Man, Woman, Wild: Staying In Love Amongst Lions, Volcanoes and Dehydration Lube
Mykel Hawke and Ruth England dish on how they keep their relationship strong in the midst of volcanoes and lions.
“You know, every day I go into work, I wonder to myself if today will be the day I die,” Ruth England, a former FOX TV presenter casually mentions about her latest job with husband Mykel Hawke, a US Army Special Forces survival expert.
He pipes in, “It’s absolutely miserable! Ruth nearly died from heatstroke in a desert in Mexico last year.”
What kind of work is this? Here I was blindly thinking that the duo went on “fun and exciting” safari trips around the globe! At least that’s what the Discovery Channel reality series Man, Woman, Wild brings to mind the first time you encounter it. Husband and wife team Mykel and Ruth journey round the globe spending four days spent in various countries, side by side, braving the elements together. Sounds romantic, right? Even with a camera crew in tow?
Wrong. Mykel and Ruth are physically and mentally pushed to their limits every day on the show, which has the pair going everywhere from Botswana to the Amazon and even to unpredictable volcanoes. Within their new living conditions, they both must be fluent in survival skills as they have a limited set of resources at hand- and no bodyguard protection.
“We spend four days and four nights in each place because statistically it takes three days to get rescued,” Mykel explains, “There is no security or extra supplies included. When we were in the desert in Mexico, we didn’t have any drinking water on hand. There have been nights when all we had to protect ourselves with were knives when faced with lions. Basically, if you are unprepared and don’t have any survival skill sets, you will not make it.”
Lions??? “When we were in Botswana, Ruth was on her period and the smell of the blood attracted some of the older lions to us. They attacked some baboons that were in trees over our heads that night, luckily not us! It was terrifying!”
Ruth adds, “When we were in the Columbian Amazon, it flooded and we had to canoe through the treetops, a good 30 feet up. There were poisonous spiders up there and anacondas below us!”
You had me at poisonous spiders- nope, I’m fine with not being featured as a guest star on the series! While the show is definitely giving Bear Grylls a run for his money (Ruth currently has a broken toe from wrapping up the second season), both Mykel and Ruth are passionate about the message their show provides viewers (including their son, though he doesn’t watch the scary parts) and for those in relationships.
“Meeting Mykel was a match made in heaven- he provided me with basic medical training and taught me survival skills too,” Ruth says, “We both really believe in showing other women that a normal woman can survive under these conditions. You’ve got to be prepared. It’s not camping!”
“It’s also a chance to show my significant other just what I love and believe in and to be able to see just how damn good she is at taking care of herself.” Mykel adds.
Now we’re on the right track to romance! So what’s been the most romantic bonding experience for the pair yet on the show?
“Enemas!” Ruth happily exclaims, “It’s a method of being able to hydrate with clean water instead of drinking dirty water and getting sick- you stick a tube up someone’s back side and give them water which goes up their bum if they are dehydrated.”
Well, it IS love in the time of wilderness!
Heather Taylor is BettyConfidential’s L.A. correspondent.