Charlie Herschel of Survivor Gabon: Interview

And on your FaceBook page, there’s pictures of you running marathons and some references to weight loss, you seem so skinny, what’s the story behind all that?

I was an obese, acne’d theater geek in high school and I was like, ‘Enough with this! This is awful!’ So I started slowly running around the reservoir, building up, building up and, four years later, I’d lost all the weight, which was a combination of baby fat and eating unhealthily, and I’ve been able to keep it off ever since. And it’s been about 8 or 9 years, so it’s not an issue in my life anymore.

What lessons from this experience do you think you’ll take into your normal life, if any? Or was it just sort of a little pocket of an interesting experience, and it’s over?

I think it’s way more than a pocket of an interesting experience. Survivor strips you of everything you are: your family, your life, your food, everything. It reveals what your true personality is, I believe. So, it was a telling insight into who I am that I’ll never have again. I was proud with how I played, the friendship I made, the choices I made, and that I was able to be strategic and competitive and still be a nice guy.

And to see some of these people, like Crystal, who are playing the game in a very mean-spirited way… I mean… I’m glad I’m not her. (laughs)

One thing I did notice, and you mentioned Todd earlier, that was similar between you two is a lot of people seem to be so dour, but even when you were being voted off, you were smiling and just like, ‘Oh well, they got me.’ You seemed to relish the fact that it is a game, and that you have to give up a little bit of control. Obviously, this is probably reflective of how you live your life, but was there any conscious choice to play that way, or is that just how you roll?

It was so easy for me because this was a dream of mine and I was surrounded by people who were complaining all the time, all the time, about something that was my dream, something I would give 10 years of my life on the backend to experience, I just couldn’t even believe that one complain came out of their mouths.

I think that lit a fire under my ass to be like, I’m not going to be anything like them. I’m not going to resemble any complaint they ever have. I’m going to relish every second, even being voted out and what happens after you’re voted out. Everything. Every uncomfortable moment, I want to enjoy.