By Heidi Glaus
St. Louis (KSDK) - It is known as the world's toughest obstacle course. If you watch American Ninja Warrior for a few seconds and you can see why.
Those obstacles, however, are something Matthew Derouen has wanted to tackle since he was 17 in the small town of Louisville, Illinois.
"We were looking up gymnastics videos because we wanted to learn how to do back flips and we found Ninja Warrior videos when they were in Japan and we saw the obstacles course and thought that's amazing I want to get on that show," said Derouen.
So this year Matt D, as he's known, decided to reach for his dream and headed to Dallas to throw everything he had at it.
"It was intimidating when I first got there it's bigger than it looked like on TV," said Derouen.
The thing is he didn't train the way you might expect.
"I trained by playing competitive dodge ball and rock climbing," he added.
His balance, strength and sheer determination paid off and he made it to the finals in Las Vegas.
"I couldn't be happier about how I did," said Derouen.
Which means he could be $500,000 richer, but unfortunately he's not allowed to say because the episode hasn't aired yet.
But this is what we do know: he is tougher than most whether he beat that obstacle course or not.
You can see how Derouen does next Monday at 8 p.m. on NewsChannel 5.