Calle has been taking on some of the most difficult courses on American Ninja Warrior, reaching the finals on several occasions.
Ninja Warrior originated in Japan and consists of obstacle courses of increasing difficulty with competitors being eliminated after failing to complete obstacles or running out of time. Agility, dexterity and grip strength are key, with contestants needing to be able to approach obstacles with speed and confidence.
The ultimate test ends with Mount Midoriyama, a 75 foot (23 metre) rope climb in under 30 seconds. Very few competitors in the world have completed this in any of the national competitions around the world.
Calle has been featured on American Ninja Warrior in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Outside of the show. he was a national finalist in the National Ninja League (NNL) in 2017 and in 2018, placing 16th out of 228 competitors as the leading competitor from Florida this past year. He was also a national finalist in the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association (UNAA) in 2016 and in 2017 placing 34th out of 150 competitors. He is scheduled to compete in the UNAA National Finals again in July 2018.
At the qualifying levels he’s had further successes. In the National Ninja League, Calle’s finished 3rd, 4th, 5th (twice) and 6th in qualifiers. He has placed even better in the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association, where he’s had three 1st and 2nd place regional qualifier finishes and seven 1st place and three 2nd place area qualifier finishes.
At June 2018 he was the current National Dead/Bar Hang Record Holder, having clung on for 15 minutes and 3 seconds with no chalk.
He also took on the 100 seconds hang on a rotating bar challenge, which he succeded at and can be seen here.
With so many successes we asked Calle what his highlight was. “So far, it’s hitting a buzzer on American Ninja Warrior Season 10 Miami” he says, referring to his 2018 performance. “I hope to have many more buzzers under my belt.”
Calle has been vegan since the summer of 2015. “My girlfriend at the time struggled to stay vegan while I had no interest but I wanted to show my support in her” Calle tells us “so we both went 100% vegan together with a possible chance of going back to eating meat if I didn’t feel/perform well. I actually went vegetarian for one month then went completely vegan.”
“Now I am completely vegan. I never feel the need or desire to ever eat animal products again.” Now in particular he enjoys Smoothies. “I think smoothie bowls with my favorite toppings is just so perfect. It tastes so good and at the same time is so nutrient dense with all the fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats I add.”
“As of right now I practice a lot of grip and upper body intensive obstacles” Calle tells us. “I rock climb 1-2 times a week, and incorporate HIIT and weight training 1-3 times a week.”
Calle is not the only vegan in the elite levels of the sport, with British champion Tim Shieff also vegan. However, veganism is not the norm.
“If people meet me for the first time I always get the protein and nutrient deficiency question, but in the U.S. ninja community I’ve become a well-known advocate for veganism alongside my consistent podium placements in competitions. I think that speaks for itself to any doubts people may have.”
Already respected and recognised as a successful athlete, Calle has plenty more to achieve.
“I hope to one day conquer all four stages of Mount Mydoryama with hopes of making a name for myself in the ninja world” says Calle. “I also want to spread the vegan message that you don’t need animal products to be healthy and strong because the opposite is true. True strength comes from plants, not flesh.”
“As Michael Gregor says, ‘The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be healthiest.’ ”