CARLSBAD — By the slimmest of margins, former La Costa Canyon High School grad Nika Sedghi was eliminated from NBC’s “Titan Games.”
During last week’s episode, Sedghi, 25, lost to Christiana Rugloski during the Cyclone event in the quarterfinals of the popular fitness show. Sedghi, though, earned the title of “titan” for being one of the eight top women, out of 32, on the show.
However, Rugloski had just enough juice to escape Sedghi’s challenge, reaching the final and battling for the grand prize. The challenge has participants swing a 60-pound ball on a rope, knocking over five pillars.
During Sedghi’s stint on the show, she won two challenges including Mt. Olympus, which is one of the tougher events. The show’s finale will pit the top competitors against each other, with each winner taking home $100,000 grand prize.
Regardless, Sedghi, a former San Diego State water polo player, who is currently a mechanical engineer, said it was the experience of a lifetime.
“It was incredible, to say the least,” she said. “More so than walking away with 64 friends and athletes for life, it was the ability to share my story. That is my biggest takeaway from this.”
Sedghi said the show, and its exposure, has led to new opportunities for her coaching and lending tips in health, fitness and nutrition. She said she responds to anyone who reaches out to her, and will continue to do so, over social media to lend advice and encouragement.
While at SDSU, she suffered an injury, which led to her gaining weight and losing confidence, Sedghi said in December. But, she rebounded, finished her career, lost the weight and continued her workouts, even with a heart condition.
Since her time in college, she has continued to promote health and nutrition through various ways, including self-publishing an e-book titled “Outsmarting Your Brain with Nutrition Basics” on her website.
“The way they were able to capture my story, my heart condition, the weight loss transformation and show other women out there that they can work full time and accomplish fitness goals,” Sedghi said. “That’s the most meaningful thing to come out of this.”
And while the show exposed Sedghi to a national audience and people reaching out for advice, she said the host, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, could not have set a better example.
Johnson is one of the world’s biggest stars, from his beginnings as a wrestler in WWE to the silver screen as an action star. Sedghi said Johnson took time to meet with each competitor, offering support and gratitude, while jet setting in between to attend to other projects.
One of the main concepts, she said, is to showcase everyday people who stay in shape. As such, Sedghi said Johnson personally thanked her for taking time out of her schedule and life to compete on the show.
“There’s no words to truly say what a humble, hardworking man The Rock is,” she said. “Throughout the whole filming process, we saw his hustle, his heart and how badly he wanted to give ordinary people something extraordinary.”
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.