Michelle Wolhlberg had every confidence she could survive in the northern wilderness and win the $500,000 USD prize on the reality show Alone.
"And then when I got dropped and I saw that helicopter flying away, I was like, 'What have I done? Why would I do this?'" the 32-year-old said, laughing.
Wohlberg, who lives in the Spiritwood area, has lived on the farm and has a long lifetime of experience with hunting and trapping. When she first saw the show that challenges people to survive as long as possible using a limited amount of equipment, she thought she'd put her skills to the test.
"Some people drive sport cars really fast. Some people ride bulls. To me, you'd have to be crazy to be a bull rider. But people who do that are at the top of their game," she said.
"For me, being in the wild and surviving is something I could do to take it the next level."
She applied three years ago, and was chosen to be one of 10 individuals taking part and self-filming their adventures last fall. The newest season premieres on the History channel on June 6. It bills itself as being set in the Arctic, however filming took place around Canada's Great Slave Lake, NWT.
As many as 5,000 people have applied in the past to be part of the show, and several have been "super skilled," with years of survival knowledge, she said. Being chosen was an affirmation for her.
"Something about me stood out to them and to me, I was like, 'Well I have already have it,'" she said. "I already have what it takes to be on the show."
Once a person signs up, they're locked in to participate on the show for as long as a year, with the longest survivor winning the cash prize.
Many have pressed a 'tap out' button in panic, with the isolation or danger pressing on them, while others have been pulled out because of medical risks, such as starvation.
Wohlberg made a list of things she knew she could endure through, thinking of how she would splint her fingers or her ankle, if they broke, or how she'd cope with thirst if she couldn't find a water source
"I really had a firm belief, like either I'm going to win or I'm going to die."
While details can not be released about what happens on the show, Wohlberg noted she didn't have a hard time with the isolation and separation from her family, including her husband and five-year-old.
"My mom died when I was young. When she died, I felt this horrible emptiness. Nothing ever filled it until I had a kid of my own," she said, explaining she never wanted her son to know a similar pain.
She'd always told him he grew in her body, and was one with her blood and bone, and to find her, he only had to listen to his heart.
"We're always going to be connected, no matter what. If mommy can come home, it doesn't matter where in the world I am. If I'm able to, I will always come home," she said.
When she said goodbye to her family at the airport, her son assured her he would listen to his heart.
"I walked on to the plane and I didn't look back. Now I know my family is waiting for me at the finish line."