WTTG: The Way To Tuff Guy of the Week – Zachary Jeppsen

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — My daily commute downtown is about 30 minutes, and that’s both ways combined. I grumble if traffic makes it five minutes longer.

Then I heard about Zachary Jeppsen, who has somehow managed not to lose his mind over a six-hour commute to and from high school.

“You get used to it,” he says so calmly.

That’s three hours getting there, and three hours getting home. Plus, he goes on Saturday. Add it all up and Zachary enters the commuter hall of fame at 36 hours a week.

The 17-year-old wants to be a professional dancer, and he’s pursuing that dream at The Chicago Academy for the Arts, where he is a junior.

The only Wisconsin student at the school, Zachary lives with his parents, Tracey Hall and David Jeppsen, on the family’s small farm between Whitewater and Delavan. His three older brothers are away at college.

He wakes up at 4:45 a.m. and leaves the house at 5:30. His mom, dad or sometimes both drive him to Harvard, Ill., where he catches the Metra commuter train at 6:22. That gets him to Ogilvie Transportation Center in downtown Chicago at 8 a.m., and from there he rides a school bus to the private academy on Chicago’s north side, arriving around 8:30. That’s your three hours.

By the time he finishes all his classes and dance rehearsals, Zachary typically leaves school at 6 p.m. and does the same route in reverse to arrive home at 9 p.m. He tries to be in bed by 10, and then wakes early the next morning and does it all over again.

ALERT ALERT ALERT!!! Bottled Sports has a new weekly award. Its called the Way To Tuff Guy of the Week award. Doesn’t have to go to a sports dude or chick in the midwest. Heck, it might go to an animal one of these weeks. Who knows!

This week’s WTTG of the Week Award goes to … Zachary Jeppsen.

This dude commutes 36 hours a week. 36 hours a week. Woah. Tuff guy alert. And for what? Private dance school. Everyday he wakes up at 4:45 a.m. puts on his glamour and glitter and leaves the house at 5:30 a.m. One of his parents brings him to the train at 6:22 a.m. then he arrives in downtown Chicago at about 8 a.m. Takes a half-hour bus ride and then gets to dance school. After school and practice he leaves grounds around 6 p.m. and gets into bed at 10 p.m. before doing it all over the next day.

First off, dedication to the dance game. But second, your dream is to become a professional dancer?

36 hours a week is a shit ton! I know parents are supposed to support their kids in whatever they do but a 36 hour weekly travel commute doesn’t even seem logical. Can’t Zachary take lessons closer to his hometown or what is this craziness?



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