I'm not sure that I had planned on putting gymnastics stuff on this site or not, but as it was a big part of my life for awhile, I guess it should be here too.

For those of you who only know me from the performing and movie world, there is another section of my life which may come as a surprise. It's gymnastics. I did just a touch of it in high school (more farting around than anything else - but I could move around quite well on a pommel horse back then).

No this is much later. Some of you will know my wife September was a long time coach and gymnast herself. What you may not know is that she was a champion gymnast. If you look in the photo gallery, you will see my bride of 20 years doing a stag split handstand on top of a 4" beam! She can STILL get up into that stag! Even after having frozen shoulder, which has limited her range of motion.

I on the other hand never even competed my cute little pommel routine outside of the equipment room. Coaching was another story. I had worked as an assistant soccer coach for about 3 years, never wanting a team of my own, simply due to too many other responsibilities. Coaching gymnastics came easy to me, because I had a top rate coach myself... September.

In no time, I was working my way up right along side our teams, and luckily staying just far enough ahead to be of some value. Somewhere along the line, I must have crossed some line, because I was eventually approached and commented by other coaches. I'm not sure I ever really deserved those compliments, but at least it helped me stay confident for the girls.

And it is the girls for whom this page is made. Our champions, who inspired us to wade though all of the tough financial things all gyms go though as they become successful competitive institutions. To some that may be confusing, so let me explain...

Gym time is most financially beneficial when it is divided up amongst beginners, who only come one day per week, one our per session. Lets say they pay $25. A team gymnast may go anywhere from 3-5 days per week, and are there 2-4 hours per session. When you have a real successful team, you have a gym full of girls (and boys in some places) who go 5 days and 4 hours or a whopping 20 hours a week. For that 20 hours, they pay $200 (relative math only here - I have no idea what is charged these days). So, when you break it down, a really successful gym gets $10 per hour per member, and the beginner gym gets $25. Take 25 good team girls, and they dominate the gym for a big chunk of the day, so you have 25 girls paying $200 per month, and that is: $5,000.

The beginner gym can run 25 kids though an hour, times 4 classes, or 100 kids. They all pay $25 per month for that same time as the team kids, or $2500. But wait, that is only one day out of five. So, we add four more days of that, or: $10,000. Add it all up, and the beginners are paying $12,500 for the same amount of time as the team kids per month. So the end result is, the more successful a gym is with their competitive program, the less money the gym has to survive on. Get too good, and you go out.

As the photos show, we were very successful. And we decided long before we had to give it all up, that we would not give up, or bail on our girls progress, even if, in the end, it might mean we'd have to shut it all down and let it go. But we put up the best fight anyone could to stay in there for our girls, and we'll never have any regrets that we quit. They were worth it, and these photos are our testimony and proof that they were. We love them all!

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© 2009 Chase Jazzborne