Jana Pittman has taken to Instagram to pen a candid message to her fans – and critics – in light of her and her 17-year-old son Cornelis’ recent elimination from The Amazing Race: Celebrity Edition.
And while the former Olympian said that she was “heartbroken” by the many viewers who harshly criticised her for ‘babying’ Cornelis and calling him ‘buddy’ during the competition, she also admitted that she “cringed” at herself too when watching.
“Definitely heartbroken to read some super critical messages from people about our relationship and my mothering skills. That I babied him calling him buddy, that I was annoying and too critical,” Jana began.
“I hear you… I watched the edit and cringed too… the portrayal of my mother-son relationship laid bare for all to comment on.”
Jana then bravely acknowledged that the experience, despite being mostly positive, has taught her to “be less ‘intense’” and “do better” moving forward.
“The first 6 races we killed it… then the pressure built up and it got very hard, we dropped the ball. Of course they mainly show the parts [where] we argue and I seem to push him too hard. It’s reality TV!!
“It has definitely made me look at myself and realise I have to be less ‘intense’… do better… enjoy life a little more. Listen closer… It’s a hard switch to turn off when you have been that way all your life… but there were so many other fabulous moments where we pushed and supported each other well beyond our limits.”
But Jana also reminded fans that celebrities are humans too; and while she is happy to learn and grow from her mistakes, there’s no need to be unnecessarily cruel.
“Behind every celebrity is a person and most of us bleed and cry the same as everyone. Reading some tough comments makes my heart hurt. My stomach aches with disappointment and my brain won’t switch off.
“I have had lots of negative press as a younger athlete, far less of late but this has taken me right back to how that felt. The crippling self doubt, the dry mouth and the headaches. I wrote a whole book on it, Enough.
“Yes I signed up to do it, so it’s on me to wear this and I will but right now it hurts. Tomorrow I still have to get up, plaster a smile on, show up for patients, snuggle the kids and do a speaking gig but I will do it tired, as tonight I am teary, heart broken and feeling incredibly vulnerable,” she continued.
“So it’s just a little shout out to remind us all, our words are powerful. Comments will likely reach the person they are about and if that’s your intention great, but please remember [there’s] a person who breathes, cries and aches behind the ‘name’ and a director that has to get TV’s turned on.”
Jana then added, “Love to you all who have supported my quirky personality for years! I am often too busy to comment but I read them all. Your support goes a long long way.”
Ultimately, Jana and Cornelius placed fifth in The Amazing Race: Celebrity Edition.