Lance Pekus took his shot at NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior” course this week and earned the fastest time of the night, beating out the runner-up by 31 seconds, all with the help of his signature jeans and cowboy hat.
"It fits my profile," Pekus told TooFab. "One of my first years doing the course, I was nervous and I meant to take [the hat] off, but I accidentally wore it all the way through and I hit the buzzer so it’s been my sidekick."
But after an early departure last season, the Cowboy Ninja from Idaho is returning to redeem himself while creating a name for a "different type of athlete."
"A lot of people who do ‘American Ninja Warrior’ seem like they’re from more urban settings, but I’m representing the country side, the hardworking people. There’s a lot of people who are really strong from doing things in the fields and in the farms so there’s a little bit of responsibility to represent a different type of athlete."
Since Pekus lives and works on a ranch he feels pretty comfortable completing obstacles that require upper body strength, such as this year’s salmon ladder and crank it up, an obstacle that Pekus describes as using two handles to jump up and over a bar three times, but it’s the balancing obstacles that he dreads.
“I think a lot of people including myself get nervous for balance obstacles,” he said. “Last year I fell early on my third obstacle which was a double spinning log.”
As for this year, Pekus has a new tip to keep in mind while he keeps his eyes on the prize.
"I want to get redemption on the balance obstacles so I have to take it one obstacle at a time and look at each one as it’s in front of me."