Interview: American Ninja and Momma Warrior – Rachael Goldstein

Ever wonder which is a harder course to run; a Ninja Warrior course or being a full-time mother? Well, Rachael Goldstein has done both! Now using Instagram to show her strength and (as she called them) momma skills, her ANW run was just as successful. Part of the Superhero Squad, she conquered courses and she told TGR all about the experience.
Mike Thurk (IG @mthurk)
1) Tell TGR fans a little bit about yourself?
My name is Rachael Goldstein and I have competed on 3 seasons of American Ninja Warrior, as well as Team Ninja Warrior and Ninja vs Ninja on the SuperHero Squad! I have made it to city finals twice and have competed in the national finals in Las Vegas twice as well! I am a pediatric occupational therapist who did gymnastics growing up, but took over a decade off from consistently exercising until I found ninja training! I live in Cherry Hill, NJ with my husband and daughter.
2) What got you into American Ninja Warrior competitions?
I enjoyed watching ANW on TV and noticed from the background stories on athletes that they were training at ninja gyms! Unfortunately, the closest gym was over 2 hours away (in NJ) from where we lived in PA at the time. We coincidentally ended up moving to NJ anyways though! It took me about a month to get up the courage to go check it out, but never looked back once I did. I found that the community is so welcoming, friendly, and encouraging, and I had so much fun. I learned about local competitions and ended up competing in my first one just 7 days after going to a ninja gym for the first time! New friends and training partners who have been regulars on the show such as Jamie Rahn encouraged me to apply for the show on NBC and helped me make my first submission video. Months later, I was lucky enough to be chosen to compete!
3) Did you have athletic aspirations as a child? If so, which sports did you excel at?
I pretty much grew up doing gymnastics from ages 3-17, but also enjoyed playing softball for many years. I ran track for just one season in my senior year which I really enjoyed as well! 
4) How did you feel going into and after your first competition?
I was definitely very nervous going into my first competition! I did my best to focus on each obstacle as they came, and pretend like it was just another night at the gym. With all the cameras and audience, that was a little tricky, but I did my best to remember what I was capable of, and to have a good time out there. Although there were a lot of nerves leading up to the competition, I was very proud of myself for putting myself out afterwards and ignoring my fears and doubts. 
5) Where are you at now with your training and goals?
After being pregnant last year and having my daughter in October, I had to take a step back from training and focus on other areas of life for a while.
Right now, I am still working to get back to where I was prior to having my daughter 5 months ago. It has been like starting all over again, but a good challenge to try to meet and beat my records from beforehand!
6) What advice do you have for young children growing up watching ANW as a sport?
Give it a shot! Ninja is becoming more and more organized as a sport outside of the TV show.  You can take ninja classes now, and even become part of a ninja team for local competitions. Ninja is a sport all about positivity, doing your best, and never giving up, even when things seem too hard!
7) What was your Jewish life like growing up?
I attended weekly Sunday school and had a Bat Mitzvah when I was 13.
8) What are you up to when you aren’t competing or training?
Right now I am busy being a momma to our baby girl Finley!
9) Where can fans find you on social media?
Instagram: @rachael.goldstein1

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