Pearland athlete inspires addicts to reach 'natural high' on NBC's 'American Ninja Warrior'

PEARLAND, Texas – It's heart pumping drama -- man against obstacle, contestants from all walks of life battling for the title "American Ninja Warrior" on the NBC hit series.

Among the contestants will be Pearland's own Gabriel Fuzat.

"It's basically like a playground for adults and you don't know what you're going to expect when you get there," Fuzat said.

The 40-year-old's ninja training takes place at Iron Sports in Northwest Houston.

Fuzat was urged by a patient to compete at the Memorial Hermann Prevention and Recovery Center (PaRC), where he is a wellness specialist helping recovering addicts conquer their demons through confidence, teamwork and trust.

"Like '(American) Ninja Warrior,' it's falling in love with the process," Fuzat said. "It's going to be something that's very difficult, but it's something that you have to work on every day if you want to receive the results that you want."

Fuzat said he hopes his turn on "American Ninja Warrior" will serve as an inspiration for those struggling to reclaim their lives.

"Many times people are looking for that quick dopamine fix in their brain from addiction. So what we're trying to do is we're getting them away from their unnatural way of getting that and moving them toward a natural way of getting that through helping others," Fuzat said. "It can be through exercise, anything that's going to get that natural high, and this is the highest thing I've ever done."

Of the 100 contestants on this season's "American Ninja Warrior," 22 of them are from Iron Sports.

You can cheer on Fuzat and his fellow warriors at a watch party at the gym June 3, and you can watch the entire season on Local 2.