01/17/2013 at 10:00 PM EST
Sarah Herron, 26, was determined to find love on The Bachelor
– and she wasn't about to let having only one arm get in her way.
And as the advertising executive, who was born without an arm, received the first one-on-one date
(and helicopter ride!) of the season, it seems her persistence paid off.
She recently spoke with reporters on the phone from her home in Los Angeles about her connection with Sean Lowe
, being born different and next week's shocker.
Getting the first date is huge.
It made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. ... I felt sparks and could definitely picture myself, as early as that night, building a future with him. But it is also a double-edge sword. ... I woke up the next morning realizing it was going to be a lot harder than I thought because I had to sit back and watch X number of girls go out with him.
Are you sure the feelings were real?
Everything is incredible, romantic and fairy tale-esque, so your emotions are so heightened. But I felt so strongly that night that Sean is this incredible guy that I've looked for my whole life and could definitely see myself falling in love. It sounds crazy and very fast, but it was true.
Why is Sean the right match?
He's 100 percent authentic, patient, passionate, compassionate, creative, sporty, adventurous, good-looking and a gentleman. He's an adrenaline junkie who likes to travel. He has a very big heart and an awesome sense of humor. When you are spending time with him, he has this way of making you feel like you are this incredible, perfect woman.
Do you think your disability played a part in you getting that date?
My situation played a role in a positive way. It helped me stand out and catch his attention when I introduced myself to Sean. I hope it's because he saw me as a unique, strong, courageous individual and that I deserved the opportunity just as much as anybody else.
Were you nervous about being the show's first contestant with one arm?
I was worried about Sean liking me, but I was not concerned about what the public would say. I've grown up with that and have pretty thick skin. But I've been reading comments online. It has been incredibly positive and uplifting. Truthfully, I went on the show to meet Sean, not be a role model.
Was it an issue with any of the women?
If any of them thought it was bizarre or off-putting, they kept it to themselves and never made it an issue to my face. ... The girls were very sweet, welcoming and immediately bonded with me.
If it isn't you, which woman is the best match for him?
Lesley M. She's a cool, beautiful, wonderful girl with a great career and amazing body. I see this great spark between them.
Looks like the craziness starts next week.
This coming episode is going to be a pretty big shocker. True colors are coming out, there's a lot of drama and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds and what really happened. Sean does something that really surprised me. I didn't see it coming.