SAS: Who Dares Wins – Jungle Hell – Interview with Hilary (Hils)

SAS: Who Dares Wins - Jungle Hell

SAS: Who Dares Wins returned to Channel 4 on Monday 23 January and this time the recruits are going to find themselves in Jungle Hell! It’s time to meet the recruits. Hilary, from North London is a single mum with a 2 year old daughter. She is a a HIIT, boxing and kettlebell instructor and PT.

Why did you decide to take part in SAS: Who Dares Wins?
I decided to take part because after a few life situations I went through. I went on a self-development journey, to become the best version of myself and to not let my past experiences define me anymore. I saw SAS as something that would push me and connect me with my true self, by facing fears, finding limits and pushing through barriers.

What did you hope to get out of this experience?
I hoped to find a new, bigger and better me, in order to set new higher goals in life, pass wisdom on to people, and raise my daughter with the best set of values and wisdom I can pass onto her.

Did it meet your expectations? What was different? What was as expected? And why?
It over exceeded my expectations. I didn’t think it would affect me (in a good way) as much as it did. It is by far one of the toughest things I have ever done that has built me into a different person. I think what is different is actually experiencing these things in real life instead of just sitting comfortably at home watching it. It is so much more then you see. I was expecting it to be tough but not as tough as it was. I feel it hit all my senses physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally both high and low, which is what makes you find your true self and see what you’re really made off.

What did you learn about yourself from this experience?
I learnt to live in the moment. I was always the kind of person to plan things and know exactly what was happening. On the course, I never knew what was going to hit or when or where, which put me on edge a lot at the beginning, but afterwards I learnt to just let things happen, whilst still being calm and not procrastinate, overthink or be impatient. I also learnt that I am so so so capable of so many things, which I thought I wasn’t. From seeing the challenges at first and thinking “I don’t think I can do this” to just going for it, was a massive one for me. I underestimate myself so much, and this opened my eyes to bigger things.

RELATED:   Sun, Sea and Selling Houses: Season 7 Episode 9 (Channel 4, Thursday, 13 June 2024)

Did you manage to confront and rid yourself of any demons whilst on the course? What happened?
I believe so, I have always been afraid of failure or afraid of being put in vulnerable situations because of how it makes me feel weak and low. These things were definitely tackled.

How did you prepare for the course? Any particular training?
I did a lot of HIIT, boxing and running, as well as some swimming. I also started doing a lot of mediation to help me relax and keep calm, as sometimes I can get too nervous and anxious.

What part of the course were you most nervous about before the course? Was it as bad as you expected or were you pleasantly surprised by your strength?
I was most nervous about all the parts that involved water as I previously drowned at 16, and I made myself learn to swim. I do know how to swim but I am not a strong swimmer. To my surprise it really was not as bad as I expected, I actually didn’t even mind getting in the water by the end of it.

Mental or physical – which did you find the most challenging?
Mental, the mind is where everything happens, even when its physical. The mind has to work to make you do the physical. Even when I wanted to give up on the physical, I always had to stay mentally strong to make the mind think you can do it (even though you don’t know you can) in order to complete any physical challenges.

How did you cope with the humid Vietnamese heat? Were you prepared for the climate?
I was SO not prepared – it was horrendous. I was scared to dehydrate as I was constantly sweating, even through the night. I had heat rashes that were painfully itchy, foot rot where my feet’s skin would come off because they were always wet. All we could do is use the first aid they gave us, like Vaseline, powder and tape to keep us going.

Tell us about your experience under the Directing Staff? Did any of them surprise/inspire/change your life?
It was funny because all the staff were so serious and look at you giving no facial expressions. But when I finished they were all so lovely and we got to see their personalities.

Were you surprised by the new DS line up?
Just the new addition to the DS, which was Chris. But I was surprised in a good way as he was great!

What did you learn or take from each of the DS?
Rudy – Always find the positive in what you are doing whether it’s the hardest, most horrible thing you have to do

Billy – Its OK to laugh a little while still doing hardcore shit!

RELATED:   Steve Coogan & Harriet Walter to star in Brian and Margaret for Channel 4

Chris – He was the kindest out of all of them but still tough. He showed you can really push people hard without having to treat them harsh

Foxy – use your common sense for most things you do

Did you form any close bonds with your fellow recruits?
The close bonds I feel I had were with Josh and Aliyah. I don’t know why they were my safe people to go to, like I felt comfortable and good around them and admired them even though I never really knew their story beforehand.

What is your biggest fear? Is that still the case?
My biggest fear was thinking I would go back to that dark place I was once in. Doing this has showed me that no, that is not the case and will never be the case. I surpassed a very big thing in my life and I feel that if I have gone through what I went through before, and SAS, I can get through anything.

What did you miss the most while you were in Vietnam?
The food!

What’s the first thing you did when you finished the course?
I had a nice long shower! Omg the best feeling ever! Then I ate a real meal and went straight to sleep!

What’s the first food you ate?
Chips, veg spring rolls, fruits, coconut water, noodles.

Would you change anything about your time on the course?
No. Everything I lived was me being me, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Would you ever do it again?
Nope! It was an experience I feel I only needed once. It’s too tough. Just the thought of doing it again makes me feel nauseas!

Summarise your whole SAS: Who Dares Wins experience?
My whole experience is an unforgettable one. I went through so so many thoughts, emotions and feelings that I had not felt before but that were positive for me in the long run, even the tough times. I feel like just before going on the show I was nervous and sometimes self-doubting but I was very excited and ready to go. The first few days I was actually there I found it so tough, tough to adapt in general and all the challenges were already draining. I felt like giving up and felt that I would not make it further. Then I started enjoying it a little more and started getting into the wave of things.

But regardless of everything, there was always one thing, the mental thought of having to complete something, that mindset of mental toughness that was always there. And somehow I would get it done, and that was the beauty of the whole experience for me, that the mind is so powerful beyond what you expect.

SAS: Who Dares Wins – Jungle Hell airs Mondays at 9.00pm on Channel 4.

Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.