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Posted: September 20, 2014 10:00 p.m.

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‘American Ninja Warrior’ speaks to students in Covington

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Hoan Do takes a picture with students at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center where he spoke.

You’ve probably seen the show ‘American Ninja Warrior’ where participants compete in some of the toughest obstacle courses you’ll ever see. Hoan Do was one of those contestants, he moonlights in crossfit but he’s really an inspirational speaker.

Hoan Do came to Newton County to speak to students at the Georgia FFA-FCCLA Center. Schools from all over Georgia were in attendance to hear him speak Thursday evening and again on Friday morning.

Do realized his dream of being an inspirational speaker when he was in high school. After attending a leadership conference that left a major impact on him, Do decided that his future was in helping people. So he went to college and majored in...economics?

“If I studied speech communication, it doesn’t mean I’ll be good at it. It just means I can memorize it and do well on a test,” Do said. “With economics I had a lot of free time. I spent all the extra time speaking at schools and at companies refining my skill and being comfortable in front of people.”

By the time he graduated, Do had spoken over 50 times, which he says helped him a low. After he graduating he worked with a guy named Tony Robbins, where he did a lot of corporate training. Do decided he wanted take his message and provide it to other young people.

Do has been speaking for six years now. Other than impacting the lives of students, Do does crossfit in October, and that’s how he got the idea to compete on ‘American Ninja Warrior.’ 

Do’s cousin took a picture of him climbing the peg wall and hashtagged it on Instagram with the caption “Hoan Do beastin’ the peg wall #AmericanNinjaWarrior.” And it hit him, why not?

Do decided to do some research, and he found out he had to do a three-minute audition video.

“I said, ‘I’m gonna give them a story that sells,’” Do says.

Do knew he couldn’t flip off buildings, at least not yet he said. So he decided to share his unique story of being an inspirational speaker and training on the road. Do put up a video, and it got over 4,000 views. His followers on Twitter sent in hundreds of tweets to all three hosts of the show and the show itself.

“I can’t control how they pick but I can control what I do,” Do said. “So I’ll make a killer video, I’m gonna market to them and they’re gonna know about me.”

He and his followers bombarded them so much that they tweeted him back saying, ‘we see you, very impressive.’ Eventually, Do got the phone call to go down. His trainer told him all he needed to do was not get hurt. So, of course, he got hurt. At trampoline nation Do broke his ankle when he jumped on a wall and fell down the Sunday before the show.

Do says he couldn’t walk the next day, but being the person that he is, giving up wasn’t an option. Do got adjustments for his ankle to get more blood flow in. He started icing and heating, along with three hours of acupuncture, physical therapy and cool laser therapy. Leading up to the Friday before he was set to compete Do said he was about 50 percent.

He competed to qualify to be on the show, but was disqualified in a field of 100. Do says that he’s learned to become effort-driven, not outcome oriented so he didn’t see not finishing as a failure.

“It’s okay. Because what I’ve learned in life is the purpose of any goal is not to achieve it. The purpose of any goal is that it pushes you to do things you would not normally do. What you learn, who you become in the process, that’s the reward,” Do said.

Do got home at about 2:30 a.m. that morning after being at the competition since 6 p.m. the day before. He was No. 33, and the process was really slow, which is why he got home late. Do got a phone call three hours later, it was the show telling him that he’d left too early and that they take the top 30 and Hoan was No. 30. Do was allowed to compete in the city finals the next day.

This time, Do got past the event that disqualified him initially, but he slipped on the peg wall after he was two pegs away and fell in the water. Do shares his experience competing on ‘American Ninja Warrior’ when he speaks to students now.

He says he gets emails and notes frequently from people that have seen him speak. Do says that he met a girl who wanted him to teach her skills on public speaking, but Do saw that she had three inches worth of slits on her wrist.

“To be able to give her a hug and just to let her know that there’s people out there that genuinely care. That’s what made it worth it. I literally drove four hours there and four hours back. For that one interaction, it made the eight hour drive that much more meaningful,” Do said.

“Speaking is not easy. My body’s beat up. It’s not sexy going on the road being at a hotel, but it’s worth it for those moments.”

Do, who was on the road for 116 days last year, says he wants to let his body rest up, but he plans to go compete again on ‘American Ninja Warrior’ this year.

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