Chicago native Vairrun Strickland hopes to have a life-changing mental and physical breakthrough as he joins the Lost Resort cast on the latest season of the TBS television reality series.
The program follows nine strangers at their breaking points to an exotic wellness retreat where they embark on a voyage of self-discovery against a tropical backdrop.
“I feel that my participation in the Lost Resort project was not by accident,” Strickland said. “It was my destiny to go to Costa Rica and cross paths with the knowledgeable holistic healers who helped me become a better person.”
The 38-year-old, who was born and raised in West Englewood, will join his other castmates as they work with an eclectic team of alternative healers who push them to their limits. The group experiences everything from rage rituals and vulnerability circles to orgasmic healing.
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As the emotional barriers crumble, the upstairs/downstairs drama explodes; the motley crew hooks up, breaks up, and opens up in ways they’d never expect. From a married couple on the brink, to a mother/daughter pair with serious trust issues and a hothead with a painful past, the guests come from all walks of life hoping to leave better than they arrived.
Strickland graduated with a B.S. degree in Urban Planning from Alabama A&M University. The 14-year firefighter with the City of Markham is also a physique athlete with the IFPA (International Federation of Physique Athletes.)
According to the show’s producers, “People are drawn to Vairrun and his outgoing personality. However, behind that outgoing surface, years as Chicago firefighter and EMT, the deep trauma and grief Vairrun sees on the job has caused him to shut off emotionally, even at home. While he enjoys the attention he gets from women on his physique, he has been unable to open himself up to connect intimately on a deeper level. He wants to have a full, emotionally connected relationship with the goal of a wife and family some day and is hoping the retreat can help get him on the right path.”
The self-described mental health advocate, and community activist can be followed on Instagram: @vairrun.