August 15, 2011
Before I fill you in on some of the backstory from last week’s episode, I’d like to share a few comments that mean so much to Jeff, Ike, and me. The three of us suffered a lot over this month-long adventure. But sentiments like these make all that pain and discomfort worth it!
I have never experienced so much excitement watching a reality show as when I watch you guys come together and succeed where so many would give up! Each of you shows so much strength and commitment to each other and your bravery is just friggin’ incredible. Thank you for being an inspiration to me and my son and the rest of the world.
You are the kinds of people who I like to know are in the world: sincere, full of adventure and determination. And this week's episode underlined it even more. Seriously, as if it wasn't enough watching Erik jump off a 40-foot cliff because Jeff told him he'd *probably* survive. Watching both of you be such good sports and positive people while Ike reaches deep for even more courage—to work through the pain—is simply amazing. Determination, courage, loyalty—you name it, you show it. Thank you.
No Limits started as the team “with the blind guy” – that is how you were defined by others…not yourselves. Then all of a sudden, you were no longer the team with the blind guy, but the team with the guy with the busted ankle. But really what you are in the team that works as team—with heart, with dignity, with strength, and with a sense of humor. I watch the show on the edge of my seat each week, and will continue to do so. Routing for No Limits…not because you are the “underdog” team or the “disabled” team, but because you are the team that has taught me to overcome my own challenges, and not to be defined by others.
My five-year-old son loves you guys! He almost started crying tonight when it looked like you wouldn't be able to make it to the finish. Then when he saw that you might have a chance he was on his feet jumping up and down and cheering you on!
After the show we had a chance to talk about being brave and not giving up. He said he was going to be brave even if he got hurt, just like Ike. So I asked him what if he lost his sight or another one of his senses. He said he'd be brave, just like Erik. So, I pushed it and asked him what if his friend was injured or lost his sight. He said he would help him, just like Jeff!
We all know most reality TV is absolute garbage. And I know it will sound weird but the way you guys pushed yourselves and never gave up really allowed my son and I to talk about real, important life lessons. He really looks up to you all, so I just wanted to say thanks!
When we signed up for this big, crazy adventure, we had little idea what we were getting ourselves into. And once underway, we had no idea what an impact it would have upon others. Even once it started airing, we didn’t fully realize how powerfully it would affect others.
One of the things that makes me proud about being involved with Expedition Impossible is the message it sends. I won’t let my kids watch other reality shows because I don’t want them thinking the way to get to the top is by backstabbing. The cool thing about this show is it’s a bunch of teams competing as hard as they can, trying to do their best. And once you get to camp, nearly everyone is a buddy; talking and laughing, sharing cramped goat herder tents, fighting windstorms together.
For the most part, everyone was into the spirit of a traditional adventure race. Only one team was trying to do some of the “alliance” silliness, the rest were content to compete on their own merits. In the end, good teamwork is what defines success.
This last episode was clearly a defining moment for Team No Limits. Even in our bleakest moments, we never fell apart. After that swim, all of the other teams passed us and were so far ahead that Jeff couldn’t even see them on the horizon. Ike was feeling truly miserable for letting us down. But instead of turning on each other and imploding, like some other teams, we stuck together and accepted our fate.
There was no way we were quitting but we were forced to slow down for the first time. After three weeks of frenetically racing around Morocco, this was the first time that I really appreciated the amazing landscape around us: the massive openness, pastures with grazing sheep, spectacular mountains and canyons.
That calmness, combined with us not freaking out with each other, allowed us to keep plugging away. We all knew there was a remote possibility that another team might run into a problem with the next challenge. But we were so far off the back that it seemed unlikely. I even suggested stopping at a creek to go swimming but Jeff wanted to keep pushing hard.
And then we caught sight of the Cali Girls! In an instant, the adrenaline kicked in and we all charged hard…Ike hopped as fast as he could go. Jeff showed total leadership, telling each of us what to do and quickly solving the puzzle. He remembered the Bolder Boulder 10k running race is 6.2 miles and in no time figured we had traveled 310 miles.
We were giggling like little kids as we realized we were going to beat the Cali Girls. It was so improbable that we had overcome a 90-minute deficit and ended up 5 minutes ahead at the end! As we came up the hill to the finish line, the camp erupted in applause. The Gypsies in particular had already been morning our loss so they were especially pleased that we had survived one more day.
Alas, we only have one night of rest before the next episode—no rest for the weary, or injured! There’s one more team to be eliminated before the finals. And this next stage won’t be easy for Team No Limits. Perhaps we make it, perhaps not. Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed the show so far and will keep sending us comments.
Jeff’s blog: http://mountain-vision.blogspot.com/
Gypsies’ blog: http://www.themoderngypsies.com/blog/