The gymnastics room in the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center Fitness and Health Center is dark and quiet as Marcia Ready, the new gymnastics head coach, makes her way in. Soon, she knows it will be filled with children, just like her at their age, who want to learn gymnastics.
Ready, who only moved to the area March 14, has 24 years of gymnastics experience combined with 14 years of coaching. She has served as head coach in New Prague, Minn., and has a bachelor of science degree from Wynona State University in recreation and leisure studies. In all her years of experience, her philosophy of gymnastics has remained much the same since she took her first class at the age of 3.
"It should be fun," Ready says. "It is not all about getting hard, difficult skills but it is about perfecting what you have and having fun."
Ready tries to infuse fun into every workout session for the students. In addition to normal gymnastic routines, she also has them playing on the trampoline and in "the pit," a large hole in the floor filled with foam rubber.
'It is like jumping into a swimming pool," she said. 'Students can practice their skills and not worry about getting hurt."
Since arriving she has had a fun, but challenging time. She voiced her amazement at the wide range of talent she has seen from her students. She says the challenge in her job is keeping up with the kids.
Storm Lake is the latest stop on Ready's quest. She and her husband Mike, a contracted coach at the Center, eventually hope to open their own gymnastics club. The center offers Ready the chance to be her own boss, answering to very few people. That dream of her own club is still many years off, Ready said, and she plans to stay in Storm Lake for quite a while.
"I am not sure where I will locate it," she said.
As she is getting ready for class, her two children, Mike and Shaun, climb around some of her office furniture. Ready says she already has Mike working on the trampoline. Shaun will begin gymnastics training soon.
Ready has a few ideas for the center. She plans to add a parent-child class. She also hopes to open the gymnastics room up to all center members at certain times, not just the gymnasts.
Troy Henrich, the fitness and health center director, said "We're pleased to have Marcia on staff. She is looking forward to her new position and working with the talented, enthusiastic students and their supportive parents."
The support parents give their children in Storm Lake has impressed Ready. She says in other areas she has worked parents only cared about their child. In Storm Lake the parents seem to care about the entire gymnastics program doing well, she said.