CelebVillage: Ricki Lake: 'Dancing with the Stars' Made Me Feel Like I "Accomplished Something"

The actress-filmmaker writes about why doing DWTS was worth the risk in her exclusive blog for iVillage's blog series, CelebVillage

In her second blog for the iVillage blog series CelebVillage, actress/filmmaker and mom of two Ricki Lake shares what the "blood, sweat and tears" of doing Dancing with the Stars taught her about herself -- and how she hoped she inspired her sons.

The past few months have been truly extraordinary – even though I NEVER thought any of it would happen. Let me explain. There is a short list of things I have always said I would never do: One is get married again (more on that next week) and the other is doing Dancing with the Stars.

If you are living any place where television and magazines are available, by now you know that not only did I compete on Dancing with the Stars, but I made it to the finals. My dance partner, Derek Hough, and I worked so tirelessly each week, trying to outdo ourselves with every turn, twist and shimmy. More than two weeks after the finale, I am still nursing bruised ribs, sore feet, black-and-blue marks and neck/shoulder injuries. The silver lining? My body is in fantastic shape, and I feel like I really accomplished something.

I cherish each dance we did -- the rumba, the samba, the tango, and so on -- and I am saving DVDs of each performance so I can look back at them over the years. Hours of blood, sweat and tears (sometimes literally) went into those routines, and each one is so meaningful and special.

But the entire process was definitely a challenge. The rehearsal schedule was grueling and took almost all of my time for three months. The hardest part for me was the hours away from my family -- my children and my fiancé. As all moms know, we are constantly being pulled by the demands of our careers and our families. We want both, and we want to do both well. The juggling of the show, along with making sure I was staying up on homework assignments, activities and just spending good quality time with my kids, was harder than I expected.

Luckily, my family was patient with me. I really wanted to make them proud, and I think my sons ultimately saw that hard work and being committed can yield amazing results. The smiling faces of the boys in the audience during those weeks on the show made it all feel worth it. I am always proud of them, but I realize it is just as important that they be proud of me. I hope I inspired them to try new things and leave their comfort zones. Talk-show host, actress, author, and now dancer -- but "Mom" is the job I want to do best.

I gave birth at home in my bathtub (you’ve seen The Business of Being Born, right?) and danced live in front of more than 20 million people a week. What’s coming next? Whatever it is, I can handle it.

Follow Ricki Lake on Twitter at @RickiLake. And click here to read more exclusive posts in the CelebVillage series.

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