COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Following his personal belief that people have the potential to be the best they can be, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson offers exceptional everyday men and women the opportunity to push themselves in extreme tests of strength, endurance and mental fortitude. These contenders compete in intense head-to-head battles, with the winners battling it out in the ultimate physical challenge on Mount Olympus for the chance to become a Titan. In the final round, the Titans face off against one another in the hope of becoming the last male and female competitor standing.
"The Titan Games" is a sports competition series of 10 episodes, which premiered on NBC on Jan. 3. Hosted by Johnson, the show features people from across the United States competing in endurance-based mental and physical challenges.
In the show's inaugural season, Wayne County native Christina Luna was one of 64 competitors selected from across the country. Luna said a show like this isn't something she would normally set out to do but has been challenging herself of late to step outside of her comfort zone.
"It's definitely outside of the box for me. I don't typically do things like this but I've tried to do new things over the past few years and thought that this would be a fun one," Luna said. "I got the phone call and they said I was one of the 64 contestants that were chosen and I was blown away. I didn't think they would want me because I don't quite pair up to the other contestants' caliber of fitness and didn't feel like I belonged."
She got that call in early in August 2018 and began to plan how she would physically prepare herself for the show. "It's The Rock's show, so you've got to be strong," Luna said.
Before she got the call, Luna said she had already been training at a local cross-fit gym but made it a point to never skip a day in the gym regardless of circumstance.
"I didn't change my routine, just amped it up," Luna said. "It's funny because we had a bad hail storm in Colorado Springs that day and it actually totaled my car the day I got the call. I wasn't a great day and I was going to skip out on the gym but my daughters encouraged me to go to the gym that day. My daughters were so excited and they still are. They are my best friends and biggest supporters."
Once the show began recording, Luna said the challenges she participated in were "difficult beyond anything she could have ever imagined," but that it was humbling to be around other competitors on the show. She said some of her favorite moments stemmed from going head-to-head with other participants on the show and that the process has allowed her to challenge herself more than ever before.
The daily message from "The Rock" (Johnson) is that the Titan Games are designed to demonstrate that ordinary everyday people are capable of doing extraordinary things, going back to the show's slogan, "Titans aren't born, They're made."
Luna said she hopes her appearance on the show can inspire others from her home state of West Virginia. She moved to Wayne when she was in the fourth grade and still calls it "home" because that is where she grew up and had lived the longest. She left the area in 2007 after joining the military, lived in Washington state for a time then transferred to the Air National Guard and put down roots in Colorado Springs, where she also received her education to become a dental hygienist.
Her journey to a healthy lifestyle started quite a few years ago, but she said performing on "The Titan Games" has shown her just how much progress she has made in her journey.
"Most people's excuse for not getting in a healthy lifestyle is that they don't have time. Over the years I've made time to take care of myself," Luna said. "I have several friends back (in West Virginia) that I keep in contact with. My hope is that if they anyone is struggling to find motivation that they can watch the show and say 'Hey, I know her! That's Christina and if she can do something like that, then I can too.'"
Luna said that even when her time on the show comes to an end, she'll still be motivated to keep her self in "Titan" shape. She's taken her fitness journey all over the country and now to a national stage, but says she will always have a soft spot for her home in the hills.
"I love West Virginia and miss it dearly but it's kind of a cool transition because I came from a place that is known to be one the most unhealthy states in the country and now I live in Colorado which is considered one of the healthiest," Luna said. "I didn't have to leave West Virginia to make that happen but it's just kind of how the cards fell."