“[Gymnastics] just always challenged me,” Brown said. “I just really love that feeling of accomplishment. I’m kind of, like, a thrill-seeker, too, so to be able to do a backflip was eye-opening for me.”
Brown, who owns Journey Gymnastics, said it was his love for the sport and his belief that it provides a safe outlet for kids to release their energy that led him to take over the gym in 2014.
He said he most enjoys spending time with the kids and watching them improve their skills, but the job also provides him an outlet to continue to release his inner child—to let him hold onto his “Peter Pan syndrome," as he called it, and never really have to grow up.
“I’m just very passionate about gymnastics, and we get to share our passion with the kids around us in our community,” he said.
Brown added that gymnastics can help teach coordination, balance and strength and that, in his estimation, it is one of maybe three sports—along with swimming and soccer—that encompasses all those skills.
Journey hosts several programs year-round, including classes for parents and young children; preschoolers and kinder gymnastic classes; girls' gymnastics; and Ninja Zone classes for boys.
Before the pandemic, the two large gyms on the property were always in use for scheduled birthday parties and various summer and winter programs, he said.
The property also has two dance studios used for camps, as Journey does not offer dance classes, and a small outdoor swimming pool.
With the various classes and activities he offers, Brown said he wants to make Journey a one-stop shop where families with kids of different ages and genders can find something of interest for everyone.
Journey also offers an after-school program in which the gym picks up elementary-age students from school and brings them to the gym to burn their energy before going home. Brown said this is popular for parents who seek help in after-school care.
“Sometimes, it’s hard to kind of pick the kids up from school and then go home, feed them and then go back out to your activities,” Brown said. “[At Journey], we bring them here and get the physical activity done, and then, they can go home and have family time.”