How The Amazing Race Changed Me

I’ll admit, it’s strange to think about a reality show when actual reality seems so daunting. If you’re looking for a temporary distraction, tonight, Wednesday, March 2nd at 8pm EST there is a special two-hour finale of our time on The Amazing Race on CBS (pending breaking news announcements, which I am expecting.)

Photo: Courtesy of CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Penn and I started off on this weird journey two years ago… Pre-Covid, Pre-Ukrainian War, Pre-Everything. Thanks to the dedicated producers, we were able to finish after a 19-month pause in the height of the pandemic. I feel silly to say, especially now in light of current events, but The Amazing Race changed me.

Keep Showing Up

One of the most important things I learned about myself is this: I can have anxiety and still be brave. I applaud The Amazing Race for including the bits where I have talked openly about my struggles with anxiety. I can tell you that this was, without a doubt, the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I’m so proud of myself for showing up and making it this far. I will admit, there were moments I felt the anxiety was winning, but I kept showing up. I learned that even when I feel that familiar fear start to take over, I can still do hard things. I sometimes think to myself, if I  can do a 722-foot bungee jump … I can do anything. 

At this point in the race, I’m missing my kids immensely. We could bring a notebook, but it had to be blank (so no one would write in languages or maps or any way to cheat the system.)

Once they checked my notebook was indeed blank, I wrote my kids’ sports and school schedules in the back. Every day I’d wake up and picture where they were and pray for them through their matches and meets. It was so hard to be away from them… twice.

Our Final Thoughts

On the day of this 10th leg in Portugal, my son was in his first district-wide Cross-Country meet, and my daughter was in an important tennis match. Because of the time difference we were all (even countries apart) starting at the same exact time. As hard as it was, I knew my kids were across an ocean giving it their best. It helped motivate me on this very stressful day, knowing we were all together in this strange way. 

Photo: Courtesy of CBS ©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Now, almost exactly TWO YEARS since this journey started, it’s ending. Preparing and planning for this has been such a big part of our lives, that I don’t even know what we will do with all this extra time and brain space. I am forever grateful for those that have followed our success and our missteps on this show. 

I hope we have made you proud.