Exploring Extracurriculars - Gymnastics
One of the areas of motherhood I'm really enjoying as my children get older is exploring their interests and talents through extracurricular activities. It is so much fun to watch them learn, grow, and be challenged in ways that truly expand their horizons.
It can be difficult to decide where to start, and how to invest. While we don't want to force kids to commit to activities they don't love, we also want to teach them about committment, hard work, and finishing what they start. We also don't want to spend lots of money on gear for an activity they may not stick with! So, it can be a guessing game as well as a treasure hunt!
I shared last fall about finding a great dance class for our little bees, and so far it's been a great fit for them. We tried a dance class for our 9 year old daughter last year, but I think she was less than enthusiastic. She really wanted an activity to do, and was willing to go for a ballet and tap class, but we could tell by the look on her face that she wasn't really thrilled. Thankfully, her shoes, leotard and tights had only been worn a couple of times, and I was able to get a good price for them on ebay!
This school year, she decided she wanted to do gymnastics. Since I don't know much about gymnastics and wasn't sure where to turn (there are several wonderful options in Tulsa), I went with the first place I could think of, Krafft Academy of Gymnastics. Besides offering gymnastics training for all ages, they also offer their space for birthday parties, and we have held two parties for my five year old and his cousin. I remembered the staff being really friendly, and the price for the party being reasonable, so I thought we'd give it a try!
Like many other dance studios and gyms in town, Krafft Academy gives prospective gymnasts the opportunity to try out a class for free before committing and requiring tuition. I took Corrinne to her first class and was blown away. Even in the warm-up, as she jogged around the mat, I could see a fire and determination on her face I'd never seen. With every new task she was given, I could see her energy and excitement build. Marc said, as he watched his little girl in class, "I've never seen her work so hard at anything in her life!"
When she finished her first class with flushed, pink cheeks, and I asked her how it was, she raised her eyebrows and said, "It was AWESOME." Then, in the car she said that day was the best day ever because she got to go to gymnastics. That, my friends, is the sign that you've found just the right activity for your kiddo!
We have continued to be very pleased with Krafft Academy. Everyone on staff has been great to us. Since all of our kids are constantly moving back and forth from our home to the homes of their other parents, it can sometimes be difficult to stick to a hard and fast schedule for activities. They have been more than understanding and are always willing to work with us on making up classes, even when Corrinne leveled up in her class and our options were more limited.
As I learn more and more about gymnastics as an activity and a sport, I feel confident that the staff at Krafft are teaching Corrinne the appropriate skills and techniques she will need if she continues to display talent and interest in the sport. Kristi Krafft and Jean Luc Cairon have very impressive backgrounds to share with the young gymnasts they coach. They include coaching world championship teams and competing in the Olympics! Proving their talent as coaches, Krafft gym boasts 24 alumni who have received scholarships to college!
This last weekend, I had the opportunity to volunteer at the Friendship Cup tournament that Krafft Academy hosts yearly. I wanted Corrinne to have the opportunity to watch the older girls compete so she could see all she can be someday.
I think she was inspired, and so was I! I look forward to many more seasons of driving her to class, buying leotards, and cheering her on.
See you around town!