St. Charles Marine tests his physical limits on TV

  • Nate Aye of St. Charles has replicated some of the obstacles from the TV show "American Ninja Warrior," including the warped wall, in his Lombard gym. He'll be featured on the show this weekend on two different networks.

      Nate Aye of St. Charles has replicated some of the obstacles from the TV show "American Ninja Warrior," including the warped wall, in his Lombard gym. He'll be featured on the show this weekend on two different networks. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Nate Aye and his father constructed a replica of the globe hang challenge in his Lombard gym, the Golden Age Strength Club.

      Nate Aye and his father constructed a replica of the globe hang challenge in his Lombard gym, the Golden Age Strength Club. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Nate Aye, owner of Golden Age Strength Club in Lombard, demonstrates how he trained for his appearance on the "American Ninja Warrior" TV show.

      Nate Aye, owner of Golden Age Strength Club in Lombard, demonstrates how he trained for his appearance on the "American Ninja Warrior" TV show. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 5/25/2012 6:19 PM

More than 2,700 athletes have attempted to complete what has been dubbed the world's most difficult obstacle course and only three succeeded.

St. Charles strongman Nate Aye hopes to add his name to the list this weekend.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Aye, a 27-year-old Marine veteran, is one of 100 competitors chosen to attempt the "American Ninja Warrior" challenge earlier this spring. And he couldn't wait to put his 5-foot-9-inch, 170-pound body to the test.

Whether he succeeded will be revealed this weekend as the G4 network and NBC broadcast the results of the regional tryouts filmed in March in Dallas.

"I've been a huge fan of the show for several years so it was a dream come true to step onto the stage and participate," said Aye, who served three tours in Iraq between 2002 and 2006. "Nothing is more fun to me than that kind of challenge. I'm constantly moving and doing things to challenge my body so this is a natural fit."

He can't explain it, but he says the physical challenge in this competition is different from anything he's faced.

"There's a lot of boredom as you stand around waiting and then when it's your turn to go, it's 60 seconds of the highest tempo, highest adrenaline activity you can imagine," he said. "There's some luck, too, because the margin for error is so slim. You see guys who have all the physical tools fail because they just weren't on that day."

For those wanting to see where Aye gets taxed the most, he suggests you keep a close eye on him as he completes the warped wall and globe hang portions of the obstacle course.

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"The warped wall is a 14-foot vertical ramp that you run up, spring off and grab the top to pull yourself up and over. It's nuts," he said. "And the globe hang? Picture monkey bars but with baseballs and on an incline."

While the Sunday and Monday airings will show the regional qualifying rounds, Aye said he also filmed the competition finals in April in Las Vegas. He is contractually prohibited from sharing details of the filming but said it "would be worthwhile" for family and friends to tune in when the finals air in July to see if he claims the $500,000 prize.

If he wins, Aye said he plans to invest in his new Golden Age Strength Club in Lombard and "donate to some good causes."

"The money would be great but I really did this for two reasons," he said. "This challenge was a dream of mine and I wanted to show my two sons how important it is to chase your dreams and put your all into whatever you want to accomplish."

And he plans to accomplish it over and over again. Since the tapings, he already has replicated some of the obstacles in his gym to help train himself and his clients.

"I'm going to do this until I'm too" old," he said, "I'm hooked."

You can catch the "American Ninja Warrior" preliminaries from 8 to 10 p.m. Sunday on G4 and from 8 to 10 p.m. Monday on NBC.

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