National champion ninja athletes got started in Colorado Springs

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) — It takes strength — lots of it to become an ultimate ninja champion.

Colorado featured two of them at the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association Championship Finals in Las Vegas — Liz Polsgrove and Jade Isham.

“When I was competing, I was hoping everyone would do good, but not as good as me,” Isham chuckled. “Then I won.”

“After the awards were done, I was like, ‘My neck is hurting,'” Polsgrove said. “The medal was so heavy, and I was like, ‘Ugh.'”

“Nin-jastix Jade” was the only one in her 7-and-under event to complete the course. “Lightning Liz” had a run to help build her acrobatics resume — one that will soon feature an appearance on American Ninja Warrior in September.

“I nearly didn’t make it (past the semifinals) because I fell on the balance obstacle,” Polsgrove said. “I heard my mom say, ‘You gotta go now.’ So I just went super fast.”

Much of the resilience was learned under the direction of Jesse Lucero, who not only coaches Liz and Jade at Altitude Ninja Gym in Colorado Springs, but competes in ninja events himself.

“For me, when I’m competing, I always have to remind myself, don’t put pressure on yourself, just have fun,” Lucero said. “Everyone’s gonna make mistakes. Everyone is gonna fail at obstacles. You just have to get right back up and try your best.

“They picked it up very quickly. Liz crushes me on those cliffhangers. Those pullups, she annihilates me. I’m like, ‘Nah, you get the gold on that.'”

If you don’t succeed, keep going. The only failure is giving up.

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