EDITOR'S NOTE: Each week, HoustonTexans.com will spotlight a Texans Cheerleader and follow her through her favorite activity or hobby for a series titled, "My Favorite..."
One of Ashley N's favorite things to do is extreme sports. The 20-year-old Texans Cheerleader veteran enjoys rock-climbing, skydiving and surfing in her spare time.
She decided to take up a new hobby this week, attending her first-ever karate class at Loebe's TKO Mixed Martial Arts School.
"I absolutely loved it," she said afterward. "My hand is still red from punching. I just had so much fun. I'm still sweaty, and I loved every minute of it."
Ashley N received one-on-one instruction from Bear Loebe, a four-time world champion, learning kicking, punching and throwing techniques. For Ashley N, many of the required movements came naturally thanks to her extensive dance experience. But that doesn't mean the class was easy.
"The hardest thing that I did today was probably remembering what the stuff is called," she said. "I'm pretty flexible, so the kicks and stuff were really neat. It was all pretty fun, (but) it was challenging, definitely."
She also was reluctant to kick and punch the pads being held up by her instructor.
"It is kind of hard to hit the pads and stuff because it's a real person (holding them)," she said. "I'm real tiny, and I just really didn't think I had that much power. Like I said, my hand's still sore."
At the end of the lesson, Ashley N received a white belt, officially becoming a member of Loebe's karate school. She plans to take future classes and pursue the art of karate even further, but she doesn't think she'll be ready to don a black belt any time soon.
"I just started today," she said. "There's no way I could ever be a black belt. It would take forever.
"(But) I definitely am looking forward to coming back. It would be a lot of fun."