|— Christina M. Rau / GatsbyGirl
As a New Yorker, I know a lot about fear and heartache. I also know a lot about pushing through to overcome all that. I know what it’s like to have to arrive at JFK at least two hours before a flight to go through security. I know what it’s like to try to ignore the fact that I am indeed on a plane with complete strangers and my life is in the hands of a crew that hopefully knows what they’re doing. I know what it’s like to wonder if this flight will be my last flight. I know that fear and heartache should not be able to stop anyone from learning about the world firsthand, and that travel is a key to knowing yourself as well as others. Therefore, I’ve been fortunate enough to know Caribbean sun, London rain, Paris lights, Mexican mosquitoes, and, most recently, German snow. More importantly, I know the feeling of complete bliss when I come back from wherever I’ve been to land home home home.
What I don’t know is how I would be able to go through the necessaryness of packing, unpacking, repacking, airport sleeping and waiting, seat shifting, bag checking, and security checks for months at a time combined with the pressure of encountering challenges that involved deep sea dives, bungee jumping, sky diving, alligators, lions, tree climbing, grape stomping, swimming, swinging, eating pounds of meat and goulash, knowing that if I don’t do all that, I could lose a million dollars that’s up for grabs.
And that’s why The Amazing Race is called The Amazing Race.
Dictionary.com defines “amazing” as “inspiring awe or admiration or wonder.” That’s what happens every week when I watch. Aside from throwing things at the screen whenever MoJo appears, which I’ve been doing since the first episode of the season simply because they [i]named themselves[/i] MoJo and had shirts and all, I have time to think about travel. Aside from cheering on The Hippies and cringing when they get on everyone else’s nerves because I don’t want them to be the hated team, I find my heart and mind racing about where they are lucky enough to be while I’m sitting on my couch.
When terrorists attacked New York City and Washington DC, I asked my friend who also watches the show, “What’s going to happen to The Amazing Race?” The thought of losing Phil every week after having lost so much at home was too devastating for me. Then CBS answered my question with a new season. Teams raced. Teams flew. Teams traveled around the globe one more time. They experienced new cultures. They acted like ugly Americans. They learned about themselves. They fell down hills, got covered in dirt and mud, wrecked their cars, filled up their vans with diesel, fought, ate, loved, rested, slept out in the street, gave up, gave in, and then gave it their all.
[b]And THIS is why I love reality TV[/b]: I get to go places and learn what not to do while I’m there. I get to live vicariously. I get to see all the wonders of the world right in my own living room. The Amazing Race especially reminds me every week that life does indeed go on, and fear cannot keep us under lock and key at home. That’s pretty amazing to me.
Do you love Phil as much as I do? Email me: Christina@realityshack.com or visit http://christinamrau.blogspot.com