(10) Check please!

In my room I found myself looking into the mirror asking, where do I start? Referring to the bucket list I had created, I looked and asked what can realistically be completed first?  As a sign from above, my buddy Cliff grabbed the bucket list out of my hand and looked it over.  He looked at me after only a few moments and said, “15 million huh? Just audition for a reality show and that will help I am sure of it.” So with his recommendation, I began to look up online how I could do that.  I found this site realitywanted.com and saw all of these TV shows casting for contestants. The one that popped out at me was this heading that said, “50k to the winner of the biggest obstacle course in America.  Known now as ABC’s wipeout. I immediately applied for the show and thought to myself, wow I can work towards my goal of 15 million smiles and also show to the world and myself what I can achieve even after Cancer.

After a week or so I did not hear from anyone so I gave up hope on a reality show. Of course the next day comes and I get this phone call from a casting director asking for me to come in and audition for the show! Without any hesitation I accepted and was one step closer.  The audition went well, and everyone in the office fell in love with my story. As I was walking out of the building, a lady stopped me, gave me a hug and said thank you so much for coming into this office and my life. For me that was a huge compliment and felt that she was my first smile.

A few days go by and still no call to tell me I was on the show, but I kept my fingers crossed. About a week after my audition I received a phone call from the shows casting producer telling me I was selected to be a part of the very first aired Wipeout show. My eyes began to tear up and joy filled my body. I couldn’t believe it, I was going to be on TV and show the world what cancer survivors are made of.

The day of filming was upon us, and I don’t think I really slept all that much the night before. I was so anxious and nervous to get the show on the road. I selected an outfit with the help of friends to wear on the show, in hopes that it would help me reach my goal of 15 million smiles.  One of the production assistants came up to me as I arrived and showed me to the changing area. As I got ready, I remember telling myself, “I hope your ready to laugh America!” I stepped outside of the changing room and almost everyone’s head turned in my direction with either a smile or jaw-dropping look. I was wearing all yellow, with yellow underwear over my shorts and knee high tube socks. This I felt was going to shoot me to my goal on my checklist.

The show was no easy task, but as the day went on I found myself as a contender and contestant to beat. I had one goal in mind and that was to win the whole thing! I told myself that if I had won, half of my winnings was going to cancer research.  I came close to winning but ended up taking third.  Even though I did not win I was victorious in many other ways.  I made new friends, was on TV and got to prove how hard I can push myself with the right motivation and determination in life.

The show went on and aired in March of 2008, which my episode was the very first episode to air. I had a viewing party at my house and with that came many laughs and congratulations.  The best part of that night wasn’t the fact that all my friends and family were around to watch this, but that I had received a phone call from the wipeout crew informing me something.  This is what he said; “Hey nick, I just wanted to be the first to congratulate you! I just saw the ratings from the show, and we had over 16 million viewers. So you know what that means.”  I kept saying no way and shut up over and over again, but he reassured me that it was a fact and he almost guaranteed that I made 15 million people smile. I informed my family and friends with the news and everyone was so happy for me.

So all in all I was able to do something that a lot of people out there wish they could do. I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to be a contestant on the show and hopefully be an inspiration to all cancer survivors out there watching that night. My first item on my bucket list was checked off and ready to hand me its next task.  But then of course as fate would have it, someone surfaced and had to come in crashing me down like a tsunami.

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