She's been through the worst of the worst, spending nine years in Bali's notorious Kerobokan prison and pushing herself to the limits on SAS Australia still says her experience on Dancing With The Stars: All Stars has been the most difficult.
"I did think at one point, 'What the hell have I signed up for?' I didn't think it was going to be that hard," she tells Woman's Day.
"There was so much body contact. I don't like people touching me, so that was an issue I had to overcome. I really struggled with that in the first few weeks."
The 43-year-old also says she found DWTS much harder than SAS because you had to rely on someone else entirely.
"You're relying on them to hold up your body. Dancing is also the only sport where you use both sides of your brain as well. Every step is important," she says.
But the former beauty therapist reveals it was all thanks to her "patient and respectful" dance partner Shae Mountain, who helped her through.
"The producers partnered me extremely well. They knew I needed an understanding person with no ego and that's what I was given, I'm so appreciative of that partnership," she says.
As well as Shae, Schapelle also found a strong partnership with costume designer Tim Chappel, who made all of her costumes on the show – most notably her stunning debut orange gown.
"The first time I saw the sketch of that dress, I cried," she says.
"Even thinking about it now, the emotions come back, it's just so beautiful."
Tim, who won an Academy Award for his work on Priscilla Queen Of The Desert in 1995, collaborated with Schapelle for a month leading up to her first performance of the waltz, and their natural rapport and trust with one another is evident in the stunning final product, she says.
"When I put it on for the first time, it just fit me, no alterations were needed – it showed that he really cared," she says.
"I just wanted to do the dress justice with the dance."
Dancing With The Stars: All Stars continues Monday, Tuesday & Sunday, 7.30pm, Seven