The Amazing Race is one of my favorite reality TV shows.
I decided I’m going to be on the show someday….and win it!
Here’s how I’ll do it:
- Bring my Popsi, the world traveler
This is a no-brainer — my dad would be an amazing partner! He travels all over the place for mission work, has been to tons of airports, and can speak Spanish. We get along really well (maybe too well for reality TV?) and would have so much fun traveling together.
I think we would make a strong team — we have the travel experience, patience to make good decisions, and just enough stubbornness to not give up. I imagine we would be able to stay calm when we need to, but push ourselves to the front of the pack.
A huge part of the race is trying to not get lost. I’m decent with directions, but my dad is awesome at finding where to go. He’s the kind of person who can be in a city for twenty minutes and know exactly how to get around.
One catch: my dad doesn’t like heights. So if we think there’s any chance of a challenge involving heights — there’s usually three or four a season — I’ll be sure to volunteer.
In case you’re wondering, David and I have already discussed that we would not make a good husband-wife racing team. Just. No. We’ll just stick to vacationing together.
- Get picked to be on the show
Yikes, big hurdle. I just looked up the Amazing Race site and saw this first step of the casting process:
Make a video (be sure to focus on relationship positives and negatives). We love banter!!
We are looking for outgoing, adventurous, competitive and humorous teams of two.
Oh boy. My dad and I are not known for our banter. We’ll work on that.
I know that we would need some kind of intriguing conflict or part of our identity that will make them want to see us race. Maybe we’ll be the “nice, quiet Mid-westerners” who are actually pretty competitive (Dad played football in high school and college; I graduated top of my class) and are ready to leave everyone else in the dust.
Or maybe we could say that as one of four girls, I’m on a mission to win my dad over and become the favorite daughter!
- Learn “thank you” in thirty different languages
It kills me to think about traveling and not being able to communicate basic things with people. It’s inevitable because the Amazing Race goes to so many places. However, if I learned thank you in thirty different languages, I would at least be able to say something kind in quite a few places.
Being on the Amazing Race would be an incredible experience — positively connecting, even in a small way, with local people would be an important part of that experience.
- Be nice to the taxi drivers (don’t bug them and yell FASTER every two seconds)
- Learn stick-shift
Driving around in other countries usually means driving manual transmission. My Popsi can drive stick-shift, but I better learn too, just in case.
- Read the instructions CAREFULLY
I go crazy when teams get really behind on detours and roadblocks because they didn’t read their clue carefully. This means they go in the wrong direction for a long time, take the wrong transportation, or can’t finish their challenge. Being hasty can costs hours of time and the whole race for some contestants. As long as we pay attention to all the details of the clue, we can quickly get all the info we need.
- Get in shape
Amazing Racers need to run all over the place with huge backpacks. Sometimes it comes down to a foot race to the finish line.
I would get ready for the race by running, sprinting, practicing with a backpack, and trying to get stronger in general. A lot of the challenges get very physical, and I wouldn’t want my weak arms or tired legs to keep our team behind.
- Be nice but play our own game
I think the smartest route is to be nice but keep your distance. Obviously I wouldn’t be cut-throat by actively lying and tricking other teams. I wouldn’t want to form alliances either because those get messy as teams get eliminated.
- Never yell at my partner
It doesn’t help anyway. I would want to enjoy the experience, not scream my way through it.
- Take up a random hobby before the show
It would be a complete shot in the dark, but it could help with one of the detours and roadblocks. The Amazing Race is good about making their challenges really diverse. Here are some from last season:
- Making empanadas
- Build a solar kitchen
- Calculate average weight of cattle at an auction
- Make a pyramid of watermelons
- Perform a bottle dance
- Taste and memorize 14 types of salami
- Beard styling
- Drive a rickshaw
- Play cricket
- Elephant decorating
If I practiced something before the show that helped one challenge go a little bit faster, it would be worth it.
- Savor moments, but keep up the pace
Amazing Race contestants go to the most incredible places! I would keep reminding myself of how lucky I am to be racing around the world. Even more so, I would be thankful for the experience of traveling with my dad. Too many teams don’t seem to realize this until they get eliminated.
You can savor moments, but you still need to be competitive and speedy to win the race. I would channel all the competitive spirit I have and get our team to the finish line first. Go Team Popsi/Amy!