Inner Strength
STUDENTS | May 23, 2020
Inner Strength

How a Hamilton Elementary Student’s Time on American Ninja Warrior Junior has Shaped his Goals for the Future

In many ways, sixth-grade student Chase H. is having a typical remote learning experience. When he’s not mastering polynomials in his advanced math class, he might be practicing his trumpet as a fourth-generation player or partaking in a social distancing bike ride with his friends from Hamilton Elementary in Lake View. He says his friends are his favorite part of attending Hamilton, and he’s looking forward to the day when everyone can learn together at the school again. 

“I really don’t know how I’m going to feel going back, but I do know it will be fun to see all my friends,” he said. “I’ve been at Hamilton since kindergarten and I feel like my friendships have gotten stronger each year.” 

While Chase might not end up remembering everything he did to keep himself occupied at home, he’ll certainly remember watching himself as a participant on American Ninja Warrior Junior. The show features a challenging obstacle course that he prepared for by training at a specialized gym as frequently as six days a week. His favorite obstacle is the Wingnuts, where he was required to swing between a series of elevated T-shaped ledges. Even though he wasn’t able to have a traditional watch party given the circumstances, he loved the experience and is hoping to go on the show again someday. 

“My favorite part of the experience was getting to meet new people and make new friends,” he said. “I definitely want to do the show again, and my main goal is to be on American Ninja Warrior as an adult.” 

Chase has been working toward that goal for years, starting by turning trips to the playground into practice sessions and creating his own obstacles out of random materials found around the house. For other students who might be interested in achieving a similar goal, he says the key is to start out small and keep persevering until you accomplish what you set out to. 

“If you choose to go to a ninja gym and are just starting out, you should probably start with a beginner class,” he said. “Start with what you can do, and then slowly challenge yourself, keep trying, and don’t give up.” 

In the short-term, Chase has his eye set on conquering an obstacle that has eluded him so far: the 14-foot Warped Wall. Down the line, he wants to be a coach at his own gym. As he continues to build a strong network of friends both at Hamilton and through his extracurricular interests, one thing is for sure: his trajectory will truly be one-of-a-kind.