Freshman Laramie Horstman trains for American Ninja Warrior


Credit to Riley Witherbee

By Maya Helbig

Doing pull ups, mountain climbing and overall a lot of exercise, freshman Laramie Horstman is training to be an American Ninja Warrior at just 14 years old.

The summer of 2017, Wendy Horstman, Laramie’s mother, set up a birthday party when she turned 13 at an obstacle gym called Kor Komplex and Laramie took a liking to it.

“Whenever we were younger, my sisters and I would watch the show with my dad, and then I started watching it again the summer of 2016 and I was like, ‘You know what, that would be so cool if I could do that,’” Laramie said.

She started with just a home workout, doing weighted pull ups and weight lifting to gain strength, and now focusing on specific muscles.

“You can’t let yourself be scared of [obstacles], and I feel like I struggled with that a lot and it takes me a while to warm up to things,” Laramie said.

Since going to Kor Komplex, Laramie has been trained by Kyle Stradtman, who was on season 10 of the show American Ninja Warrior. They’ve trained together for around a year, learning new obstacles and celebrating new strengths.

“She’s willing to try stuff even if she’s like, ‘I don’t know about this’,” Stradtman said. “I’m like, ‘no you’re safe’. Usually she’ll at least try it and realize ‘Oh hey, that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.’”

Setting new goals to overcome when training can be a huge accomplishment when the goal is actually reached. It could take 100 tries, but when it’s finally achieved, it’s something meaningful.

“It’s really exciting when she sets a goal for herself on an obstacle,” Wendy said. “Then when I go to pick her up from Kor Komplex she’s excited to tell me that she managed to conquer that obstacle.”

Training at Kor Komplex two to three times a week and keeping her strength up at home hasn’t always been the plan for Laramie.

“In elementary school she absolutely hated gym class, so now she’s like the polar opposite of how she used to be when she was younger,” Wendy said. “I mean polar opposite. Now she loves to work out, and she’s interested in health and fitness.”

She’s still going strong, training all the time and meeting new people that become close friends. They all give their support and celebrate the hard work they put in.

“The people that I train with are super awesome,” Laramie said. “They’re like part of my family. Everybody there is there for you and not against you. They’ll always push you to exceed your limits and they’re always there to help you when you’re scared or haven’t been able to get something down right.”

The journey doesn’t stop here. It’s a long road, but her big dream is to one day be a contestant on the show American Ninja Warrior.

“I think it would be cool to continue doing this kind of stuff as long as I possibly can, until I’m an old lady because there are some older people who can do this stuff and I think that’s amazing,” Laramie said. “I think it would be cool to try out for the adult show whenever I turn 18 and just see how far I get.”