TEANECK, N.J. — It's not what Teaneck mother Claudia "CC" Collazo learned while competing on NBC’s “Strong.” It's the empowerment she gained.
Feeling any less than that is no longer an option.
"I can finally do things I said I would never be able to do -- like pull-ups, chin-ups and toes-to-bars," said Collazo, who at 41 is the show's oldest contestant. “Trainers come up to me in the gym and they're like, 'It looks like you don't need me'."
"Strong," co-produced by Sylvester Stallone, will debut with back-to-back episodes Wednesday night at 9 p.m.
Collazo, who once played in a now-defunct women's football league, was wondering how she got to be so bored at an Ivy League University where she'd been working when a random request to be on "Strong" hit her inbox.
“That just started it,” said Collazo, who quit the job and embarked on the journey of a lifetime.
Pushing and pulling. Climbing and falling. Getting back up.
“They were some of the craziest challenges you’d ever see,” she said. “It was one ridiculous contraption after another.”
Collazo and her fellow contestants would “play the guessing game,” trying to figure out what was in store for them each day based on the clues they got from producers, she said.They never got it right.
Tricking the body and the mind often builds strength, though.
“Setting goals is very important, and I had something to do other than be someone’s mom,” Collazo said. “A lot of women forget that. It’s important for me to push people out there and be an inspiration."
Would Collazo do it all over again if she could? "In a heartbeat,” she said.