Thursday, May 12, 2016

Grieving Loss

I have loved watching Survivor since the second season it aired.

I didn't love it the first season. In fact, I couldn't understand why anyone would ever want to watch such a stupid show. A bunch of castaways on an island voting each other off and someone wins a million dollars. That didn't make any sense to me. My (now ex-) step-son came home from elementary school talking about how everyone was watching this show so we turned it on one night. It happened to be an episode where two of the castaways were hooking up every chance they got. First of all--not appropriate viewing for middle schoolers. Second of all...GROSS. These people were supposedly not bathing and didn't have basic hygiene items such as deodorant and toothpaste. Not to mention every other factor that made this WRONG. So, I said we would not be watching that vile show in our house.

Fast forward to season two (in the fall of 2000). The first show aired and everyone at work was abuzz about it. I wasn't buying in. After several shows, a co-worker told me how it was a very different season than before. No one was having random hook-ups and the show was focusing more on the social interactions and physicality of the challenges. I decided we'd try again. That night was when Michael Skupin fell into the camp fire and had to be evacuated from the game. THAT wasn't what hooked me, it was the reactions from his opponents and the fall out surrounding him leaving the game. I can't explain it but I fell in love with the show that night. I have watched every single episode of every single season (including going back and watching season one).

It wasn't too long before I starting thinking maybe I could be on that show. I wasn't super strong but I felt like I could play a decent social game and I thought I could mentally handle it. I want to say it was in the winter of 2005 they announced a casting call in a town about an hour away from where I lived. I STRONGLY considered it, but I just couldn't wrap my head around being gone from my kids (who were 13 and 11 at the time, and a step son who was 15). It was 39 days not including the travel there and home. Plus I was  THIRTY SIX at the time...not a spring chicken anymore! (Oh little did I know.) I passed on it and just months later I was knee deep in an ugly and very painful divorce.

Every season since then I have watched with the idea of "maybe one day". As I trained for Ironman Lake Tahoe I would mentally construct my audition video. Following IMLT I had my shoulder surgery so I wanted to wait until I was healed from that. Then I was training for my second IM and didn't want to interrupt that goal. After finishing IMChoo last fall I started considering the possibility of auditioning a little more seriously. But then I started having the "health weirdness".

Ever since hearing "you have an incurable autoimmune brain disease" I have slowly begun to let go of the idea that I could ever be a castaway on Survivor.

Hear me out here. I don't say this because I would stop wanting to be on the show. I don't say this even thinking that it would be physically/mentally impossible. I say this because there is NO WAY the show would allow someone with my diagnosis to go.

Not having a chance at Survivor seems like a stupid little thing. It's really just a symbol.

A very ironic one at that.

Thanks for stopping by and for sticking around.

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