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7.02.2013

THE CALL OF THE WILD - NO CLOTHES ALLOWED


I'm not a big TV watcher.  I really just don't care about it too awful much.  When I was single I went 4-5 months without turning it on.  I don't fault you if you are a TV watcher, I just a) don't like to sit that long, b) can't always find something that I really like to watch, c) would rather be doing other things I like way better.  I probably really could go without even owning a TV except for the occasional re-runs I watch while running on the treadmill, the Olympics, movies from Netflix, and now the show I watched last night that I might be addicted to after only one viewing, "Naked and Afraid".

Maybe there should be a reading maturity rating on this blog from what I may describe shortly.  There definitely should have been a rating warning on the Discovery Channel's "Naked and Afraid".  Some of you may have actually sat and got sucked into this show like I did last night.  There is no way I want to get rid of my TV now till I've seen my fill of episodes.

"Naked and Afraid" might best be described this way; a cross between "Survivor" [without the contestants, mind games between players and host Jeff Probst], "Biggest Loser" [without quite as voluminous weight loss but what is lost is done way faster], "Fear Factor [without ridiculous man-made challenges, just in the wild au-natural ones], "Man Vs. Wild" [where Bear Grylls eats digested berries out of dung and drinks his own urine - now we're headed to almost there] and the nudist show "Clothesfree Today" [you get the no clothes reference, right!]. 

To qualify to be on the show you have to have some sort of significant background and experience as a survivalist; military training, experience in survivalist experiences/training/craziness.  They put the prospective survivalists through a battery of physical and psychological testing before attempting this extreme survivalist exercise.  They are teamed with someone of the opposite sex - a total stranger, dropped at their location where they are given instructions of where to meet for the pick-up in 21 days  They are given one item of their own choosing to take with them (no clothing allowed) for survival and told to strip down to skin only.  Their 21 day survival begins in a rugged and dangerous terrain with no belongings, standing naked next to a person of the opposite sex they do not know.  Not for the faint of heart or the self-conscious.

In case you missed a big detail, they are completely naked which means not even shoes allowed.  If this is lost on you, imagine no shoes walking through the hot dirt and thorns of Africa when you are not used to it.  Imagine walking anywhere rugged or jagged without shoes.  I would be dead at that very moment! 

The shows covers how they adapt to surviving when they only have each other to rely on, how they have to find food, get water and protein to keep their strength up.  Sounds easy you say?  Imagine eating something that is not intended to be ingested and getting sick, or cutting your foot and it getting infected.  You still have to find water, kill protein, start a fire without the aid of any matches, fight off wild animals, survive the harsh day and night weather conditions and do all of it while sitting on the bare ground with your bare ass.  Not only that, but you are up close and personal with this total stranger who is also totally naked.

I do believe that experience would be a great teacher to help us all get outside of our bodies, how we look, what we think about people based purely on their physical bodies.  Nakedness would quickly become very, very secondary.  Though it was interesting that almost immediately both couples I watched found things in nature to make would be coverings, albeit minuscule at best.    

Of course the nudity, all except rear ass shots, were fuzzed over a bit.  No direct woo-hoo shots were seen or even bare breasts flashed.  They did try to not make the nudity front and center though already obvious. I think the point of the nudity was really to give them yet another unfamiliar and harsh circumstance to deal with, an obstacle.

In 21 days each person lost close to 30 pounds each.  All of them, despite their intensive survivalist backgrounds, were faced with some dire situations; lack of water, lack of food, illness, storms, emotions, injury, learning to rely totally on each other to both survive.  There was definitely some mental stress that occurred as just the act of staying alive took every ounce of their energy and emotions.

At the beginning of one couple's 21 day survival journey they were without water in the African 120 degree heat for 52 hours.  After finding the water source, they couldn't get a fire started which was essential to boiling it before drinking the bacteria laden H2O.  It was at that moment that my husband Doug got concerned.  He stated, "They should drink their urine.  It is salty but will keep them alive.  You know it's salty right?"  He was serious and I was curious, "How do you know it's salty?  Have you drank your urine before?"  I was far from keeping a straight face.  I mean a discussion about drinking urine even if you aren't a 13 year old boy is just amusing.

"I did taste it in survivalist military training.  We didn't "drink" it like a glass of milk, but had to put a taste of it in our mouths" Doug stated smiling at the thought of what he had just said.  "Hopefully it was yours," I said. 

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