practices help me improve on obstacles that I need to work on, and also improve my mentality and confidence,” Rear said. “The overall acceptance and support I get on this team from other people are very rewarding and special.”

When he’s not training with his team, Rear spends his time training at home on obstacles he built with his dad. Rear uses obstacles that train his balance and upper body, and he even replicated obstacles from the show like the pegboard, ring toss, and salmon ladder.

The American Ninja Warrior community is known for its inclusiveness, and many athletes who participate in the show say it is more like a family of the most supportive people they know. When Rear first started doing ninja warrior, he instantly connected with some of the people who competed on the adult show, and also with other kids who train for it or have competed on American Ninja Warrior Junior.

“I have found it incredible that I have been able to gain so many new friends, and I was always lonely before I found American Ninja Warrior, and did not have lots of friends,” Rear said. “Overall, the community is just incredible, and I am happy to be supportive of others in the sport of ninja, and towards others outside of the sport.”

Overall, Rear’s experience with Ninja Warrior has been one of self-acceptance and learning that he is capable of so much more than he ever thought.

“Ninja means being strong and putting forth your best attitude. It is about overcoming your fears, and pushing yourself beyond your limits,” Rear said. “It is all about what you want, and what you think about yourself. “