Warwick ‘ninja nerd’ eyes off Ninja Warrior crown
A LIFETIME obsession with ninjas has led one Warwick-born man to a national stage, as he prepares to crush the newest season of Australian Ninja Warrior.
Nathan Burley, a schoolteacher by day, always had a hankering as a child to do tricks and turns just like his favourite TV superheroes.
"It's was always sort of in my blood," he said.
"I would watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and want to do the flips they could do.
"I ended up joining the Warwick Gymnastics Club where I trained with them for six years.
"Cut to me in my adulthood watching TV when Ninja Warrior came on and I went 'Oh yes this is right up my alley."
Training for over six years to prepare for the famous course, a heartbreaking slip in last year's Australian season had Mr Burley go above and beyond to prepare to win this year.
"In the last season, I worked so hard to get to that point that my goal was not to think too much and just go, and unfortunately the lack of planning had me getting caught up in obstacle two and I ended up falling," he said.
"My dream was over within one minute of being on the course.
"I was absolutely gutted and I spent so many sleepless nights thinking what I should have done that the only way I could get to sleep was by drawing the obstacles and the way they should have been done."
Eventually drawing all 477, with analysis on how best to beat them, the self-proclaimed "ninja nerd" was sure his "secret weapon" would help him crush the course this time round.
"When you set up to take on this course, you have one shot. They don't let you practise and the nerves are extremely high as you walk on there," he said.
"This time, I'm going in with a sense of calm and I'm trying to stop and enjoy the moment.
"It's a rare thing. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity."