I finally got the guidelines I would need to follow to reopen the gym, but when I sent out my last email asking for people to respond back if they were interested in attending this summer, I only had 15 people respond back that they were. I would need at least 50 just to break even. For this reason I have decided that I cannot reopen this summer. I am shooting to reopen after Labor Day in September. However, my landlord cannot afford to hold my building that long without rent, so if someone is interested in the space, I will be looking for another building. If none are available, I may not be able to reopen even then.
I am sorry for the inconvenience, but please understand that I didn’t expect any of this and do not know anything better to do about it.
I hope you all have a good, safe summer, and I hope to see you in the fall.
I am sorry that I have not kept up with workouts for kids during this time. If you are still looking for workouts for your kids, I will direct you to the workouts that Mountain Range Fitness here in town are offering for kids. Please check out their site here:
I had sent out a email at the beginning of May saying that it was looking like we would not be able to open the gym until September because, even in a normal year, the summer months are the hardest financially for the gym due to very low attendance during those months. But as soon as the email went out, I got many people responding back saying they were willing to do whatever it took to keep the gym open. For this reason I am willing to reconsider my decision.
What will it take to reopen?
Reopening is not as simple as merely resuming classes. We will have to make certain concession that will make it harder to conduct the classes. We will need to make sure we do the following:
Limit the number of students, not only in a class, but in the gym at one time.
Participants will have to wear a mask (which I am not sure how well that will work while tumbling. We will have to experiment.)
Practice social distancing. I will have to set up mainly self-spotting stations and make sure we don’t get lines where students get close to each other. (It is hard to spot handsprings and flips from 6 feet away, so it will take a lot of rethinking my teaching techniques.)
We will need to sanitize all the equipment each hour. I am still trying to find out if that includes my carpeted mats. If it does, I am not sure how to do that.
There are other non-COVID considerations:
I need a minimum of 50 participants per month in order to break even. (A participant is considered bodies in a class, not unique individuals. For example, one student who attends 3 times per week is considered 3 participants.) If I am not guaranteed at least 50 participants it will be cheaper for me to remain closed until September.
During this time I will need to maintain my job at Walmart. I work 4 AM to 1 PM; therefore I will need to have afternoon classes this summer. In the past we always had our classes in the morning because it is cooler in the morning. Will afternoon classes work for people? Most people liked having the morning classes so they had the afternoons clear.
What can I do to help?
People have been asking me what they can do to help us get reopened. There are several things that will really help:
Commit to summer classes. I have created a form you can fill out to show your interest in summer classes. If I see there are enough people wanting and available to attend classes, I will do what I can to open back up. Please click the button below to go to this form.
Help with sanitation/compliance. When I do have my classes I will only have a few minutes between classes to do sanitation. This could potentially be a massive job, so if I had people assisting me in this, it would be a great help. We also need people to help us make sure students remain compliant so we don’t get shut back down. It will be hard for kids to remember these rules–especially wearing a mask–so if someone can be monitoring that, I can be teaching instead of patrolling.
Help drum up student. Even if you are not available for classes during the summer, if you can help find people who are available and interested, it would help us meet the threshold for numbers.
Donations are welcome. I always hate to ask for money and I would gladly teach the classes for free if it were possible, but, unfortunately, we need money to stay open. People pointed out to me that it is selfish not to ask for help because there are a lot of people wanting to help and if I close because of finances, it hurts many, many people. You can make donations through the “Pay Online” option on this site.
Many of you parents have been emailing me and asking for ideas that your kids can do at home to safely practice gymnastics while the gym is shut down for this virus. I am working on ideas of my own, but in the mean time I have found a couple of sites that have some good ideas. I will be adding to these, so please check back soon and often!