The Leap Home

Ever watch Quantum Leap? Boy, I did. I’d watch it again right now if an episode happened to start up around my face and if I was oriented to time and place and if I was paying attention. That’s how much I loved it.

That reminds me of the last time I watched it. I really didn’t want to be oriented to time and place, because then I’d be aware of the awkward silence weighted-blanketing the room around me, so I just pretended to be into that show so hard. And about seven seconds after THAT, I remembered that I had been into that show so hard.

But I digress.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the goal of Quantum Leap’s protagonist, Dr. Sam Beckett, was to get back home. Just to be able to return to his pre-accident, scientist life instead of being destined to leap from one mess to another forever and ever, that was all he wanted. And was that really so much?!

Man, now I really want to watch Quantum Leap. But that would defeat the purpose of this blog, which is that I achieved the Sam Beckett dream equivalent in my own life.

The last year has been the best and coolest overall life change, far greater than anything I ever thought I deserved. I wanted to live in Springfield for about 20 years prior to actually moving here, so that was one thing right off the top. Then this guy came out of nowhere, and he was so great that there wasn’t, and still isn’t, even a word to describe it, and then I met people and made friends who were ALSO great (although I already had some awesome friends, so that part had always been strong). Then I got a job in my actual field, which felt like a stupid amount of fortune to rain down on me, so for a long time I just basked in it.

Don’t get me wrong, there was still adjustment necessary, as will happen when you find that not one part of your life is the same as it was this time last year, or even last month. Like, it was literally all new. The town, the job, people. My family was no longer located two minutes away.

But as great as it was overall, there was still something missing. Because there are parts of me that are just me, parts I can’t suppress or ignore for long without reminders.

I love donuts.

I love going to baseball games.

I love to fall asleep on the couch.

And I love working out.

There were so many great donut places in Springfield, and my couch was so new, and it wasn’t baseball season, that for six months I was able to ignore the fact that I hadn’t found a place to work out. I had a great place in Nevada, but it wasn’t great enough for a three-hour commute. I tried going it alone, with a CD assortment that included T-25, and Insanity, and Combat Cardio. But I couldn’t self-motivate. I found one place, and it almost immediately closed down. I went on vacation, and that ate up more time.

Finally, I decided to use a Groupon I had purchased about two months prior, to a place called The Studio. I knew almost nothing about it, aside from that it was located about a mile from my house and that they had a spirited, active Facebook page. But they offered early-morning classes, which I had to have due to my shifting schedule and aversion to weekend workouts.

I started in April, and although initially I felt like the biggest klutz (BEATS dance class, anyone?), by the end of my two-week trial, I was hooked.

The women in my classes weren’t my friends, and yet I looked forward to seeing them like they were. At 5 a.m., I’m not inclined to speak much, but leaving at the end of the session, sweating more than I ever had in my life, I felt so totally alive.

The mental difference was immediate…the closing savasana, Jamie’s guided meditation, was enough of a mental shift in and of itself. By the end of a month, though, I could also see the physical difference. When I turned 40 in 2015, I wrote a blog about accepting that I was just going to look a certain way. I referenced “skin curtains” and “flying squirrels” and gradually sagging parts of my body that I felt were never meant to sag so early. I didn’t like it, but didn’t really think there was any fixing it.

Well, The Studio fixed it. Cami’s HIIT and Jamie’s BUTI sometimes left me wondering if that was really all sweat or if my entire body was crying in pain, but whatever it was, clothes that I thought were always going to be too tight were suddenly giving me breathing room. I was able to eat a lot, lot more, but my body was…tightening. The four to five classes I take per week have transformed my body, subtly, but in such a way that I’m in the best shape of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still 41, and there’s only so much magic what can happen. And don’t get me wrong, once or twice a week I have to pay homage to who I am as a person and zero out my fridge, but overall, sure. It’s better.

Five months into my leap to my studio home, space and parking issues necessitated a move for them, into Springfield and considerably further from my house than before. My alarm started going off at 4:28 a.m. instead of 4:40, and at that time of day, 12 minutes matters.

But I was making it. And I loved it.

Today, I added a random lunchtime class to see the difference. I didn’t have a lot of confidence, because it reminded me too much of mid-day gym class in school (sweat, shower, accept the day as ruined because you never quite felt clean).

I don’t even know why I worried. After dying my way through eight songs of hard dance/lunge/squat/burpee madness, I ventured into the shower room marked “Dirty Diana.”

And almost wept.

There were motivational, framed pictures. There was a shower stocked with shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. The counter held a tray of Bath and Body Works’ finest, plus makeup remover, cotton balls, and q-tips.

It was perfect. Aside from the fact that I was so dazed I forgot to lock the door, but I’m pretty sure she won’t make or forget THAT mistake again.

My point is, thank you, The Studio. For these reasons and so many more, I nominated the ever-loving sh*t out of you in the Best of 417.

Anyone in this area who is interested, I have a free class pass for you.


I mean, this is no gym-class locker room.



I start every day vowing to become healthier and end every day by zeroing out my fridge.
That's the kind of self-sabotage that forms the core of my being.
You know what I'm good at, though? Spinning words into a magical skein that envelopes you in success. Let's talk about that first, and if snacks end up happening, so be it.

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