The 5-foot Catanzaro trained for two years before tackling the course

By Alex Heigl
Updated July 17, 2014 12:50 PM
Credit: American Ninja Warrior

For the uninitiated, American Ninja Warrior is a show that consists of freakishly fit people attempting to conquer a freakishly difficult obstacle course and frequently failing.

At the 2014 Dallas Finals, gymnast Kacy Catanzaro became the first woman ever to not only best the qualifying course, but the finals course as well.

Catanzaro, who was both a Division 1 gymnast and Gymnast of the Year at Towson University, is at a significant disadvantage from the get-go, mostly because of her size – the course requires frequent maneuvers that involve using only your arms to progress, and at 5 feet tall (and 100 pounds), Catanzaro doesn’t have much of a wingspan.

All that said, watching her absolutely demolish this course (seemingly without breaking a sweat) is one of the most inspiring things you’ll ever see.

Catanzaro told Vulture that she’s been training with her boyfriend (and fellow Ninja Warrior competitor) Brent Steffensen for the course specifically for about two years, doing a lot of body weights and circuit training, four to six days a week. To that, she adds casually: “And we’ll always try and do obstacles at night for a couple hours.”

“It was just … overwhelming happiness,” Catanzaro says of her experience. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”