Normally I like to get my blog posts out in the morning but I am recuperating from a nasty bout of food poisoning so I was not able to get things ready to roll until now (I was also going to write on a completely different topic this week but my circumstances changed my agenda). More on that later.
This week I want to talk about a show that my husband and I have become addicted to: “Naked and Afraid”. If you have not caught this one yet, please do. It is super intense and might just make you appreciate your modern conveniences a bit more.
The concept behind “Naked and Afraid” is simple: two complete strangers (one male, one female) with survivalist skills are dropped into rugged areas with extreme weather conditions without any tools (except two that they can choose) and completely nude. Yep, not even shoes or underwear. They have to survive for 21 days and get this: there is no prize at the end.
If I had to compare it to any show it would be like “Survivor” but without all the bullshit, head games and cheese factor. Which makes it all the more compelling. There is no popularity contest, no gimmicky “games”, no real reason for doing it except proving you can.
The situations these people are placed in are exceptionally difficult and emotionally charged. From no running water to treacherous weather conditions that threaten even the ability to start a fire, these people are going hard core all the way.
What really freaked me out were the health concerns: from deep sunburns and being covered by bug bites, to trench foot (a nasty condition where your feet get all infected and necrotic from exposure to unsanitary water), to getting poisoned from dirty water (you have to check out that episode – the guy, Puma, decides to take a risk and drink unsanitary water in Borneo and gets sick enough to be airlifted out of the jungle!), this show ain’t joking around. This shizz is REAL.
It is interesting seeing how some of the couples figure stuff out and cope – or fall apart. This led to many discussions between me and my husband about how we’d survive on a show like this.
We mused that we would probably do great as he has some survival skills and I’m a pretty good cook. It’s easy to assume you’d be oh so cheery in those situations because you can delude yourself from the safety of your couch (note to my readers: I cannot swim, I burn severely if I am out in the sun for a prolonged period, I am squeamish about bugs and germs, I don’t like the thought of killing a living thing, plus I have no idea how to start a fire or build a lean to. Oh, and I forgot to mention that I despise camping.). But yeah, we did just that and speculated how we’d be so strong and genial in the face of all that jungle stuff. We wouldn’t bungle in the jungle. We’d be survivors for realz.
And then I got a reality check from the Universe yesterday.
Not sure if it was something that I ate or a virus but I went to bed on Thursday feeling fine and woke up in the middle of the night with a stomach ache and back pain. It was bad enough that I couldn’t get back to sleep so I had no choice but to get up early and get on with my day.
In the morning and afternoon, I was a bit queasy so I ate very lightly and went on about my business. By 4PM when it was time for a little break in my day, I had begun to feel really sick. Like pukey and weak in the knees sick.
When my 5:30 mentioned they might not be able to make it, I was relieved because now it was beginning to bloom into a full blown attack on my digestive system and I was in serious pain. I cancelled the rest of my appointments and hit the bathtub for a long soak (Note to my readers: I never cancel work so you know I am not kidding about being ill. Also, I hate taking baths. Soaking in the same water as your bottom isn’t appealing to me.).
My poor husband tended to me like the very best Florence Nightingale as my pain gave way to many rounds of vomiting. (Note to my readers: I have only vomited in my life maybe 7 times. Yeah, I was really ill.)
At 9:30, I was ready to try to hit the sack. Too pukey to eat and tired from the lack of sleep the night before, I had hoped to pass out and let this work itself out. It didn’t quite go that way.
Instead, my body was so wracked in pain that the only solution was to keep going back in that tub as this was the only relief I could get. I’d soak for a bit then crawl back to bed and try to sleep. Which would have come sooner except I now had a new problem: a high energy song from the new Gogol Bordello album was stuck in my head and I couldn’t fall asleep because it kept me all riled up.
Oh, and I had to puke more. Lovely. So the night consisted of me in and out the tub, leaning over the porcelain throne while I retched out whatever lining was left in my guts and all the while cursing out Eugene Hutz for his infectious melody. I also discovered new found sympathy for Puma and his dirty water episode and then started getting anxiety about trench foot. Would my feet rot from all this time in the tub (this is why I stay off Web MD – I’m always convinced I have Leukemia when I read the symptoms)? I was a mess, I tell ya. A MESS. My own personal “Naked and Afraid” scenario started to feel more like a pathetic and whiny comedy.
Finally I fell deeply asleep at four in the morning, despite the pain and that (now aggravating) song in my head.
When I woke up, my husband remarked that I looked dehydrated and like I lost weight (the only good thing to come out of this drama). He got me rehydrated with Vitamin Water (Note to readers: I was always against it because I thought it was a crock but am now a convert.) and I’m now fully back to normal.
And ready to admit: I could not EVER in a million years go on “Naked and Afraid”. If I can get tko’d out that easily by some food poisoning, I’m not cut out for roughing it in the jungle. I’m best to stay in my urban jungle which suits me just fine. Mad props to those crazy people that can do that. I hope to have them on my side if the Zombie apocalypse ever comes.
Here’s a lovely face I encountered on my morning walk.
What I’m Grateful For:
A caring husband (thank you, darling)
Living in a city
Soundtrack for August 3, 2013: Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees. You know I had to go there.
Here’s to surviving and thriving,