Life Lessons from The Amazing Race


Apr 05 2016

Gold Tape


As I type, I am zooming backwards on a train to Birmingham:

a change of plans since my original transfer was cancelled, along with my forward-facing seat reservation. I had carefully penned the details of my journey in my planner, paying special attention to exact transfer and arrival times. Well, that plan has been – pun intended – derailed. While this kind of sudden upheaval of plan used to stress and anger me, I am no longer prone to such nasty feelings. Why? Because I started watching The Amazing Race.

Change of plans? Having navigational problems? Cue Amazing Race theme. Boom. No problem. 

Sister and I had a navigational nightmare on the way to Sleep No More

Let’s put it this way:

  • Time to walk from our hotel to the McKittrick: 30 minutes
  • Time spent waiting at hotel for car: 15 minutes
  • Time we spent walking in the opposite direction to get to car faster: 15 minutes
  • Time we spent waiting for our car: 30 more minutes
  • (Time car actually showed up: Never)

At this point we started walking towards the McKittrick in hopes of catching a cab. Actually we were jogging at this point. We never found one, and were getting tired, so we grabbed a pedicab. But did we stress out? Okay a little. But did we stress out a lot? No. We filmed a preliminary Amazing Race casting video instead, because that’s how the journey felt. 

We got to the show fine. We weren’t an hour early, like I would prefer [and recommend, SNM-goers], but it was an adventure, that we will remember forever, that inspired a script for a short film my sister wrote, and will eventually get us cast on The Amazing Race, which we will win. I’d say that’s worth it.


Being a heroine in training is about identifying yourself as the leading role in your life.

Whether you are a Jane Austen heroine, a Hogwarts student, or, in this case, star of a reality show, it’s about a sense of awareness of the greater context of your experience. Imagining that I’m in a race around the world gives me a challenge to focus on. If I were being filmed, I would not roll my eyes in frustration when I see that my train has been cancelled. If catching the new transfer train were a competition rather than just a blip on my day’s schedule, I would not mope. Nay, I would hustle. It’s more fun to look at life like a game. Let’s enjoy that game, whatever surprises it throws at us. Let’s play.


P.S. More life lessons from reality tv: SurvivorAmerica’s Next Top Model

P.P.S. Are you following this season of the Amazing Race? If so, tweet me your favourite team!

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