BOY CRAZY IN FRANCE | By this leg in the race, we’d been running around like cray people for a while, and so the obvious fatigue, coupled with the high altitude, is what I’m going to say was to blame for my out-of-control flirtation and general boy-craziness. I don’t know what came over me (because I swear I’m generally civilized), but when Erin and I got to the top of the mountain climb detour in Chamonix, ready to give our “lunch” to the man at mountain’s peak, all I could think was, “Wow, he’s like really handsome,” and my first question was literally asking whether or not he was single. Literally, that’s all I wanted to know. I didn’t care about the detour at all, I just wanted to know what this man’s situation was. So embarrassing. Without missing a beat, he told me he was not available. So funny, so mortifying. So Erin and I moved on.
When got into our car, we proceeded to ask our driver if he was single and willing to mingle (with us). He too shut us down immediately. It was ridiculous and we totally deserved it. In hindsight, I’m realizing I looked and smelled like an aged gargoyle by this point in the leg. So, with zero hope for romance, we gave up and decided to sing an original song about “balls.” Clearly, we had zero self-respect or lady-like manners left at this point. The song was absolutely ridiculous, completely ear-melting (in a bad way) and again, I blame it all on the altitude. Because that makes sense, right?
OUT TO “LUNCH?” | Maybe it was the freshly fallen snow on the ground that threw us off, but we were way too excited to be racing in the French Alps. Our excitement led both Joslyn and I to lose about 20 minutes because misread our clue three times before we ever got to the detour. Amateur moves. Once we picked our detour, we needed to make sure we read every detail of every single sentence. In our clue it asked us to deliver “lunch” and dynamite to a guy on the tip of the needle. Where was the freaking lunch? In our designated backpacks there were large baguettes, but this couldn’t possibly be lunch! (Joslyn and I are carnivores and this would never cut it as a meal for us.) We proceeded to scour the needle looking for marked lunch bags. It also didn’t help that Blair and Scott were doing the “lunch” detour and casually said to us in passing, “Don’t forget your lunch!” What did they mean? We finally decided that we were just going to risk it and traverse the mountain with only a baguette, and luckily for us the mountain man was really just into carbs. In case the snow was not a dead giveaway, we knew for sure that we were not in Los Angeles any more…
SNO W SHOES | Most racers in our season will agree that Chamonix was easily the most beautiful place we visited, hands down. I 100-percent expected to see Santa Freakin’ Claus and his reindeer fly by at any moment. With that caveat in mind, came some craziness. For example, when Erin and I were climbing the mountain during the detour, homegirl could not keep her shoe on her foot. Sounds crazy, but it turns out that keeping your shoes on your feet whilst traversing a mounting is kind of important! And who knew having to stop and tie your shoes on the side of one of the tallest mountains in the French Alps would be such a challenge. Not only that, at one point during our climb a rock slid off the mountain and landed on my face. My adrenaline was pumping so hard I didn’t ever realize my nose had been cut and my face was bleeding. When someone later pointed it out to me, I felt like I had the most hardcore street-cred I’d ever had in my life. And thanks to a quick mid-race check up from the one-and-only Dr. Daddy himself, I knew it wasn’t broken. Yes, Dr. Daddy is that wonderful. The gem of a man really did stop to see if I’d broken my nose while our partners were paragliding.
I CAN’T FEEL MY FACE WHEN FLIGHT PLANS FALL THROUGH | Paragliding off the side of that mountain was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. When mountains are covered in several feet of snow, it’s actually really hard to run down them while also being strapped into several contraptions with a large man attached to your back. This road block required wind, and a lot of it, in order to perfectly lift off the side of that mountain. Unfortunately, I had zero wind beneath my wings. Because of our placement on the mountain top, we were not catching any of the backwind that we needed to take off. I saw teams who arrived there after me take off right away because they caught the wind at just the perfect time. Not only was it frustrating to watch others cash in on the weather lottery, but it was even more frustrating that I ended up face-planting twice into several feet of snow before we ever caught a breeze strong enough to pick us up. Shout out to the one and only hiker out there who saw me struggling to climb up that snow-covered mountain and threw down one of his walking sticks to help me.
As difficult as it was to keep my spirits up, I never gave up. I know that so much of this experience is luck (this challenge especially), and as it sometimes happens on the race, the odds were not in our favor in Chamonix. However, the scene of a million fir trees covered in snow spread out beneath me as I flew through the sky was a divine experience I would not trade for anything, even a million dollars! In the end, I was more than grateful to God and of course Amazing Race for the opportunity to race around the world with some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met.
TINKERBELL | Never in my life have I felt like I was flying more than when I had to pull myself across that line to get our clue at the top of the mountain in Chamonix. We arrived at the mountain with Sheri and Cole, who we knew were not so excited about heights, but I was so pumped about doing this. Not gonna lie, there was a moment where I looked down at the ground and had a “come to Jesus moment,” but all in all, this was one of my favorite moments from the Race, because I felt like I was literally Tinkerbell from Peter Pan, except my Neverland had me flying across the French Alps. It was such a gorgeous, clear day, and all of the racers were on the mountain at pretty much the same time. It was a really beautiful, surreal, magical, yet totally insane and chaotic experience… which basically sums up the whole Race.