The Hero: Patty O’Neil Talks Winning And Following Your Dreams

The season finale of The Hero just aired on TNT last night, and FanBolt was fortunate enough to be at the taping earlier this week. From the reunion of the cast members to the all the catty drama, we sat in the audience waiting patiently for the moment all of America wanted to see – who would be the winner of The Hero and walk away with $610,000. 3 hours of filming later, the moment finally came, and Ashland’s Patty O’Neil walked away with the title.

After the filming concluded, I had the pleasure of chatting with a very sweet and courteous O’Neil who was clearly on cloud nine.

What was going through your head in those final moments before your name was announced?

Patty O’Neil: I’m not going to lie. I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t hear anything. I was trembling. I was terrified.

What was the most motivation or the most powerful words of wisdom that The Rock gave you in this experience?

Patty O’Neil: I had researched every quote that he had said, and I’d read it out loud like a mantra.

“When you’re good at something, you tell everyone. When you’re great at something, everyone tells you.”

That was something I said to myself daily in Panama. I had it above my bed, and I’d look at it daily. He just changed my life.

How did you put yourself in the mindset to conquer all the things you did during this series? Especially your fear of heights?

Patty O’Neil: Dwayne Johnson. It had been 7 weeks at that point of him mentoring me and kind of riding me a little bit. When he said “Legendary” right in my eyes. You don’t say no. Tell me to jump, and I’ll jump. Tell me how high. It was at that moment I knew I was going. I wasn’t going to let him down.

The Hero differs a little from the regular reality shows in that it’s trying to emphasis the positive – even though there is still drama as we saw in the finale. What was that dynamic like during filming – trying to support each other instead of tear each other down. You’re not trying to eliminate your biggest competition or threat in this series.

Patty O’Neil: Everyone just wanted to support everyone. You might see some fighting and crap, but I also saw those two girls clapping for each other at the end of a mission. If you want to be successful in life, I think a good lesson to take from The Hero is try to figure how to get along and make it work, otherwise you’re not going to be able to make it work. That was something that Dwayne taught all of us – empathy.

Final words of wisdom to inspire others to conquer their fears?

Patty O’Neil: There is no age limit in dreaming. There is no age limit in change. There is no body image you can’t change. And never use your kids as an excuse. It isn’t the kids that are keeping you from working out or going for your dreams. If you have a dream, you go for it. 9 times out of 10, they’ll actually support you when you make it known.


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