Fast Five with Meagan Martinby Andrew Maraniss
The former Commodore track and field star has gained fame as the first American Ninja Warrior women's champion.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Vanderbilt women’s track and field standout Meagan Martin, who set the school record in the indoor and outdoor pole vault in 2012, became the first American Ninja Warrior women’s champion in May and discusses her experiences on American Ninja Warrior, as well as her time at Vanderbilt and what the future may hold for her.
1. Were you the type of kid who was always running around, climbing on things?
Martin: I was definitely always running around and climbing on things as a kid. I was actually home-schooled in elementary school, and I used to climb up in the trees in my backyard and read the books that I was assigned. I was also lucky enough to start gymnastics at a really young age, so I got out a lot of energy out there.
2. What’s a behind-the-scenes tidbit or secret you can share about being on American Ninja Warrior?
Martin: One thing I always get asked is if you we get to practice the course first, and we definitely don’t. We are allowed to watch people go, but we are trying the obstacles for the first time.
3. What is your fondest memory from your time as a Vanderbilt student-athlete?
Martin: That’s definitely a hard one because there were so many amazing moments and I really enjoyed my time with my teammates and my coaches. I think I’d have to say one of the year’s that we went to the haunted house. Around Halloween we would go to this haunted house probably 25 minutes from campus. I had some teammates that were absolutely terrified, so it was quite a comical experience and a nice team bonding activity. I also just loved traveling to competitions with my teammates.
4. What advice do you have for Vanderbilt fans who need to get in better shape but don’t love to work out? What are some of your favorite fun exercises or activities you’d recommend?
Martin: It may surprise people, but I also don’t like to work out in the typical sense. That is why I love doing things like climbing and ninja, because it doesn’t feel like a workout. I do have to condition to make sure I get the right cross-training in, but I don’t enjoy that side of it. I think it’s important to diversify your workouts. Sprinkle in the workouts that are fun and don’t feel like a workout, whether it’s hiking, biking, climbing, dancing, etc. as long as you have workouts that are fun for you, it makes the tough conditioning workouts not so bad when you have to do them. I also think it’s important to make a plan and stick to it. If you have a friend to work out with that’s even better. That way you have an accountability buddy.
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5. You’ve built a devoted national following. What’s next for you? And do you have advice for Vanderbilt student-athletes on how to best use their platforms?
Martin: Why thank you so much, I feel very fortunate that there are people out there who have chosen to go on this journey with me. I’m definitely still enjoying being an athlete, but I am looking forward to making broadcasting more of my priority in the future. I think that it’s important to use your platform in an authentic way. Unfortunately, social media isn’t as honest as we would like it to be, so it’s important to stay true to yourself as well as use the platform to support causes that you truly believe in.