By Brendan Rees
Stay-at-home dad Steve Taylor-Madin says he will give his all in his quest to become Australian’s next ninja warrior.
Nicknamed “Monkey Steve” because his daughter says he’s “always climbing”, the 37-year-old of Narre Warren will be a contestant on Channel Nine’s reality smash hit, Australian Ninja Warrior when season four returns on 26 July.
And the stakes have been raised with the addition of the daunting Power Tower.
Mr Taylor-Madin says he’s normally “quiet, shy, and reserved” and has never taken on a challenge of “this scale” as he joins 140 ninjas to claim the $100,000 prize.
“Having this physical exercise along with the mental challenge of the obstacle, that’s been huge for me.”
But he admits: “I had every bit of confidence in myself in my ability.”
At 69 kilograms and 171cm tall, the former cycling retail manager hopes his agility and “super high” jumping ability will get him across the line.
His training regime has included gym exercises, rock climbing, cycling, running with his dog, monkey bar climbing, and “bucket loads of pull-ups”.
“Instead of sitting on the sidelines I would be out there on the monkey bars,” he says of the times he took his nine-year-old daughter Evelyn to a park.
“That was essentially good training. It’s a lot more fun, you don’t feel like you’re working out as such.”
He adds his daughter was actually the reason that he applied for the show and describes himself as an “overgrown child” who loves to have his nails painted by his daughter.
Mr Taylor-Madin says he still been able to remain fit and active despite breaking his back at the age of 21 while BMX riding in Cranbourne, which took 10 years to properly recover.
He’s also a keen photographer and says his nerves will be “right up there” as he faces the camera and lights for the first time.
“I’m always behind a camera but very, very rarely am I in front of the camera.”