Shortly after we started shooting the Big Break Indian Wells series, one of our camera operators asked me who I thought would get along the best amongst our cast. I can tell you with certainty the names “Shank” and “Carl” did not come out of my mouth. And yet here we are. The oddest couple in Big Break history is forming before our eyes.
Being a contestant on Big Break is no easy task. They are required to wake up at 4:45 am so they can be mic’d up and be ready to be at breakfast and eating on camera at 5:30 am. And this of course comes after they go to bed around 10 pm. So it comes as no surprise that all the competitors on Big Break’s value their sleep. Enter Carl Whyte. The first Big Breaker in history to wake up 45 mins before everyone else just so he can do his normal routine of “Insanity” training. (That’s really what it’s called.... and I think it is aptly named.) And even though the villas at Indian Wells are very spacious, Insanity training is not exactly a quiet endeavor. Shank is rooming with Carl and every morning he is woken up to what can only be described as sounds of a prize boxer breathing hard in short spurts while his fists ripple thru the air at breakneck speeds to find no target. Some might think this would madden anyone, or at the very least, annoy someone who relies on what valuable little time they are given to recover from the previous days battle ground.
And yet, Shank only admires. And perhaps is inspired? (More on that to come later in the series) In any event, an odd couple is born. Two very different men from, two very different backgrounds. Cheering the good and wincing in genuine heartbreak at the bad for each other. Breaking all stereotypical norms to only see the good in each other. It is a bond that will shape this season of Big Break. And maybe, just maybe will inspire more than just one of us who were able to witness it in person.