She’s intense, focused and 6 years old
As Bentlee Bergeron poises herself to scale the looming wall before her at NOLA Muscle Park, this six-year-old stands firm and ready.
The intensity of anticipating her next move is in her laser-focused eyes.
With resolve, she triggers the run that will give her the needed momentum to reach the top.
In seconds she’s done it and proving herself capable of withstanding her latest test toward her goal of competing on American Ninja Warrior.
This is a television show featuring an extreme competition for the physically fit, which is aired weekly on NBC.
If Bentlee’s serious about competing there when she’s older and ready, her training at NOLA Muscle Park is certainly an impressive starting place with its obstacle courses resembling those of the televised competition.
Scaling a wall, springing from elevated ring to ring, and leaping from ropes are all part of the challenge to earn the title of Ninja Warrior. On Season 10, the show has continued to lead in the ratings and draw those aspiring warriors such as little Bentlee.
This youngster’s determination impresses people.
“Sometimes, when I’m there, I don’t want to leave when it ends,” she said. “And it’s kind of fun.”
Her favorite challenge is the wall.
“Sometimes when I make it, I feel like I’m getting better at it,” Bentlee said.
Her mother, Christen, is astounded by her daughter’s determination, but she wants to help her in any way she can.
“We didn’t even know she was capable of all this,” she mused. “I’m going to do whatever she wants to do and I love the fact that she’s working out and taking care of her body.”
Not bad for a little Bayou Gauche girl who stumbled onto something she loves.
“She likes doing it and she’s keeping in shape,” said her mother.
Bentlee’s world tilted toward becoming a warrior last year when a family friend observed her in their backyard and commented, “Man, she looks like a little ninja.”
Her mother agreed it would be cool and found NOLA Muscle Park. They were hesitant to accept someone so young in their classes, but that changed when they saw her in action.
Then she competed and won second place, and was invited to regional competition, but her parents felt Bentlee was too young to do it.
This year, she’s back in training and will compete again in November.
“She’s just naturally good at it,” said her mother. “She’s very determined and loves flipping around.”
It was a genuine thrill for Bentlee to meet Jessie Graff, a top competitor on American Ninja Warrior and a movie stuntwoman, at NOLA Muscle Park.
“Maybe we’ll see her on the show one day,” her mother said. “I’m just extremely proud. She’s not an average six-year-old … she’s just not. She’s competitive. She’s focused.”
Bergeron recounted a training session in which her child was so determined to finish that she started crying when she couldn’t do it and only calmed down when her trainer asked if she wanted to advance to the next level.
If the future is decided by belief than becoming a Ninja Warrior should be a done deal for Bentlee.
“You have to believe in yourself,” said the youngster. “When you’re doing something you just have to believe in yourself and know you can do it … and never give up.”