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Billy Blanks, Where Have You Been?

I don’t know about you, but the recent onslaught of snowstorms and “incredibly cold” temperatures (as one news station reported) has made it much harder for me to get to the gym. And pathetically, I actually live in SFP, a short walk across campus from Shad.

But after two weeks of complete inactivity and slothfulness, I had to do something. (Plus my clothes were inexplicably shrinking.) I decided to pop my Tae-Bo workout video back in the VCR after years of pushing it aside while searching for more appealing selections in my movie drawer.
I was immediately struck by several things.

One, Tae-Bo had gotten so much harder! All that kicking and punching and jumping. Boy, I couldn’t stop sweating. By the end of the workout video, I was drenched and completely exhausted. Plus, I was sore for the next two days.

Two, it suddenly dawned on me that Billy Blanks (the founder and visionary behind Tae- Bo) had some really powerful and inspiring things to say with implications reaching far beyond my living room and all the way into my professional life.

With my HBS experience coming to an end, I feel constantly challenged to decide what to do with my life, from where to move next year to how to find a meaningful, rewarding career. No matter how many times I “make up my mind,” I inevitably have doubts. And even when I feel okay about things myself, I spend hours discussing next year with friends and classmates, helping them figure out their plans.

I tell you, whoever says second semester second-year is all fun and games clearly accepted a job offer early on. (Loser.)

So, for the rest of us, weary and beleaguered by the constant undercurrent of stressful life choices, I think Billy Blanks has some very inspiring thoughts.

Here are a couple pearls of wisdom from the Tae-Bo master:

o “If you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything. I like to use the word: conqueror. I want you all to be conquerors.”

o “When you’re tired and you want to quit, don’t quit. Reach inside and tap yourself. Reach in and touch your heart. Go by your heart, not by what you see, and you’ll be successful.”

o “Gotta have a focus point. Visualize.”

o “When you feel the burn, it’s going to make you want to quit. But don’t let it make you quit. Reach inside and push yourself!”

o “Remember, if you’re tired, take a break, pace yourself and get right back into the workout. But don’t quit.”

o “All you need to do is try to push yourself to the limit. If you can do it for one hour, baby, I guarantee you success, but you’ve got to push yourself!”

Maybe I’ve been stuck in my apartment doing Tae-Bo for too long, but setting specific goals (like listening to my heart, pushing yet believing in myself, taking timeout when I need to but not quitting) sure sounds like a good way to cope with the stressors of the moment.

And at least I’m working out again. I’ve even ordered “Tae-Bo Live” and
“Tae-Bo 2: Get Ripped.”

Billy Blanks, I’m all yours.

February 24, 2003
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