The Peninsula’s Ninja Warrior

By Melissa Walsh

He grew up on the Mornington Peninsula, attended local schools and joined the Defence Force in 2005, being deployed to Iraq as a rifleman in 2007. Two years later, he was pulled out due to severe malnutrition. He went on to achieve great accolades in the army and became heavily involved with CrossFit. This year, however, Cobi Head is probably better known as Captain America in the popular Nine Network show Australian Ninja Warrior. Cobi tells Peninsula Essence about his experience on the show that sees everyday Aussies take on the holy grail of obstacle courses to claim the title of Australian Ninja Warrior.

“I decided to give the competition a crack about a year ago and used my training in CrossFit to get me through,” said Cobi, who now lives in Darwin. “Training in CrossFit gives me all the physical strength I need so I just continued that way.”

Cobi must have done something right as his skills and training helped him breeze through his first heat with the equal fastest time on the night.

“The first obstacles I had to face included the quintuple steps, the bomb slider, ball and chains and the wall run,” said Cobi, who dressed in his hero’s Captain America outfit. “I have always loved Marvel comics from the time I was a kid so figured this costume was perfect and easy to move in.”

Going to Cockatoo Island in Sydney, where the show is filmed, was an exciting experience for the 33-year-old who says he made a few great friends along the way.

“We arrived at this amazing location and there were about 50 of us in the same heat. As we were getting off the boat on the island, people who had already done the competition were leaving; it was very surreal coming up to the island and seeing the obstacle course which was huge. Mt Midoriyama is about 25 metres high and literally stood out and towered over everything else,” said Cobi. “The most challenging thing about the obstacles was having a plan but then going over it and changing the plan completely. You can watch a thousand people go through it but you don’t know really what it’s like until you are up there.”

Going into the competition with no expectations, Cobi says he was thrilled to get into the semi-finals.

“I was really proud of that effort and was rapt to get the Berocca Performance of the Night in my heat as well,” he said.

These days Cobi spends his time in Darwin as a physical training instructor and is opening his new CrossFit Gym in Winnellie.

“The new gym is called CrossFit Abode and it is a well-planned and constructed program that promotes competence in each of the ten general physical skills; endurance, strength, speed, power, agility, balance, coordination, stamina, accuracy and flexibility. Our program is scalable to suit absolutely anyone, regardless of age, injury, disability, or fitness level,” said Cobi.

First published in Peninsula Essence – October 2017

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