As avid followers of The Amazing Race, Jet and Cord McCoy—last season’s runners-up—endeared themselves to all of us here at Canadian Family with their overall decency and down-home charm. The brothers served as the grand marshals of the opening parade at the Calgary Stampede, and during the festivities—which include rodeo events, concerts, chuckwagon races, a huge midway, agricultural shows and many other features and events—they could be seen everywhere. Jet, experiencing Canada for the first time, rode in the extreme cowboy competition, while this was Cord’s second visit to Calgary—and his second time riding bulls in the Stampede’s rodeo.
I was at the Calgary Stampede earlier this week and caught up with the guys at the Grandstand. We chatted about how they kept invariably kept their cool (throughout the Race, which spanned 64,000 kilometres across five continents, the brothers remained on an even keel and never lost their tempers). “We knew going into it that we were going to get frustrated with each other and frustrated with ourselves, but in the end, arguing between ourselves and getting mad and throwing a fit, it doesn’t make you any faster,” Cord noted in his trademark Oklahoma twang. “Our main goal was to win the Race, so we knew that was just another obstacle that we had to overcome.”
I asked them if they could draw upon their experiences to provide some tips to help summer-road-trip-bound families keep similarly cool with each other during long days in the car. Cord says that, whenever possible (and we recognize that it’s not always possible with very young kids), everyone in the family should start out knowing that not everything will go as planned, and with a readiness to be as flexible as possible. “You can expect problems. You can expect to be lost. You can expect to eat at restaurants that not everybody likes,” says Cord. In trademark style, Jet agrees. “I think Cord really hit the nail on the head there,” he says, adding, “both of us realized that we weren’t always going to get our own way. There were a few times along the way that I made a decision that Cord didn’t really agree with, or Cord made a decision that I didn’t really agree with, but we both knew in that instance that to stand there and argue was only going to cause more problems. So it was better to just go on with it and have a good time.”
—Tim Johnson, CF’s contributing editor