As the workout started, I took a deep breath and told myself that I could do it. Billy’s gift of coaching took over and led us through the warm up, kicks, punches and cool-down and before I knew it, we had finished the workout.

I wasn’t sure what Billy would be like in person, but found him to be down to earth and very approachable. The crew from Billy to the support staff showed genuine interest in us as individuals during the tapings and even though there was a schedule to keep, they seemed relaxed and focused.

After it was over some of us went out to dinner. It was especially inspiring to meet the others and share about how Tae-Bo had changed our lives. We all had a lot to feel good about. The overwhelming majority of our stories were about how we had overcome something in our lives. Our successes ranged from improved self-confidence and health to incredible weight loss.

Tae-Bo has helped us acquire strength, endurance, focus and technique. It is impossible to do it without engaging the mind and spirit as well as the body. Maybe that’s the reason so many of us have found inner healing as well as improved physical fitness by practicing Tae-Bo. In many of his videos Billy says, “It’s not easy! You’ve got to give some to get some!” I’ve been doing Tae-Bo for about two years now and find that even when he doesn’t say it and I’m stretching my limits, I’ll say it to myself and feel stronger.

The stress of everyday life had caused many of us to detach from the world around us due to the over-stimulation and demands made on our lives. As if that’s not enough, we’re also becoming disconnected with ourselves. We know we should be taking better care of ourselves, but find it is difficult to find the time. In many ways technology has created more instead of less stress in our lives. It isn’t uncommon to find ourselves being driven through the day by some unseen force. Practicing Tae-Bo can be a healthy way to take back control and give us focus.

Billy stresses the importance of each of us becoming our own coach and reminds us the moves can be modified to each person’s needs. I stay motivated to work out with the videos day after day because of the enthusiasm and sincerity of Billy Blanks. He’s an excellent teacher and motivator, so much so, that it feels like he’s in the room with me giving me individual instruction.

Some of the benefits I’ve experienced are overcoming lethargy, depression, pain and inflexibility. I’m enjoying well-toned muscles, better circulation, renewed energy, physical and emotion endurance, and a side benefit is a better body shape … being myself, but defining the best of what I can be.

Billy Blanks has done a remarkable job of creating an exercise program that has literally changed the lives and bodies of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. We come from all walks of life; firemen, housewives, swim teams, lawyers and accountants just to mention some who are devoted Tae-Bo enthusiasts. For those of us who can’t make it to the World Training Center in Sherman Oaks there are the great live workouts on video that can be done at any time of the day or night.

One of the locals told me that those of us who work out with the videos are saving $10 a workout, the cost of one session. We also have the advantage of picking the time and the intensity our bodies can handle that particular day. His Tae-Bo videos are directed toward all ages, from children to the “Golden Oldies” generation and beyond.

In April of this year, Billy and some of his team went to Germany and conducted live workouts for the thousands of enthusiasts who had never enjoyed working out that much in their lives.

Maybe you saw Billy’s endorsement of Subway Restaurants’ low-fat sandwich commercial last February. If you did, you may have seen a glimpse of the energy and enthusiasm that he has for his work. And if you haven’t already done so, check out where you can find before and after pictures of Tae-Bo heroes and their victories. All those listed have lost weight and look great today. Tae-Bo has changed their lives. You can also register at the site to participate in the message boards where community members share ideas and encourage one another. Check it out. What do you have to lose?