SPORTS
07/04/2017 06:20 am ET Updated Jul 04, 2017

Man With Parkinson's Takes On 'American Ninja Warrior' Course, Inspires Us All

"The hardest step is that first step. Once you take that first step, the rest of it comes easy."

Jimmy Choi proved himself to be a true gladiator out on the “American Ninja Warrior” course.

The 41-year-old tech consultant from Bolingbrook, Illinois, defied his Parkinson’s disease to take on the notoriously tough run at the Kansas City qualifiers in footage that aired Monday.

He made quick work of both the floating steps and the tricky hang glider, before ultimately coming unstuck on the broken pipes obstacle.

“That right there ought to inspire everyone,” said the show’s host, Akbar Gbajabiamila, who later tweeted this message of support:

In an emotional preview video that was broadcast before his run, Choi revealed how he was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s when he was  27.

After several years of struggling to cope with his condition, he discovered that exercise helped him to manage it ― and he’s since run 13 marathons, cycled several 100-mile rides and competed in multiple triathlons.

In the process, he’s raised more than $100,000 for actor Michael J. Fox’s foundation, which funds research into the disease. He represented the organization on the show.

“My goal is to go out there and show everybody out there, no matter what they’re faced with, the hardest step is that first step,” said Choi, whose daughter inspired him to apply for the program. “Once you take that first step, the rest of it comes easy.”

His performance appeared to go down well with Twitter users:

Choi said he hopes to return to tackle the course again in 2018:

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