Let’s Just Say I Tried!

In my small hometown of Eatonville, WA, a film crew was shooting a reality TV competition hosted by John Cena (15 times World Champion Wrestler of WWE) and I was super fortunate in meeting John and his beautiful companion, Nicole Bella, at dinner one night when out with my daughter and her friend.


After dinner the girls asked him for a picture, which he very kindly obliged, and then I introduced myself and asked if I could interview him and the crew about the filming in Eatonville. (I really love writing and I love this town. I thought this would be a great way to help promote our town in a positive way.) John took my card and said he would be willing to do an interview once they were through taping the show. I was elated! I think us girls went to bed smiling that night.

I was so excited to do this interview that I wrote out all my questions, researched the show and the people involved, and how to spin it so Eatonville gets some props for being an amazing town with great natural space to enjoy.

But…I never did hear from him. Which is a bummer. However, I still feel like sharing what I know.

The show is called ‘American Grit’ and is said to air sometime this year on FOX. Leftfield Pictures and FOX produced this 10-episode reality competition TV show using Pack Forest as its playground for military-grade and survival themed challenges. With 16 of the toughest men and women split into four teams, each with a mentor, competing for a million-dollar prize.

The four mentors are made up of some outstanding military heroes. They are: Rorke Denver, Navy Commander and SEAL who starred in the 2012 film ‘Act of Valor’; Noah Galloway, Purple Heart recipient and ‘Dancing With the Stars’ 3rd place winner who lost his left arm and leg in combat as an Army Soldier and has since started a fitness and health charity called Survival Straps; Tawanda “Tee” Hanible, Marine Gunnery Sergeant who founded an organization to connect Veterans with at-risk youth to mentor called Operation Heroes Connect; Nick “The Reaper” Irving, Army Ranger Sniper and author of ‘The Reaper: Autobiography of One of the Deadliest Special Ops Snipers’.

I actually met the mentors at breakfast one morning before I had any clue as to who they were, and they were all really lovely people and very kind.

So there you have it! My first article on the TV show ‘American Grit. Unfortunately, I have no quotes or interviews with the producers or hosts or mentors. All I can say is that I tried. I introduced myself to all and gave my card to everyone and kept my fingers crossed. I’m new to journalism so maybe I was supposed to do it all differently. Who knows, maybe they will call me up and say “Hey Tillie! Let’s do that interview now.” (I can dream, right?!)

I wish the cast and crew all the best! I am really looking forward to watching the show with my family.

Sidenote: John Cena was in the film ‘Sisters‘, starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It’s hilarious and a must-see! I took my teen daughters to see it, then my Mom, and just took my sister, Maddie! I laugh hard every time and now can say the words along with the characters at my favorite parts. Tina & Amy nailed it! It’s funny, but true. Go see it before it’s out of theaters.