Episode #60 – Interview with Sara Heesen – Rookie Season on American Ninja Warrior

When I first started going to ninja training class my instructor Sara asked everyone “Why did you start ninja?” I said it was because I wanted to start doing things I was bad at. In all seriousness – we can put ourselves into comfortable bubbles and not try new things. Life is easier that way. But I was ready to challenge myself.

If you ask Sara why she started ninja training she would respond “Because when I saw Kacy complete the American Ninja Warrior course I knew I COULD DO IT TOO.”

How cool is that?

And she did it – made it to the Las Vegas National Finals of American Ninja Warrior her rookie season.

But as we can all expect – it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. I was lucky to know Sara and watch her train, prepare and compete. There were a lot of late nights, early mornings, super challenging work outs and an attempt to fit all of that into an already busy life of teaching ninja and working at a restaurant.

Did I also mention that she was recovering from Lyme disease? Sara really teaches us how to be resilient, keep a positive attitude and push on.

I was able to travel to Las Vegas and watch her compete. The commentators on the Vegas finals episode remarked at how large her cheer squad was and said it was one of the largest support teams. I know how fun it was for me to watch and cheer but I also knew that made it more challenging for Sara. She worried about letting people down and she is always thinking about others first. In the interview we talk about this and also how she kept her mind right before, during and after competition.

You get to listen in and get the full and real scoop on what it’s like to be on the show.

What’s next for Sara? I’ll give you a clue…..it is something I LOVE. That’s right – obstacle course racing. Ninjas are prime athletes for the sport and we talk about how she’s moving her focus to competing, traveling and winning obstacle course races.

There is so much good stuff packed into our episode and I hope it inspires you to try something new.


To read more about Sara check out these (many) articles.

Kare 11 “Local Woman Overcomes Obstacles in Life and Gym 

Star Tribune – “Plymouth Resident Battled Lyme Disease Before Competing on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior” 

City Pages – “Plymouth Area Ninja Takes on American Ninja Warrior”

Go MN – “One Minnesota Woman’s Tough Road to American Ninja Warrior”

If you missed the episodes where Sara competed – check them out below.

Kansas City Qualifier

Kansas City Finals

Las Vegas National Finals



Come take a class with us – join us at Conquer Nina Warrior in Eden Prairie MN or check out their other locations HERE.

Follow Sara on Instagram @beastinheesen







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