What inspired you to be on The Amazing Race?
I have always had a love of travel and adventure. After chatting with my friend, Josh Ahern (#TeamTexas season 27), about his experiences on the race, I knew I had to pursue the opportunity. You truly cannot pay for an experience like this. The places we go, the way we travel, the experiences in each place, the people I got to travel with. There’s not money that can buy that. I saw the world through a different perspective and will be forever grateful for this opportunity.
How did growing up in North Texas/Fort Worth prepare you for being on the show?
Being born and raised in Texas was a HUGE benefit on the show. I came to the Race with more practical skills than other contestants. Being that I grew up hunting, fishing, and camping made me comfortable with the outdoorsy, gritty side of the race. I am not afraid to get my hands dirty, clean my own windows, build my own furniture, etc. I also think that part of being Texan is being steadfast in your morals and beliefs, true to your word, and kind and friendly. I would like to think that my Texan charm played to my advantage, especially considering the dynamics between my partner and I and the other teams.
What did you pack for the show?
Our packing instructions were as follows: “Pack whatever you think you will need for any climate and any situation.” Period. End of story. We were not given any other requirements beyond that. Everything I had for the entire race fit in a backpack that was permissible as a carry on. TSA requirements state the weight restrictions of carry ons, but I pushed the limit with that a bit with my 23 lb backpack. With that said, I didn’t feel like there was anything that I didn’t pack that I should have. Beyond my clothes, some of the creative or important items I packed were a headlamp (As you have seen, we had to run at night.), COMPASS (Too bad I didn’t transfer it from my pack to my fanny pack for the start line), instant hand warmers (I was the ONLY person on the race that packed that one. I was grateful for them when I needed them.), protein bars (During the legs, you have to pay for all your food with your leg money. Cabs and other travel costs were more important than eating.), a bar of solid shampoo (I used this not only for my hair but also for washing my clothes throughout the race.), a blow-up travel pillow (That thing was a God-sent.), and ear plugs to sleep in airports or other public places.
How did you manage to keep your job, feed your pets, and make sure things are good on the home front while your gone?
I’d be lying if I said going on the race didn’t cost me significantly. I had to pay for a partner in my company to take over for me with all my contracts and clients. Did I lose money? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Absolutely. My roommate and parents were my angels while I was gone. They made sure the pups stayed spoiled, the house didn’t burn down and the lights stayed on.
Real estate is so competitive. Were you afraid you would lose ground in your career by being gone for so long?
I did lose ground. It was a several month process to get back up on my feet. I feel like God places challenges in our lives to help us grow. The tough recovery time I went through made me stronger and more relentless. Now, that struggle and hard work has paid off. Once 2017 hit, my business skyrocketed. Now business is better than ever.
What we’re some highlights from being a cast member on the show?
Do I have a character limit on this response? The list could go on forever. A few of my top highlights were:
Standing on that rooftop in Zanzibar with Phil was one of my all time favorite moments. Looking out across Stone Town made me feel as though time stood still. It was an incredibly humbling to see this part of the world that was such a juxtaposition to “my world”. I took a few minutes to really absorb what I saw. It was breathtaking and will be forever in my memory.
One of my favorite challenges was the boxing gym detour in Sao Paulo. You didn’t get a great perspective of it from the episode, but this was under a highway overpass in the middle of an obscure neighborhood in the city. It was so real, raw and authentic. Also, I was fortunate enough to meet a travel agent from Sao Paulo on my flight to Brazil that offered to let me have my cab drivers call him if I needed him to translate in Portuguese for me. He was vital in making sure that our cabbie didn’t leave us stranded under that bridge!
All of the times I had to get to know the other cast members are more special than you can imagine. The people I got to travel with are truly incredible human beings. Each one of them is so unique with such interesting backgrounds, personalities, and stories. I loved getting to hear about Tara’s impressive Army career and her four lovelies (She has four kiddos under 10). Scott and I bonded from the get-go. He’s such a beautiful soul with such a heart for giving back. Hearing Redmond’s stories about his time overseas, his recovery from the IED injury and family background was great. Each of these people have such a story and so much to admire.