The television show ‘American Ninja Warrior’ has captured the interest of many people this summer. On Friday night, students at the Velocity Gymnastics ninja clinic had a chance to meet one finalist up close and personal. Lance Pekus hails from Salmon, Idaho, and is known to millions as the ‘Cowboy Ninja’ because of the big, black hat he wears and because he actually lives and works on a ranch. Pekus was the 15th and final qualifier from the Denver regionals and will compete in Las Vegas at the finals. Those began airing on August 18.
About 20 youngsters ranging in age from 7 to 15 years old worked out on swinging ropes, balance beams, and other pieced of gymnastic gear that had been repurposed into obstacles for ninjas. Pekus spent time critiquing forms and showing how to climb an I-Beam with only his fingers and toes. The star-struck kids asked questions, listened intently and then tried to copy his form when swinging from a rope or climbing the ‘warped wall.’
Pekus said one reason he likes to help with camps like this is because kids love to jump from thing to thing and climb on top of things. “They do everything that we do but as kids get older, they lose that and I want to keep them challenging themselves.”
The clinic is one of many put on by Velocity Gymnastics and according to owner Crystal Lawrence; it’s one of the most popular and fills up months in advance of the actual date.