CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – Flying through the air, climbing impossible walls, and defying gravity are just a few of the things Scott Behrends does for his job, and more recently, on a national stage.

Behrends is the co-owner of the Cedar Falls gym, Ninja U, and over the summer of 2019 he had the chance to compete in American Ninja Warrior, an athletic reality competition show that features extreme obstacles, much like the ones in his own gym. Behrends got into this trend because of his kids.

“It started in my backyard actually,” Behrends said. “My kids came home from gym class, they were doing obstacle courses, and I always loved obstacle courses. And they were a little too shy to actually want to play team sports. So we decided to build some obstacle courses in the backyard for them to burn off some energy. “

The love for the sport grew in their family, until one day, Behrends decided to follow in his kid’s footsteps.

“They actually had the opportunity last summer to compete on American Ninja Warrior JR., so they actually got onto a ninja show before I did.” Behrends said.

Behrends competed on the show at the end of the summer and lost in the Las vegas finals. But for him, it was never really a competition.

“I think the show has also done a very good job of making a reality tv show that hasn’t tried to dig for that conflict or villainize anyone,” Behrends explained. “In Vegas I fell on an obstacle, and I went back and told everyone else how to do it not like me. And that’s what everyone else does. It’s about everyone vs the course.”

At 38 years old, Behrends still has a love for ninja, and even said he is looking forward to trying out next year.



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