That title? Unbelievably not a joke.
I'm writing this post sitting in my Mini dealer on a chilly Thursday morning while Clubbie's getting an MOT. By the time you read it, I'll be on my way to Los Angeles.
Why? Well, it all comes back to something that happened around this time last year when we did a charity class at yoga and one of my teachers let me teach a posture - y'know, just for a giggle. It was a giggle, but then when I mentioned it to another of my teachers he said 'well why don't you think about doing it for real? I think you'd be great.'
I don’t know about you, but when someone says they think you’ll be great at something it tends to stick in your mind. So, almost exactly a year down the line from that moment and I'm doing it. I'm going to LA to train as a Bikram yoga teacher.
Obviously there's a bit more to it than having a bit of a laugh at a class last year and being given a nice compliment - losing my job certainly made me think about it more seriously because what better time is there to think about such a massive life changing event than when you find yourself at a crossroads in your career?
I won't lie, it's not been an easy decision to make because first and foremost it's not the cheapest thing in the world to do. But perhaps more than that, as I've mentioned before, I'm utterly petrified of flying and you have to do the training in LA. So I have to fly. I did look into other methods of getting there, but even I have to concede that 11 hours of screaming on a plane is preferable to five days on a cargo ship followed by a couple of days on a train.
What's brilliant about all this is that it's not a complete career change and I'll be able to carry on with editorial work as well as teaching yoga. In fact, I think they'll compliment each other rather well, and it means I can actually be a bit picky about exactly what editorial work I choose to take on. I've been working on a couple of books for a London-based publisher these last few months which has been an utterly delightful experience, and so far removed from the stresses I experienced in the last few months of my job before it spectacularly imploded. The chap I've been working for has told me he’d like me to help out on some other stuff when I'm back, which is great; quite frankly, if the only publishing work I ever did again was for him I'd be a happy bunny.
As for yoga, well, for someone who writes for a living I'm finding it difficult to put into words just how supportive and brilliant everyone at the studio - staff and fellow yogi alike - has been since I told them I wanted to go on training. They've given me advice, let me teach postures to get used to standing in front of a class, and generally just made me feel like I've made absolutely the right decision. The studio owner wrote me a lovely letter of recommendation. They're throwing a party on Saturday to send us off (another lovely fellow student is also going to training) in proper BYC style.
So I'm off for a bit. Training is an intensive nine-week course, plus I've got a couple of days either side just to hang out in LA which incredibly, and very conveniently, is the one place in the world I've actually always wanted to visit, so that's nice. I've already used Google maps to find the nearest Starbucks and a bookshop so large it'll probably make me cry. I'd like to say I'll try to blog while I'm out there, but the truth is I honestly don't think I'll get the chance. That being the case, expect a couple of epic posts sometime around the end of June when I'm back and my tiny brain has had time to process the whole experience. In the meantime, if you're missing your occasional hit of Tim over the next couple of months and want to know how things are going, feel free to follow me on Twitter (what do you mean you're not already?) or Facebook me, as I'm more likely to tweet or fire off short status updates reassuring everyone that I'm not dead. Or why not check out the Bikram Yoga Surbiton website? It's a new studio being opened by two of my favourite teachers, and I'm honoured to be writing the official studio blog for them. I've cued up a few posts to go live while I'm away and I won't lie, I think they're pretty damn good (modest much?).
Anyway, I think that's about it for the moment. Behave yourselves while I'm gone and I'll see you on the other side.