I know what you are thinking, which is the same as what I was thinking when I was asked if I wanted to be one of the champions on Survivor… WHY?
I have a super soft bed, in fact choosing beds is one of my superpowers, I get the right mattress, pillows and sheets all designed for the perfect night’s sleep. I have a seriously gorgeous looking husband, kids that I really like (you HAVE to love them, I actually like mine) great friends and an interesting diverse life so why would I give up all this to sleep outside with no 1000 thread count sheets (nor a bed for that matter!) spooning complete strangers for warmth, that will no doubt smell? The answer is really simple… life is there to be lived.
When starting Boost, we wanted a positioning line and I kept coming back to ‘Love Life’. Boost’s decision for ‘Love Life’ was simple: create a business that can help me achieve my ‘love life’ as well as helping our staff and customers to do the same. ‘Love Life’ for me was creating a business that could give me the freedom to work the way I wanted to work. For the customers it was to create a store, product and staff that can help them feel that little bit better with a great tasting product and real ingredients in a fun environment all served with a smile.
So how on Earth, after having this view on life, can you say no to an experience like Survivor? Especially after being a huge a fan of the show for years.
I had worked with the production house, EndemolShine, on Shark Tank. They are a great professional production house so I knew that I was in good hands. I also knew that there was not going to be any special treatment (damn it!) as they take their role of creating great shows very seriously.
DAY ONE: What have I gotten myself into?
I am just at the start of my Survivor journey and I know you sceptics out there think that a lot of TV is for show and surely there is a toilet and shower somewhere? Maybe for some shows it is a bit fake, but not survivor, they take this show really seriously. Once you meet your chaperone, who is there to make sure that you do not speak to any other contestants, with a smiley face she asks you for your phone, wallet and passport – I think just in case you change your mind at the last minute and wanna do a runner! For someone like me, who loves to be in control of her life, it was a strange feeling to hand over contact to the outside world, my family and friends. But in another way, it was quite liberating. I always have the need to be connected, I get back to people quickly, I make decisions even quicker and I am a machine with the amount of work I can get through. When I work, I have my computer, iPad and phone all around me so that I can multitask.
Timing for Survivor could not be worse, right now I have two businesses that are looking at major change which need my input. I am on the board of directors of a business that is having a major strategy meeting and to top this off the house that I have been building for the last 18 months (which I am the only one that really knows what all the moving piece are) is in its final stages of being complete – if my husband changes even one wall colour I blow a gasket! But how can you say no to this experience given a chance to really see what you are made of? One thing life has taught me is that you really do not know how anyone will react in certain circumstances until they are in them.
Yes, I am competitive and in decent physical shape but have I become softer as I’ve gotten older? Have I lost my winning edge with this soft life of mine? The next few days and weeks will tell.
Fear was what drove me when starting a business all those years ago and it is a great motivator to being prepared. Fear of Survivor has also made me prepare as well as I could. I truly believe that if you know you have done as much preparation as possible then if you fail you will have no regrets. My prep started with me watching every immunity challenge that I could fine on You tube, then I discovered TEN all access which had every Survivor series form the start so I devoured over 100 hours of survivor over the weeks. I am not sure this really helped as what I concluded was that you have to be humble, nice, strong and very lucky to not get voted out and the time that you are the most comfortable is probably the time when you will be going home.
After hours of internet research, one American contestant mentioned a puzzle app that she used so seconds later I was practicing a slide puzzle to try and get my brain into puzzle mode.
I met with a mental and physical expert, Paul Taylor, who discussed techniques for getting through the harder times and the challenges. Only time will tell if I implement these well.
I got to Fiji 24 hours earlier and met with a local who showed me basic techniques on food, fire and shelter. I increased my fitness resume and really reviewed my diet practising a 16 hour fast so that my body was good with no food for longer periods of time.
When I arrived at Nadi airport I felt as prepared as I possibly could to start Survivor but the reality is, no preparation was going to be enough for the experience I was about to have.
To begin this Survivor journey I was taken to my room and given the house rules I must follow. I cannot leave my room, talk to anyone other than the chaperone (lucky she is really nice) and wait for hours to be briefed.
We are then escorted to the beach, we are literally left on a deserted island, this is the real deal, we are heading to our first challenge.
The strange thing is, I keep thinking about things I need to tell people and I had no way of doing so. This digital detox maybe just what I need – we will see over the coming episodes.