Aggie Gymnast Warrior

by | Aug 31, 2018 | Alumni Achievers, Culture

Anna Shumaker competes on American Ninja Warrior.


The propeller bar. The jumping spider. The warped wall.

Those are a few of the obstacles former UC Davis gymnast Anna Shumaker ’14 will face on Monday’s episode of American Ninja Warrior.

This is Shumaker’s third appearance on NBC’s family of obstacle-course-based reality shows, and her first time in the final round of competition.

“When I retired from gymnastics I needed another outlet for myself,” she said. “I needed to fill the void that gymnastics left behind, so when I saw American Ninja Warrior on TV I just knew that was what I was going to do next.”

She said her background as a gymnast — she earned All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors three years in a row — gives her a leg up in the televised competition, which can see athletes flying between obstacles, climbing a narrow shaft, scaling a curved wall standing more than 14 feet tall and more. But she said despite the difficulty of Ninja Warrior, where a misstep will send a competitor plummeting to a pool of water, collegiate gymnastics is the more challenging sport because of the precision it requires.

Shumaker, who owns both SHUFIT Personal Training, a personal training business based in Sacramento, and OnPoint Nutrition, a supplement company, said she’s accustomed to the balance and time-management skills required as a student athlete. The only difference is now she’s balancing her time between business and training for competition. Her posts on social media vary from promotional photos from the television show to nutritional and exercise tips.

Monday’s episode of American Ninja Warrior, filmed in June in Las Vegas, will air at 8 p.m. Monday on KCRA-3 in the Sacramento region. Shumaker said she’ll be watching the episode with a few close friends.

Update Sept. 4, 2018: Anna Shumaker ’14 got her turn on the biggest stage of NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, and she said she’s ready for another go. 

“I am still really happy with the season I had this year,” she said in an Instagram post after a fall early in her run at the final round aired this week. “Qualifying to the National Finals was a dream come true. Now it’s time to get back to work for next season because I plan on hitting some buzzers next year.”

The competitors who advanced to the second round will compete again Sept. 10.