Wow! We are one! It is on January 15th, 2018, when we had our very first gymnastics classes at the Chelsea Community Center and launched Sara Beth’s Gymnasts. Coincidentally, it also is the birthday of my first gymnastics coach’s oldest daughter (5 years younger than me), which makes the day even more special since Joan gained her angel wings fall of 2017 just as I had started this journey.
With Joan, my coach and boss for about 10 years and special friend forever (Upper Right me at top of photo)
The Early Days
I recently was reflecting on the early days. Yes, I missed gymnastics with every ounce of my being while away in Corporate America and then raising our twins. Yes, I always dreamed of having my own gym, but serious thought wasn’t given until we moved to Chelsea, Alabama, mid summer of 2017.
During June while planning our move, I thought it would be nice to be back in the gym and thought maybe this move would help create an opportunity for that. In July during swim lessons in our new community, some moms encouraged my passing comment about being a gymnastics coach in the past. It was when I went to enroll our twins in gymnastics that fall that I realized we really needed this in our area. Honestly, I was a bit baffled we didn’t have a gymnastics gym and that started the series of real consideration (August and early September).
I remember having a play date with a friend and her kids that fall. We were chatting and catching up. I casually mentioned I was thinking of teaching a gymnastics class or two per week so any activities the kids did wouldn’t affect our budget. I thought perhaps that would satisfy my growing need for gymnastics and bring some joy to the kids in our community. She thought that sounded like a nice idea, so after a little more thought, I pitched the idea to my husband and then to the community.
As you’ve probably read by now, my idea was met with overwhelming enthusiasm from the community, which I’m very grateful for, so I worked day and night for weeks on end to start the new business complete with class descriptions, pricing structures, curriculum, registration forms, interest forms, waiver, insurance, business license, website, location, equipment, flyers, and the list goes on and on. Within a few weeks, registration was filling quickly and new classes were being added all the time until we had 7 classes over two days each week.
Simultaneous to the Gymnastics Journey
(in case you’re curious)
And to give you perspective on my daily life during this time, we found our Chelsea home the last day of March after searching for almost two years. In addition to packing and putting our house on the market with three-year-old twins at home all day, I also taught swim lessons year-round three days per week. In May, I drove to Jacksonville State University where I am vice president and serve on the Mathematics, Computing, and Information Sciences Advisory Board for Computer Science and Information Systems. Later that month, we closed on our Chelsea home and had to replace my laptop the last week of May. During the first week of June, I presented at a conference near Atlanta teaching several hundred adults how to use their Silhouette Cameos and software all with my brand new laptop through my CutFiles4U business. The following are a couple of several classes I taught.
Immediately upon my return, I rolled into 7 days per week of teaching swim lessons at an indoor pool and at other people’s pools from Gardendale to all around the Birmingham area, and I was elected to serve as the president of Birmingham Area Mothers of Multiples, too, and had lots of immediate planning that had to begin with our board members and chair people.
A handful of the lovely BAMOM board members and chair people I had the pleasure of serving
Plus we toured and registered the kids for Mother’s Day Out and then managed to move our furniture on June 15th just an hour before the tropical storm moved in for the next 10 days during which time we had to move all of our boxes and host the twins’ forth birthday at our new home all while maintaining swim lessons and getting our previous home ready to sell.
Mother’s Day Out
Twins’ 4th Birthday Party
In July, I started swim lessons in Chelsea, too. The kids started MDO in August, we sold our previous home and said goodbye to my gymnastics coach in September after losing her battle with pancreatic cancer, I had a full hysterectomy that couldn’t wait until winter and wrapped up swim lessons in October, planned and hosted my first Silhouette Training Expo in October and November when I also started looking for gymnastics equipment and started my gymnastics business all while still recovering from my hysterectomy. We hosted a large thanksgiving as usual and rolled into the busy holiday season all while working around the clock to bring gymnastics to Chelsea by the new year.
Post Hysterectomy and Glad It’s Over
A Handful of Swim Lessons with my Splash Water Safety business
Silhouette Training Expo 2017 with my CutFiles4U business
Wrapping Up and Moving Forward
We, as a community, were excited about this new venture, and we were thrilled to start gymnastics at the Chelsea Community Center.
In our small space before moving, we had first skills such as front limbers, back walkovers, straddle press handstands, back extensions, straddle and handstand vaults, knee scales, split leaps, tuck jumps and half turns on low beam along with cartwheels on the beam just to name a few. At our new space, we had first skills such as pullovers, straddle sole circles, and skin the cats on the bar, cartwheels and cartwheel to handstand on the low beam and the high beam, straddle over and shoot through vaults, too.
I recently wrote a blog post that summarizes a few things over the past year.
The highlights for me were starting the business and classes, all the first-time skills, hosting Parents Preview Weeks, purchasing lots and lots of gymnastics equipment, making the newspapers several times, moving into our new space in August, hosting several new and wonderful events, hiring staff, and meeting all the wonderful people in our community bringing us full-circle to our first birthday and the amazing party we had this past weekend.
I’m so thankful to be here and enjoy every day even when it’s hard work. I love our staff, gymnasts, parents, and our community. I’m happy to serve Chelsea and the surrounding areas and feel blessed to be a part of your lives as I strive to help your children not only be the best versions of themselves but help them discover themselves so they can boldly embrace their future and strive for the greatness they dream of in all aspects of their lives.
Gymnastics brings a natural joy to our lives and enhances us physically, mentally, emotionally, and functionally. I’m so glad I get to share that with you all. Thank you for your continued support and trust. It means the world to me.
And, as some of you may have read and heard, I’d love to grow enough this second year so we can move to a larger space here in Chelsea and settle into it long-term, so please keep sharing us with your friends as I meet people every day who still don’t know we’re here. Help me help you for another joyous and successful year. I have a feeling great things will happen this year, especially with you all along on the ride.
Thank you for making Sara Beth’s Gymnasts a great success, and may all of your dreams come true!
Have a great and successful year!