I love watching Strictly every year, but this year it is tinged with a rather large layer of nerves.

Just in case you don’t know I said YES to entering as a contestant in the yearly Shelter does Strictly Charity event in Liverpool.

It’s all very serious, and the event is just like a Saturday night Strictly Come Dancing. There are 13 contestants, professional dancers and 4 judges, one of which is a Strictly professional!

I have been told I am dancing the Salsa and I get 8 hours with my professional dance partner to learn it. While most of the other contestants have started training, I don’t have my first lesson until the 10th October which very aptly happens to be World Homeless Day.

Rather than sat waiting and worrying, I have decided to see If I can get familiar with a few basic steps and have attended a local Salsa class on a Sunday evening at a community hall. 7.30pm – 9.30pm…way past my bedtime on a Sunday!

I am almost wishing I had stayed with ‘sat worrying’ as I am pretty crap and so is Simon. I know we have only been twice but Simon has 2 left feet and I wish I had someone elses!

The lovely instructor did politely tell me last night that I may find it useful if I chose not to wear my big black winter boots! We all get to dance with each other, and I feel embarrassed for the people when they take their turn to dance with either myself or Simon.

I wasn’t even aware that there was more than one type of Salsa, Cuban, LA, crossbody whatever…why didn’t I choose a Ballroom dance?!

Why did I say I would even do it in the first place? I could be enjoying Strictly every night instead of paying particular attention to all the footwork and being envious that they practice 8 hours a day, not just 8 hours!

I flinch at the thought of me having to perform a 90 second full on salsa routine in front of hundreds of people and 4 judges in just over 8 weeks time, just writing this makes me shiver.

It would have been easier just to say no…I am not available as I will be washing my hair.

I knew though, that when I did say yes, that I absolutely would have wobbles like this. To me, it is all part of the process, although not a very nice part.

I honestly can’t imagine being able to learn all those steps and to be able to perform them confidently, without me falling over or farting!

Why the hell did I say I would do it!!!

Because, (I now you shouldn’t start a sentence with that, but whatever,) challenging yourself is good for your health and I want to raise as much money as possible for Shelter, the fantastic homeless charity.

I sometimes allow myself to imagine me having finished my dance on the night, having done really well, then I am brought back down to earth with what I need to do to have that even as a remote possibility.

I am bloody determined though. I will give it my absolute best, I will do as my dance partner says, I will even stop wearing my wellies to Salsa Sundays!

I have already started by working on my fitness this September, I am eating well, I have not had an ice cream for 2 weeks…now there is some commitment!

I want to feel good about myself, I want to feel healthy and I want to feel fit so I then can focus all my efforts into training my feet what to do!

If I had said no, which I very nearly did, I would not have any of this ‘stress’, but then I would not have the chance to experience the joy on the night when it is all over and the pride I will feel to have raised so much money for this worthwhile cause.

There are 13 of us and I am top of the leaderboard when it comes to fundraising and that feels bloody fantastic and i want to continue. It would be bloody lovely to be top of the actual leaderboard too, but that seems an almost impossible feat at the moment!

The whole point of this email is for you to question yourself…

What could you say YES to?

What have you said YES to and did it work out?

What do you regret NOT saying YES to?

A top tip for you. If you are ever in doubt as to whether to say yes to something then always say this quote out loud…

“Better to regret the things you do than the things you don’t!”

It works for me every single time as with this, I would rather do it, even if I fall on my face and make a fool of myself, and regret it – than not do it and regret having denied myself the chance that I just might be bloody brilliant and love every singe moment..and WIN!!

Hope that gets you thinking.

Look for things to say YES to and enjoy the challenge, even if it makes you a little bit fearful.

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