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Summer viewing: Update

I’m still coming to grips with the sudden turn of events on Alone: The Arctic last Thursday. The woman I was pulling for, Nikki van Schyndel, appeared to be doing well after early injuries and misadventures. She had sewed herself a teddy bear—or, rather, a comfort rabbit—and was preparing for colder weather. But on day 52 she was taken out of the competition. She had lost about 25 percent of her body weight and her BMI was below the allowable measurement to continue. The show doctor said she was in danger of multiple organ failure.

Nikki had a mini-breakdown, saying she would refuse to leave, then crying and asking for one more day: “I need to say goodbye to this place. I haven’t done so many things I wanted to do.”

But then the camera showed her composing herself and, as always, taking a pragmatic approach: “I guess I’ve begged enough, right?” Her voiceover, as she packed up and boarded the boat back to civilization, was philosophical as she mused on all she had learned during nearly eight weeks on Great Slave Lake. I was impressed again by her grace and humour.

Nikki told the Vancouver Sun earlier this year that she wanted “to be the first woman to have her own survival nature adventure show. I think it’s time for women to get that chance as well. We are just as tough as men.” I can’t wait to watch Nikki’s adventures every week!

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