We are a community gymnastics program for boys and girls of all ages. I, Sara Beth Gilbert, am focusing on what the community wants and what I believe the community needs. We have a small location we moved to in August 2018 after starting at the Community Center in January of 2018. We have expanded our space and equipment. Come join us! With over 20 years of experience, we are looking to help your children grow and mature in the most amazing ways.
At Sara Beth’s Gymnasts, we focus on the whole person. That’s why we say at Sara Beth’s Gymnasts, it’s where you discover yourself. Come find your confidence and increase your strengths, talents, and flexibility all while learning how to self motivate, overcome obstacles, discover new abilities, and create your own success while learning how to embrace challenges to become the best version of yourself. You will discover yourself to become the best version of yourself and gain so much knowledge and skills that they will give you a lifetime of benefits in all aspects of your life.
We are located in Chelsea Village. Drive past Subway on your left and you will see us on your left after you pass under the railroad tracks.
10699 Old Hwy 280, Building 1, Suite 1, Chelsea, AL 35043
Sara Beth’s Background
The heart of everything I did growing up was recreation and aquatics. In the winter months, I was a gymnast. In the summer months, I was a swimmer. Year round, I was and still am a Girl Scout. I completed my American Red Cross swim lessons at a young age, and when I was 4 years old, I asked to join the swim team where I competed each summer until I was 18. I started gymnastics at the age of 5 and continued until I graduated college. And I was a cheerleader for 6 years.
At the age of 12, I became a gymnastics instructor while still a gymnast, at 15 an American Red Cross Lifeguard, and at 16 an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor. After that, I gained my National Aquatic Certification for Water Fitness Instructors from United States Water Fitness Association and then became a certified USA Gymnastics Professional Coach with a Safety Certification. Working at recreation centers, YMCA, Girl Scout camps, community centers, high schools, colleges, and two competitive gymnastics gyms where I spent all my extra time was a real treat and a natural progression through my youthful years. From instructor to coach to supervisor and director, I did it all in the gym and in the water working with beginners through high level gymnasts, swimmers, and cheerleaders.
In the gym, I coached all levels from pre-team to level 9 and provided choreography for all of those levels on the uneven parallel bars, balance beam, and compulsory floor exercise. I managed the recreational gymnastics programs and all associated staff ensuring all classes and staff were meeting their criteria and students were evaluated periodically. This allowed me to ensure students’ needs were met and to monitor students who would excel, or may be interested, in competitive gymnastics to keep a successful all-round recreational and competitive program. I also coached cheerleaders competitive and recreational of all levels through college on tumbling, stunts, cheer and dance routines, jumps, spirit, behavior, and other fine details.
In the water, I taught all levels of swimming from mommy and me to senior citizen swim lessons and lots of group swim lessons in addition to swim team. I also taught regular water fitness classes to varying ages and fitness levels. In addition to lifeguarding in multiple environments including lake front near a channel and busy rec centers, I also served as waterfront director managing the pool and water front lifeguard staff during summers. I’ve added to these experiences now that I also certify swim instructors and lifeguards. Plus, I created a successful swim club program complete with levels, skill progressions and evaluations, as well as systematic awards and recognition.
After completing college at Jacksonville State University with a bachelor of science in computer science and a minor in recreation, a deviation from the career I had created was in order as I started my new technical writing career. I opted not to join a university in Georgia as a pro coach, which was one of the hardest decisions I ever made. Keeping what had become true passions as hobbies over the years had not been satisfying enough and the urge to be in the water and gym, teach, and have by own businesses lingered.
Enjoying people, celebrating their many firsts, and seeing that excitement makes me remember just some of the reasons I love gymnastics and aquatics so much. Every time my students realize they’re doing something new all on their own, I’m as happy and excited for them as if I just did it for the first time. That enthusiasm never goes away!
I believe confidence is the key to success. How can a child or adult feel they can succeed if they don’t believe in themselves? For this reason, we start small and celebrate victories and baby steps along the way, which lead to successfully mastering major skills that include complex integration. Before you know it, that person has overcome fear and anxiety and developed confidence in a safe learning environment. Now they know how to build on that strong foundation leading them to bigger and better things in all aspects of their lives.
But all of this confidence must be nurtured in a trusting and safe environment. Just like most things in life, I must earn trust and respect from my students before they can thrive and begin to build that confidence.
