True Confession: I am a HUGE fan of Dancing With the Stars. I said it. In my outside voice. I own it. I look forward to the seasonal announcement of which stars are joining the cast. I mourned the loss of Maks as a pro and I secretly wish the network would choose me as Derek’s next partner. I cry when Carrie cries, I duck when Bruno is giving feedback and I cheer when I hear the words, “From Len a 10!” I even laugh at Tom’s dry jokes as he reads them from the teleprompter.

Not only do I love DWTS because it is just good clean television, I have also realized over the season that most of what we need to in life and fitness we can learn just by watching the show. Each season provides several lessons in fitness, business and life in general. So hop up from the sofa, don’t break hold and get ready for the Samba roll of your life!

1. Everyone has a starting point. No matter where yours is, your success is determined by where you go from there.

Julian’s First Horse Show

2. With daily effort (also known as WORK), you will improve from your starting point. This is true in dancing, fitness, riding, business and real life.

My Perfect Partner
My Perfect Partner

3. Always hope for a partner whose strengths balance your weaknesses and vice versa. I know in horse showing, a brave rider can really bring out the talents of an unconfident horse and an old campaigner or schoolmaster is the best partner for an inexperienced rider.

4. There is only so much a talented partner can do to cover your lack of skill, experience or preparation. Because riding is one sport that involves two athletes, each partner must invest in improving in fitness and athleticism or the partnership can only be so successful. Invest in your partnership daily.

5.  A little friendly competition just makes life more interesting. And not everyone needs to get a ribbon or medal for it to be fun and enjoyable.

6. Life is not fair. Sometimes someone less talented will place ahead of you. Be careful. You will be judged on how shocked you looked, whether you roll your eyes and how gracefully you handle your disappointment. Remember that in these moments you can still come out a winner even if you don’t win in the actual event.

7. A group of totally unrelated people when faced with the similar challenges can create life long relationships and deep friendships. In my fitness and business world, we call these Accountability Groups and they are incredibly powerful in creating a positive and successful environment.

When you open a gate, close it
When you open a gate, close it

8. Life is more fulfilling when you spend it enjoying and supporting those around you.

9.  Dance like no on is watching…or like the nation is watching. Either way, just dance.

10.  Run like someone left the gate open.

11.  Ride it like you stole it.

Oh those last two? I learned those from Oscar the donkey…and well, Thelma and Louise.

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