Billy Blank’s World Training Center in Sherman Oaks, California is super-charged with energy and rhythmic sounds of upbeat music that can literally be felt. It’s so compelling that while there, I found it hard to not start kicking and punching the minute I entered the building. The workout area is intense and crowded as certified Tae-Bo instructors lead each session.

The day I was there, people were lined up at the door waiting to get into the next heart-pounding workout. As I checked out the large building, I saw many regulars from the Tae-Bo videos that I exercise with daily. I felt like I knew them, but they had no idea who I was.

Rumor has it that the building used to be a bank and the size and layout seem to affirm that. The sports shop looks like it may have been the vault in its former life. It’s at the front of the building and is a trendy little room where you can buy really hip T-shirts, workout pants, caps, sports towels and bags embellished with “Tae-Bo” and phrases like, “Team Tae-Bo” and “Let it in.”

Last February of this year, I had the privilege of being a participant in the live series tapings at the NBC studios in Burbank, California. I arrived at the studio hot, clammy and shaking as if I were the leaves on a tree in a California earthquake.

I definitely wasn’t there because of my level of expertise in Tae-Bo. There was a notice posted on the Tae-Bo message board that gave an open invitation and listed times and dates. All I had to do was register by a certain date. I had been working out with the videos for quite some time and like many others had experienced benefits that had made a remarkable change in my life. One of my goals is to do something I’ve never done before each year and being a part of taping Tae Bo Live seemed like the perfect opportunity to stretch myself.

The day of the live taping the staff arranged us according to our ability and that put me toward the back of the room. What was a relief! Even though it was highly unlikely that anyone I knew would ever see me in one of the videos, I don’t think I could have done it if the cameras had been close by.

I met a journalist from England who had come to the United States to report on the newest exercise craze that had captured the interest of her country. She was also anxious about the taping and it was comforting to look over and see someone else there that felt like I did. There was a large sign on one wall that said, “Walk by faith not by sight.”