To all the wonderful fans who sent me beautiful e-mails;
(especially to all the women and young girls).
I want to take a moment to thank all of you who took the
time to write me after my departure from "Dancing with the
Stars!" You touched my heart with your comments and I want to
share my sincere thoughts with you about the experience that I think
will give you a personal perspective about my concept of winning
I want you to know, in my mind, I dance away a winner! I believe
in my heart adventure is the only real currency in life -- and boy
did I have a fabulous adventure. I learned so much about myself;
that I had real talent and found true joy from something new I
never imagined I could do before. I got the chance to live a
dream and pay tribute to my beloved father. His name, Jose
Fernandez, was spoken on national television before millions and
that gave me immense pride to have him live again through me in
this new millennium. Most importantly, I got the chance to
inspire women of all ages that
ALL IS POSSIBLE at any age --
something I truly believe with all my heart.
So while I was very disappointed to leave the show, because I was
so enjoying the adventure of learning something new and
challenging myself, I am filled with a sense of true victory for
having had the courage to break out of my comfort zone to try
something new no matter the outcome.
The questions of "injustice" and charges "I was robbed," make
me smile. This is a reality TV show that is produced
exceptionally well to incorporate great highs and crashing lows.
I have produced shows for many years and know well the
"realities" of reality TV. I entered into this adventure knowing
full well how these shows are structured and understood from the
get-go that fan base also had a lot to do with the outcome. As a
journalist, I knew I did not enter the competition with the
popularity of others but I jumped in anyway, recognizing the
immense opportunity and challenge, not to mention the chance to
dance! Many of you did not know me or my work before and I got
more exposure in three weeks than I received my entire career.
If I were told at the onset that I was being cast into a show
where my character would be killed off in week three -- but I could
learn to dance, have the time of my life and be seen by millions --
I would have jumped at it with all the zest of a tiger. I have
not one regret. My only sadness is that I waited so long to find
this new passion. My great gift is finding it now - and boy will
I continue to pursue this new talent privately!
It's always been who I am and reflective of what I believe to put
everything you've got into whatever you do, regardless of outcome,
for the sheer joy and experience of the moment. I took advantage
of every second and relished in every sore muscle, spin, fall,
high and low. For three weeks I was a dancer, and for the rest of
my life I have a new talent to explore and polish and enjoy. I
lived fully this experience and discovered new aspects of myself
I never knew. And to share a secret -- I am proud to say I was able
to overcome some pretty crippling nerves to perform on that stage
in those skimpy and glamorous dresses. I am so proud of myself
for that! Simply, there was no downside. This was only a gift
that will keep on giving.
To all my women fans and Latina sisters especially, if there is
one thing I hope you glean from my experience -- don't care about
the outcome or odds of anything you dare -- just dive in for the
sheer experience of the ride. Dare to learn something new and
challenge yourself regardless of age, weight, odds or crazy self
perception that you're not good enough! Dare to be a daring dame
and jump in feet and heart first in anything you do. Dare to
fail, dare to succeed, dare to discover who you are and surprise
yourself with YOU!
We all have ideas of who we think we are -- of what we think we
can do or not do. We have no idea until we try and dare and thrust
ourselves into a new arena where our soul gets the chance to show
us who we really are.
I don't just say it --
I BELIEVE WITH ALL MY HEART -- all is
possible if you are willing to take a chance -- willing to test
yourself -- willing to fail but at least while daring greatly! You
will surprise yourself with YOU
just as I have in this adventure.
Lastly, there has been a lot of commentary about my age -- I've
even been referred to as an "older hottie!" Ha! How wonderful is
this! Ladies, we buy into society's age and weight obsession way
too much -- it's laughable. We are way too smart for this in this
new millennium! The truth of the matter is this -- when we reach
our forties, we know more than ever before who we are, what we
want and don't want. We have more confidence than ever as a result
of our hard earned life experience. You would never say to a rose
finally starting to bloom, "She's past her prime." We are at last
in full bloom -- at our peak -- a new starting gate of life where
life can truly begin with the full force of who we are. Don't
buy into being "too old" to have the best body you can have for
you. Don't buy into being "too old" to try something new. Don't
buy into "the best is behind you." Know what you really believe
inside, which is, "The best is yet to come if you allow it!"
Do not settle -- do not resign yourself to excuses --
Dare to live the life you were born to live! By this point in
life you have either had kids, have or had a career, are in a
relationship or starting over -- your wisdom and your wrinkles
are your badges of honor -- wear them proudly and charge forward
armed with all the gifts of your adventure and self knowledge to
go after the life you dream! There is no more time to waste.
Now is the time to live fully and at full power.
My hope for you is that you check out my
Five Jewels for a Healthy, Fit Body
-- taking care of yourself is an absolute must!
You must come first -- when we are physically fit we have more
confidence, energy and self esteem to pursue all we desire. If
you have delayed a dream to pursue a new job, career, motherhood,
relationship or travel, my hope is that you will go for it and not
settle. Now is your time -- dive in -- be bold -- it's possible.
When you put everything you've got into something, there is no
way you don't come out a winner!
I carry an acorn with me everywhere I go -- I collect them as a
matter of fact. They remind me of the seed of greatness within us
all -- our God given destiny to become a mighty oak. Put one on
your desk, in your pocket, around your house -- let this symbol,
or anything that will remind you, that you are here for greatness.
Allow yourself the adventure of finding out what it is!
Thank you again for all your kind writings and for giving me the
opportunity to share my philosophies with you -- that we are all
capable of great things and of surprising ourselves with
greatness at any age, at any time of life.
With love from a winning dancer!