Judging by Ben Polson's enviable physique, you could easily assume he has sailed through life. But the returning Australian Ninja Warrior contestant reveals he was bullied as a teenager.
"I was bullied all through high school," Ben, 25, tells TV WEEK. "That really affected me growing up.
"It took some great family and friends to keep me focused and happy. I'm a much stronger person now because of it."
To overcome that emotional obstacle, Ben drew on his inner strength and focus. He says he works on improving it even today – especially for his return to Australian Ninja Warrior.
"While I've always kept up my physical training, this year I spent a lot of time on my mental training – learning to calm the mind and stay focused under pressure," Ben explains.
Ben worked as a gardener and a DJ before entering the competition. Though he didn't win in 2017, he's back and better than ever.
He says it was "unfinished business" that drew him back to the course for a second shot.
"I don't just treat Ninja Warrior as a cheeky attempt on the big stage," he declares.
"I truly believe I can make it to Mt Midoriyama."
Of course, the contestant hasn't only found success in the competition. Ben has also found happiness in his personal life, after falling in love with fellow competitor Olivia Vivian.
"I fell for Olivia," he reveals. "She's changed my life.
"Olivia was exactly what I was looking for," Ben continues. "And I get to share her with Australia!"
The couple often share loved-up photos on social media, with many including their fellow contestant and regular third wheel, Jack Wilson.
Australian Ninja Warrior airs Monday and Tuesday, 7:30pm, and Sunday, 7pm, on the Nine Network.