Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Ultimate Fitness Challenge - Survivor!

The cast of Survivor
Survivor Kaoh Rong is the 32nd! season of this CBS show

One of the perks of exercising is looking better; another is feeling great. But imagine the ultimate benefit of of being fit - winning the Survivor competition and netting a cool $1 million.
I recently attended the premiere of the new season, Survivor Kaoh Rong, where host Jeff Probst and a couple of previous winners, Parvati Shallow and Stephen Fishbach, chatted about the show and the current crop of cast-aways.

Imagine this - you are on a remote, gorgeous island - in this case, in Thailand, with a bunch of strangers, all competing and strategizing to be the last one standing. I enjoyed my inaugural mud run, but this is way more intense - a grueling 39 days of competition.
Live streaming with Parvati Shallow, Jeff Probst and  and Stephen Fishbach

In this Survivor edition, the competitors are broken into three groups, or tribes: Brains, Beauty and Brawn. The one contestant who looked to be about my age (let’s just say, shall we, “of a certain age”) was in the Brains group but I loved Jeff Probst’s answer to a question about what group he would want to be placed in.

He said that he felt he would be equally at home in any group, and that most people would probably feel the same way. Though the one self-professed ‘skinny guy’ with Eugene Levy eyebrows questioned his placement in the Beauty tribe.

This reality show requires a mental toughness that could elude many contestants- in the first episode, a Brawn tribe member is reduced to tears when an insect burrows deep in her ear. The challenges in Survivor reminded me of the movie The Revenant, where Leonardo DiCaprio had to escape murderous fellow trappers, murderous native Americans, murderous French, extreme cold, a bear mauling and a premature burial. And that was in about the first 10 minutes.

Besides having to swim, dive, and haul a boat up a huge hill, the Survivor contestants had to put together a puzzle. So my crossword puzzle should really count towards my fitness regime.

Thanks to Beth Feldman and CBS Radio for this opportunity to meet real Survivors.

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