Happy Helen is selected as a competitor on season 10 of American Ninja Warrior

We have such an incredible community of climbers working for and climbing at Rock Spot Climbing. Today we sat down with one of our fitness instructors, Helen Lin who made the cut to be on season 10 of American Ninja Warrior filming in Philadelphia, PA this week!

Congratulations on making the cut to be in Season 10 of American Ninja Warrior! You’ll be competing in Philadelphia on May 11 & 12th. How do you feel about being part of this incredible opportunity?

I’m excited and nervous! It’s amazing to be chosen from 20,000 applicants but also a little shocking.  I’ve always wanted to try to get on the show but really, it’s one of those things you think won’t ever happen! Plus it’s a little daunting to think about all those people watching and the cameras on you. 

Is this your first time competing? Tell us about your previous attempts.

Yes it’s my first time competing on the show.  Last year I went to LA and course tested on the LA course there, so that was a good experience leading up to this.

You’re really well known to our South Boston community, but for the rest of the climbing community, what are you known for in South Boston?

Before climbing, I was known for being an ice swimmer.  I swam out of Curly Community Center in South Boston all months in the year.  I even swam during that epic snow storm a few years ago and spent time shoveling snow down to the ocean to make a path to enter the water.  I’m the #99 person in the world to swim an ice mile, which is 1 mile in under 41 degree water temperature.   I’m also the only person in the world to have swam from Nantasket to Nahant and back, a distance of 18 miles (non stop) in 11.5 hours.  

Along with being an instructor for our fitness classes, you also do some work as a personal trainer at HappyHelenfitness.com Why do you enjoy being a personal trainer?

I spend a lot of time working on myself in terms of fitness and athletics, so I started my side personal training business because I love helping other people feel great about themselves too! It is very rewarding when someone tells me I’ve made a difference in their life.  There really is no better feeling than that!

I believe you came in 5th in the recreational division of the 2017 Boston Boulder Brawl, can you tell us about your career as a climber and why you like it so much?
How has climbing helped you prepare to compete as an American Ninja Warrior?

I started climbing 2.5 years ago at Rock Spot randomly with a friend.  My identity was so wrapped up in swimming at the time that I was tired of feeling like “I’m just a swimmer” and rock climbing was a random thing that I thought would be fun. I was hooked immediately! I know we all love the fun movements and problem solving aspect of climbing, but personally, I love the socializing DURING climbing.  In swimming, obviously there is no talking while you swim, but with bouldering there’s so much sitting around and conversing about beta and what not- I love it! I love bouldering specifically because it’s so dynamic, explosive and powerful- all things that a background of endurance swimming had zero help with, which is why I love the challenge.   It has been really hard for me to activate these fast twitch muscles from a life long of swimming for hours in the ocean.

Can you tell us about the selection process? How does someone become a competitor?

The selection process for American Ninja Warrior is simple- you just go on their website and apply! There are a few pages of application but then there’s a video submission.  The video submission shows them who you are and also your upper body strength so they know you have some skills to do the show. I would say if anyone is interested in doing the show, come to a ninja gym not just to train but also to get to know the people there.  You will learn all the ins and outs as many people have competed on the show and help you become a course tester too.  Two ninja gyms nearby are: TA Fitness in Weymouth and Action Athletics in Wellesley.

Any tips you can give the community on how you can have such a positive affect on the people around you and gain such a passionate following from your friends and family?

Oh gosh, golly! Hmm….do things you love and give it 100% with a smile and people will respect you for trying! Just like dynos, sometimes you gotta commit even when you are scared! 🙂 

Good luck at the competition! We’ll be sure to cheer you on, but for anyone else who wants to follow along and support you, how can they follow you?

I’ll be updating on my Instagram @Zuplindo so people can follow me on there!