When I moved to Birmingham after graduating from Jacksonville State University, I brought home Mercury, a 5 1/2 month old African Grey parrot, as I did not have plans for a family. After enjoying a successful career as a technical writer for twelve years where I met my husband, the time had come to get out from behind that desk and get back in the water. To ensure a healthy pregnancy if and when it happened, I left technical writing to return to the water teaching swim lessons, water fitness, lifeguarding, swim instructor certification classes, first aid/CPR/AED training, and water safety. It was a glorious way to start 2012 and Splash Water Safety was born. I expected to return to the corporate world at some point after having a baby, but at our first ultra sound appointment following Thanksgiving, we discovered we were having spontaneous twins. At that moment, I realized our life just took a life-changing turn that we had not planned for. I stayed in the water until the end of my second trimester when I took medically-mandated leave.
During the summer of 2013, we welcomed Victoria and Zachary into our family, and I returned to the water in the fall realizing corporate America would have to wait. With a flexible schedule I managed, I quickly realized my current profession was much more suitable for raising our twins and so I continued.
Looking for a way to be home with my babies more, I eventually started Two Lucky Designs and CutFiles4U after I started using and loving my Silhouette CAMEO. Working from home and on the computer a little bit allowed me to cut back on the number of hours I worked in the pool being more available for my young children.
The Big Move and New Beginnings
Enjoying life with the twins and participating in more activities made me miss gymnastics even more. After looking for a new home for well over a year, we finally relocated from Birmingham to Chelsea, Alabama, so our children could start at a good public school and we could remain close to our places of employment. Moving mid summer, I started swim lessons in our new community and instantly fell in love with the people, the environment, and everything else about our new community. I was ready to become more involved and was waiting for a chance to talk about all of this with my first gymnastics coach where I spent twelve years as a gymnast and coach.
When a swim lesson mentioned I should teach gymnastics too, it made me realize I could serve the community with my other passion, so I really needed to speak with my coach as I planned to move forward after getting settled into our new home. With a busy summer of swim lessons and starting our children in Mother’s Day Out for the first time after turning four, I didn’t realize I had run out of time to consult with my first gymnastics coach as she lost her battle with pancreatic cancer. During a devastating time, I began my journey to find out if our community was interested in gymnastics.
Making Dreams Realities
With an overwhelming response from our community, I vigorously began searching for equipment, space, and everything else you need to run a gymnastics business. That is when a true miracle fell upon me. The daughters of my first coach informed me they were selling all of her equipment. Much to my surprise, it was the very same equipment I watched her buy when I was a young gymnast – when I watched her settle into my home town, have her babies, and grow her business while I performed many of my firsts there. Since I did not yet have a permanent location, I could not purchase all of her equipment, but I was able to purchase most of it.
We started classes coincidentally on the eldest daughter’s birthday in January of 2018 with classes offered twice per week at the Chelsea Community Center, and we all were excited and having a great time. I added an assistant and kept over 40 gymnasts enrolled month to month.
Finding a Permanent Setup
In July of 2018, we completed the setup of our own pool and I began teaching swim lessons. We have added a covered deck and ramp leading up to our pool near Publix in Chelsea. I
n August of 2018, after 7 months at the Community Center, we moved into our first permanent gymnastics location where we added several assistant gymnastics instructors and a myriad of classes offered 3 days per week mornings and afternoons/evenings.
We continue to search for a larger space so we can integrate our other larger gymnastics pieces of equipment. We would like to start a boys program. We’re hoping to begin an AAU competitive gymnastics team for girls and for boys by fall of 2020. We’re hoping to find that next space here in Chelsea to call home long-term. Feel free to reach out to us if you know of any possible land or buildings suitable for gymnastics.
CutFiles4U continues to allow me to work from home and be there for my children. Splash Water Safety and Sara Beth’s Gymnasts allow me to fulfill my own dreams, enrich my children’s lives, and indulge in my passions while helping the community at the same time. I’m so glad we moved to Chelsea. I feel like we’re home. Thank you for your support on this journey to provide families with healthy activities that not only help children grow and thrive but help give families more time together.
As I mentioned in the 280 Living article, I plan to renew my gymnastics certifications in the future.
- American Red Cross Lifeguard
- American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor
- American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor
- American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Trainer
- USA Gymnastics Professional Coach
- USA Gymnastics Safety
- United States Water Fitness Association Water Fitness Instructor