In the evolving world of virtual and home fitness, a Delawarean wants to take you on a “supernatural” journey to places you can only dream of visiting.
“You’re standing in your living room, slipping on that pair of VR goggles, and suddenly you’re standing at the base of the Giza pyramids. You’re listening to your favorite music, a coach – like me – – is in your ear to guide you through your movements as you smack or throw punches at targets, crouch and lunge through triangles, and have the time of your life in this immersive workout.”
Cab Calloway School of the Arts alum Leanne Pedante is fitness manager for Supernatural, an app for the Meta Quest 2 virtual reality headset that seeks to turn a video game platform into a workout tool.
The New Castle native said she was working as a fitness trainer in Los Angeles when she got a pitch to test the program in its beta phase.
“I had never even been in virtual reality, I even knew what those words meant together. , and I instantly fell in love.”
Pedante said one of the great benefits of VR fitness is that, unlike a group class, there’s no possibility of you finding yourself losing your focus watching other classmates who could be at a higher level.
“You’re so deeply in a state of flux, you’re really swept up in the goal of hitting all of these targets and listening to all of your favorite songs, it becomes something you look forward to, not something you dread. “
Supernatural’s launch came just at the start of the pandemic, but Pedante thinks home fitness should always have legs, because of the convenience factor.
“Probably a lot of people are going to continue to really spend time in VR and do these VR activities that they enjoy so much. It’s kind of like people realizing that not commuting for two hours of their day was pretty awesome, and might do it in a hybrid version as they open things up.”
As for Pedante, the Cab Calloway and Wilmington University alum said she was an unlikely choice to lead a fitness group.
“I didn’t identify as an athlete in any way. I was in a band, I loved to write poetry, I went to art school. I never played sports. My Dad tried his best but I just couldn’t do it.”
What Leanne did was take a group weightlifting class at the YMCA of Delaware, with classmates who were often 20 years older than her, when she had a fitness epiphany.
“Everyone was commenting on how great a job everyone was doing, and when I left I felt so elated, and I had that ‘ah-ha’ moment that training doesn’t mean punishing yourself or competing against someone else can mean a level of camaraderie and community, and fun.”
Leanne moved from Delaware to Los Angeles ten years ago to pursue her career in graphic design, but along the way she earned a personal training certification, eventually helping to open a fitness studio.
It created the opportunity with Supernatural, where she’s been for the past two years, pursuing a life path she said her 16-year-old self never even dreamed of taking.
“Nobody is more surprised than me by this result. If you had asked me in high school what I was going to do when I grew up, I would have had to answer at least 200 answers before finding this as a possibility. “
You can access Supernatural through the Meta Quest 2 headset, and it offers a two-week trial, with Leann serving as a trainer for many of the introductory videos, with most classes running between 15 and 25 minutes.
It won’t take you long to find one of Leanne’s workouts, and as you listen to the music, instructions, and motivational messages, don’t be surprised if you hear a few references that most countries might have stolen. as one of the target balls.
“I carry my pride of being a Delawarean very strongly in my training. I reference that a lot, I reference my history of working at Concord Mall and being in a band at Cab Calloway throughout my training. .”
Hearing references to Delaware while virtually lunging or throwing straight hooks at the Moon? It’s supernatural.