Just Watch Me


Since I betrayed my principles and actually started watching a reality t.v. show, I’ve occasionally mentioned that I want to go on The Amazing Race – along with all the reasons why it would be a complete and utter disaster. I happened to say something to my mother about it again after Sunday’s season finale when our favorites, Tammy and Victor, won the million dollars.

She replied, “You could probably do it, with some training, but you don’t want to badly enough, right?” And we laughed.

But that set me thinking.  I started compiling a list of all the things I’d need to do in order to survive The Amazing Race:

1) Stay up past my bedtime.

2) Buy a bathing suit, take swimming lessons, and probably get a bikini wax.

3) Eat things I ordinarily find distasteful without vomiting.

4) Get over my bird phobia.

5) Lasik eye surgery – can’t be messing with contacts and glasses in foreign countries.

6) Buff up enough to lug a gigantic backpack around the world and do other menial labor tasks required.

7) Rough it. I’m kind of a princess.

8) Run without feeling like someone has reached into my chest, yanked on my trachea, and squeezed my lungs like a couple of wet sponges.

Those are just the necessities. Added bonuses would include: familiarizing myself with foreign languages, understanding other currencies, learning to drive a car with manual transmission…

After compiling that list, I thought, why not? All of those things would be good for me anyway, there’s no reason not to try and achieve those goals, race or no race. Will it be easy? No.  Will I succeed? Beats me; I do have a tendency to lose interest in pledges I make towards self-improvement. So why would I put myself through all that when my life is great the way it is?

I was born with a genetic condition, one that’s caused me a lot of pain or discomfort, but also gave me an excuse to avoid things for most of my life, ever since my first surgery in the eighth grade.  I’m tired of feeling sorry for myself.

I’ve had a fantastic life so far, and I’m an extremely lucky person.  I’ve traveled to several countries, and I have everything I could possibly want. But I’ve lived a very sheltered life.  I’m afraid of spontaneity, afraid of losing control, afraid of not knowing what will happen next. I don’t want to be hampered by that fear for the rest of my life, I want to experience more. The places the Race goes, the opportunities you have, they are, in fact, amazing. I promised myself a few years ago that I wouldn’t say no to an opportunity out of fear.

Of course, I don’t particularly want to be the first person to die during The Amazing Race either, so look out YMCA, here I come.

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