Team Ninja Warrior Beth Crosby

From Primary Presidency to Team Ninja Warrior: LDS Athlete Puts Spirituality First

Mesa Latter-day Saint Beth Higginbotham Crosby, who competed on American Ninja Warrior in 2013 and, last year, was chosen for Team Ninja Warrior, hopes to be selected for the show again this year. Photo by Beth Crosby

Mesa Latter-day Saint Beth Higginbotham Crosby, who competed on American Ninja Warrior in 2013 and, last year, was chosen for Team Ninja Warrior, hopes to be selected for the show again this year. Photo by Beth Crosby

It may seem like an oxymoron—a counselor in a Mesa Primary presidency competing as a member of Team Ninja Warrior.

For Beth Higginbotham Crosby, it’s a perfect fit.

An Arizona State University graduate married since October to Camron Crosby, Beth is a member of the Park Center Ward, Mesa North Stake.

She and her twin, Suzy, were raised in Mesa.

“I grew up as an athlete,” Beth says. “I started gymnastics when I was three and did a variety of sports all my life.”

Beth Crosby enjoys using her athletic abilities to compete and coach, but says, as rewarding as that is, her spiritual life comes first. Photo by Beth Crosby

Beth Crosby enjoys using her athletic abilities to compete and coach, but says, as rewarding as that is, her spiritual life comes first. Photo by Beth Crosby

Except for the year she took off with a back injury in the 8th grade, Beth competed over the years in everything from track to diving, from triathlons to snowboarding. She was a pre-elite gymnast and a competitive power-lifter.

In addition, Beth has coached countless others, helping them get in shape and improve their athleticism, whether for recreation or competition.

“I have taught swim lessons for six or eight months out of the year since I was 14,” she says. “I have taught gymnastics—tumbling and cheer—for the past 13 years.”

Once really shy, Beth says, “Coaching has helped me grow and be more outgoing and able to engage in conversations.”

She has taught at different gyms and through the city of Mesa, but now offers primarily in-home classes. She also provides myopractic therapy in clients’ homes, coaches at Danceworks by Dannis and works with individuals with special needs.

“It’s almost like I have eight part-time jobs,” Beth says. She has considered cutting back or focusing on one thing, but says, “I love doing everything I do.”

On that long list of “loves” is also coaching and competing in Parkour, an obstacle-course type activity typically performed in parks and other urban areas.

Beth enjoys using her gymnastic and athletic ability to perform for the Circus School of AZ and Vertical Fix, as well.

“I’d rather perform any day than compete,” she says, “but competing challenges me to be better overall. In circus performances, I’ve had to tell them I won’t wear certain costumes because they aren’t modest, so that limits me, but modesty is more important than a job or performance.”

Beth’s involvement with the Ninja Warrior series has provided similar opportunities for her to be an example.

“Out of the thousands I’ve met who are involved in the show, only four or so are members of the Church,” she says.

Beth was selected in 2013 for Season 5 and 2014 for Season 6 of American Ninja Warrior and has been involved in testing the obstacles and equipment used on the show since 2013. She also competed on the first episode of Team Ninja Warrior in October of 2015 and is hoping to be selected again this year.

“I don’t compete on Sunday, so that has raised a lot of questions and given me a chance to talk about the Church,” she says.

She always takes a Book of Mormon with her when traveling, hoping for an opportunity to give a copy away.

Most of all, Beth says, she tries to maintain perspective.

“I do all the athletic things I do for fun. It’s not my life. It’s just part of my life. The spiritual side is always more important than the physical side,” she says.

Most of all, she recognizes, “If you are doing what’s right, you will be blessed.”

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