A few weeks ago, one 12-year-old dominated the new Ninja Obstacle Challenge during the Alabama State Games. She took home the gold medal in the 12U competition, but she didn't get to the top by only practicing twice a week at the Ninja Obstacle Academy in Huntsville.
"I woke up one Christmas morning and I had rings, we took them down so I could use them over there, we had rings all around 'em and that was one of my Christmas presents," Aubriella Hairston said.
When American Ninja Warrior Junior premiered in 2018, Aubriella Hairston and her dad, Chris, looked for a training facility near their hometown of Rainsville. They found the Ninja Obstacle Academy in Huntsville.
"Well I called and talked to Justin a couple times, the athletic director there, and he encouraged me to bring her down and let her just try it out. See what she thought," Aubriella's dad, Chris Hairston said.
After talking with Justin Moore, the father-daughter pair decided to make the long drive to Huntsville, and instantly Aubriella was hooked.
"We go two time a week, so on Tuesday's and Thursday's and I practice for two hours there," Aubriella said.
But due to the distance, Chris wanted to make sure his daughter could practice anytime she wanted.
"I love to do wood working. I have a lot of wood working tools, I had built the cabin, so I had thought well there's some room right there and we'll put an obstacle and if we move the couch we can get one more obstacle in and one thing led to another," Chris said.
Aubriella Hairston told WAAY 31 that she wakes up in the morning and the first thing she does it swing from one of the obstacles.
The ninja wheel is one of the obstacle inside the Hairston household which houses more than 15 different challenges for Aubriella to tackle. With all the obstacles, Aubriella basically has an entire ninja course inside her house.
When asked what it means to Aubriella to have a father who supports her passions she said, "a lot because he basically ruined our house by putting all our obstacles up and gave up his living room for me."
While her dad said, "I was willing to do it because I love my little girl."
There's nothing Chris loves more than to see Aubriella do well at competitions.
"I'll see her, there's a big obstacle that we haven't seen before and she'll get a big swing and she lets go, and I'm amazed every time she makes one. It's like she did that because you know they're not easy," Chris said.
Plus, Chris has some big plans for when Aubriella outgrows the living room.
"My goal right now is, I'm going to have to build a shed for our new camper and the hippie van when we're not using it. And I'm probably going to go ahead and make it high enough to where we can put a lot of obstacles. We're just going to build an outdoor course," Chris said.
Now, most ninja's who compete on the television show or just around the country have nicknames. Aubriella's ninja name is the Tie Dye Ninja and there's a couple reasons for that.
- Aubriella has always loved tie dye
- Aubriella's dad has an old Volkswagen Hippie Van, as they call it, that they take on road trips.
The Tie Dye Ninja is going places this summer, like Lake Minnesota for the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Associations World Competition. Then in August, she's competing in the State Games of America in Virginia.
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