I am not an athlete. I am a person who despises exercise in any form or fashion. I finally got to the point where I felt like a loser. I saw myself spiraling further and further away from who I wanted to be. I had thought at one point that I wanted to push for another Black Belt, but I let my mind get in my way, so I failed at that ambition. I let myself fall into a trap of “I am not as good as X or Y.” That’s a vicious cycle, believe me. I found out the hard way. I got increasingly more and more discouraged by my perceived failure to live up to the expectations I had in my own head. I also didn’t ask my instructors for assistance with the language or my material. I assumed that I knew what I needed to know. This was not the way to view that. Now fast forward to May of 2010. I started taking Tai Chi lessons, and while I enjoyed it, again, I didn’t practice and made excuse after excuse not to attend classes. This was a shame because I did enjoy it. I stopped attending those classes in February, after my surgery. I was inconsistent in everything I did–intermittently walking, etc. I talked a good talk, but that’s all it was. Then I got to talking to a former instructor, who happens to also be a friend. I knew that she belly danced, so I asked her if she’d be willing to give me a lesson. She was. She came out to my house and talked to me. She’s also a personal fitness trainer, so I decided that if I was going to change my life, I may as well jump in with both feet. I respect Alba and know that if anyone is going to kick my a$$, it’ll be her. I signed on for training. I have now taken at least two weeks’ worth of classes and have found it the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I will continue to work with her because it’s the most fun I’ve ever had working out–Alba makes me work and makes me work hard! She allows me a little bit of slack, but very little. I feel each workout for days afterwards, which is good! It means something good is happening. I tell myself daily that I’m seeing benefits. I am sure I am. My slacks fit better, my tops aren’t as snug and I’ve seen some other changes. I can see a little bit of definition in my sides. I have to say that Alba is definitely someone who knows what she’s doing and she’s absolutely wonderful!! She gave me a bracelet that I wear daily as an inspiration. It is a visible reminder of what I’m doing.