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Reality TV king Mark Burnett, the man behind, most notably, Survivor, which kicked the reality-show competition format into high gear 11 years ago, is at it again. This summer, Burnett is producing a new series for ABC called Expedition Impossible, a 10-leg competition in which teams race across the rugged Kingdom of Morocco.
Expedition Impossible airs locally at 8 p.m. Thursdays on KMBC (Channel 9) throughout the summer.
Among the 13 three-member teams competing for cash and other prizes is a trio that includes a pair of (now former) gay lovers, Ryan Allen Carrillo and A.J. Gibson, as well as A.J.’s sister, Kari. Recently, Camp caught up with Carrillo and A.J. Gibson—who nicknamed their team “Fab 3”—for a phone interview from their homes in Los Angeles.
Carrillo is a former inline roller skater from San Diego who’s done world tours and worked with Madonna and Beyoncé, among others. He has since moved into food and beverage management, even helping to open the Saddle Ranch Chop House locally at The Legends a few years ago.
Now well-rooted in food and beverage, he’s consulting on a restaurant concept for Universal Studios City Walk. “I’ve always had a huge passion for the food and beverage industry,” he said. He also runs an event company with Gibson, who has worked extensively in the field himself.
A.J. Gibson, along with his teammate sister, hails from Ohio. He says about the race: “It was the most unbelievable experience of my life. I think I speak for all of us when I say that we were challenged in ways never thought possible.”
Carrillo adds, “The Kingdom of Morocco is such a rich, diverse, gorgeous country. You know, A.J. and I have done a lot of traveling…but the scenery, the people — it was just the most beautiful place to be doing it.”
“We had all been looking to do something in television, something to challenge ourselves,” says Carrillo, who became involved in Expedition Impossible via an email he received from a casting director. The three would-be contestants quickly arranged for interviews and soon found themselves cast in the show.
“I’m a die-hard reality junkie,” admits Gibson, who dabbled in soap opera speaking parts while living in New York several years ago. “I’m a huge fan of Mark Burnett…and when Ryan sent me the email, it just made sense to ask my sister.”
During the process of becoming the one openly gay team competing in the show, Gibson says, “Everyone at ABC and Mark Burnett Productions made us feel so comfortable and allowed us to be exactly who we are. And that says a lot about them, and also about a lot about…how times have changed.”
One aspect of Expedition Impossible worth mentioning is the total absence of the civilized niceties present in other reality television races. Jet travel, taxicabs, hotels and restaurants were not options during the race, where teams hiked hundreds of miles on foot through Morocco’s deserts and mountains, or rode on the backs of unruly horses and camels.
“It takes reality television to a level that’s never been done before,” Gibson says. “It literally looks like a $100 million budget for a major blockbuster film. And we got to be part of Season One, and that’s pretty incredible.”
Gibson mentioned a personal aspect of the show toward the end of the interview. “I think that the most important things for Ryan and I, what kept us motivated on the show…we wanted to portray ourselves in a way that makes our community proud. We were the only two gay guys on the show and we know that there’s a lot of responsibility with that.
“And with all the things going on with gay youth and the suicides and the bullying…we wanted to make sure that we showed, especially with young gay kids…that you can do anything if you want it bad enough, if you set your mind to it. …And if this show airing helps one kid out there believe in himself, then it’s all worth it. That’s something that’s really important to both of us.”
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at email@example.com.
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Is there any cost?
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“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at firstname.lastname@example.org.