I have a new hero: Doctor Clare Miller, haematologist. A gloriously gutsy wonder woman who’s size belies her inner and outer strength. Let me explain why…
For the last 6 weeks, there’s been a reality tv programme on BBC 2 called Special Forces – Ultimate Hell Week, it’s been following 29 civilian but extreme adventure sports people being put through a facsimile of Special Forces selection tasks. Over a continual 10 days, the ever dwindling group faced two days with five elite fighting units from around the world: The US Navy Seals, Yamam (Israel’s elite counter terror unit), Navsog (the Philippine’s Special Forces), the exquisitely menacing Spetnaz of Russia and the British SAS, all with the aim of extracting a final winner.
It was a trip to the dark side. Each unit had their own unique way of forensically inflicting gruelling, soul-sapping situations to expose vast wells of pain and expose any mental weakness.
The final was on Sunday..and just 6 people remained, including 2 women. Not that this was set up as men v women, despite none of the elite forces allowing women in their ranks. Instead it was about opportunity and equality – the women doing exactly the same as the men. After 9 days, another night of no sleep and intensive interrogation by the British SAS, 3 remained – one woman, two men:
Miller: High energy, high pressure, fearless, pragmatic, brainy and only 5 ft 4 and weighing 8 stone 7lbs (55 kg).
Bent: The giner ninja complete with deadpan coolness and a wink.
Brassington: A carbon copy action man made real.
Immediately they had to run their final race – 15 km over Welsh mountains, carrying 20kg packs, navigating themselves and answering questions enroute with wrong answers encurring time penalties. The SAS guy was looking forward to this one as he didn’t believe a woman had the strength to finish.
Miller came in first.
They were congratulated and then told SAS guy would need to talk to the colleagues who’d seen them through the full 10 days before making a decision. It felt like the perfect opportunity to opt out of a potentially difficult political decision.
They said of Miller: It’s changed our view on women.
They said of Bent:
Who turned up on the first day in a pair of flowery shoes, never judge a book by it’s cover.
They said of Brassington: He’s perfect SAS material.
So who did they want to win? They said, no question, it had to be ‘The Machine’. Day in, day out, The Machine would get the job done, no matter what. Except we didn’t know who The Machine was.
Until they announced the winner……..
The deserving, the mindblowing, the one and only Dr. Clare Miller!
Go that woman! I bow down to your utter brilliance and determination – There’s not many people in this world who can make the army eats it’s words. You didn’t just have to be good..you had to be made of titanium.
Laters, Kate x