Our LBB (Life Before Boing!)
Donna was a Pennridge gymnast back when there was such a thing as Pennridge gymnastics. Mark was a member of the British junior national team. They met in 1982 when Mark was coaching kids to the US national team level. In 1988 they cofounded a mobile gym for day care kids called Kindergym. Kindergym grew to serve more than 50 day care centers from York PA to Philadelphia. In 1992 they moved on from Kindergym and went off to travel the world for a year and a half. They got to experience a lifetime of adventures bicycling 5000 miles around Europe, trekking in the Himalayas, backpacking through south east Asia and swimming above Australia's Great Barrier Reef. After a three month drive across the US in a beat up wreck of a VW camper van they returned home to Perkasie and got serious about starting a family.
We checked out more than 800 gyms before opening Boing!
The serious part didn't last too long. One year after Tim was born they took off traveling again across the US to promote a book Mark had written called Going For It! GFI! was designed to teach gymnasts how to develop winning character through the challenges of gymnastics. You can click the book to learn more.
Sales really took off when several members of the national team staff began recommending GFI! to the national and Olympics teams. Soon, Mark found himself in demand as a speaker in gyms all over the US and Canada. Always traveling together as a family (that grew to include two more children) the Gibson clan toured about six months a year in a big motor home, (a nice step up from the VW Camper van.)
Between 1996 and 2002 Mark conducted workshops for more than 45,000 gymnasts, parents and coaches in 38 states and Canada speaking to small audiences of 20 or so to crowds as large as 5000. Mark has had articles published in major national gymnastics magazines and has been a featured speaker at the national gymnastics convention on several occasions.
Bringing it all together
Pooling the experience of visiting hundreds of North American gymnastics centers Mark and Donna had a very clear picture of what their own gym would look like.
Mark and Donna know that Boing! is a weird name for a gym, but that's the point! They wanted Boing! to be unique and special, just like the kids who tumble through its doors every week.
Which brings us to...
Now, over a decade and a half later, well over a thousand Boingsters have tumbled into our purple world. We can't walk five minutes through Landis without hearing "Miss Donna" or "Mr. Mark" being hollered from the next isle over. Tim, Bri and Missy are all grown up now.
Tim is a mural artist and Bri and Missy help dad teach classes every week.
Feel free to stop in any time and check out a class. Donna is usually at the front desk after 4:30.
The youngest Gibby (Missy, in the middle) taking a class when she was just three years old. Now, twenty years later, she helps her dad teach them.
Mark and Donna on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Donna the Pennridge gymnast and Mark's very brief dabble in the circus.
Traveling the world "BC" (Before Children)
Us at the GFI booth at the National Gymnastics convention when our eldest, Tim, was still a baby. Tim traveled with us through 47 states before his third birthday.
Bottom to top: Missy, Bri and cousin Morgan
Learn more about Tim's murals here: