A quiet determinedness mixed with a propensity towards having fun . . . that's how I see Alicia.

My student from day number one of beginning a Kids program, Alicia has blossomed.

By taking a moment to reflect, I can recall that Alicia once had a difficult time keeping up with the workout, that she couldn't climb a rope, and that the sting of feeling slower than some other kids was sharp.

Now? She is a leader in class. She wants to get the work in. She can climb a rope. She is stronger, faster, more flexible.

She has also improved in less obvious ways.

Although always an experimental food taster, she has taken that interest into her home and makes informed choices for what she wants to eat. And because her family is health-conscious as well, she is quick to jump in and help with meal preparations.

She also equates her strength with beauty. At a time in development when it's easy to get caught up in what others may think, Alicia is firmly her own person . . . and grounded in her belief in herself.

Oh, yes, I have yet to mention that Alicia is a survivor of childhood leukemia.

She's a fighter.

Yet even the ones who come out swinging need support. The work she does with us keeps her active, her bone density high, and her weight low . . . all important in her doctor's eyes as well as her family's.

Keep the course, Alicia. You are doing an incredible job. And your pushup is not too far away!

Rebecca Boskovic