Finding Community in COVID-19

When I started at Lead in August of 2020, I was searching for a community.

When this spring hit, I had just finished my English degree at the U of S along with a tight-knit group of book-lovers. In April, I was planning to head off to meet my friends in Europe and eat paella in Spain, drink wine in Portugal, shop for vintage frocks in London, and frolic in the tulips in Amsterdam. I would get home just in time to walk across the stage at convocation and soak in the accomplishment of years of sleepless nights writing essays on Shakespeare and symbolism. I would then spend a summer of tan lines, red solo cups, and fireworks with friends and family.

Instead, I got cancelled plans, airline IOUs, and sad attempts at parties over precarious Wi-Fi connection.

Without my neat little post-grad plan all tied in a bow, there seemed to be no definitive end to one chapter of community and start to another. And then came Lead.

I’ll admit that starting work at a business notorious for its sense of community during a time where community seemed nonexistent felt… daunting. But I quickly realized why community is key at Lead.

Lead embraces change. Since starting at the studio, I have watched time and time again as the team adapts to new safety protocols, client accommodations, and forms of technology. I know, we’re all tired of technology. However, I have witnessed clients embrace the new form of Zoom classes with such enthusiasm. It’s a bright spot of my morning when clients who are missing the normalcy of group classes spot one of their pilates pals in the back of our Zoom call and can still say “hi!” from home.

Another factor that has created community at Lead comes from our integrated health model. One of the greatest positives from this pandemic came from taking all of our clinicians’ morning temperature. I noticed quickly how, at Lead, integration breeds inclusivity. Every morning, I am greeted by so many (masked!) smiles from a team of smart, talented people with an optimistic view of wellness. This creates a culture of support and a sense of connection that has been sorely missing, for me anyway, since the beginning of this craziness. It’s nice to know that we’re all working toward a common goal.

Finally, Lead has inspired me to keep moving in a world that seems to have halted. I’ve seen, both in our clients and our team, a desire to get better and to make things better for others. It’s refreshing to see that, even through a global pandemic, nothing can stop that.

So, next time you see me at the Studio desk, just know that you have given me my community back. Sure, it would have been fun to find community on the cobblestone streets of Europe or in the sweaty crowds of a summer concert, but it’s just as fun with my Lead fam. I know that all of you who have walked through our front doors feel the same.

– Jordana