One of my favorite non-profit organizations in Fresno is Break the Barriers, a gym that integrates children (and adults!) of all abilities. What started as a backyard gym for Deby and Steve Hergenrader to work with disabled gymnasts has become one of the most unique and thriving organizations in Fresno, and in the nation.
That's right, folks, I said nation. The vision of Break The Barriers to integrate all levels of ability is one that is thus far not matched elsewhere.
And this gym is hoppin'. I find my way down there at least twice a week and there is always a buzz of activity and fun when you walk through the doors. In addition to gymnastics, BTB offers dance, sign language, martial arts, personal training and a brand new Wii workout program.
My son is in the Creative Movement and Tap class for 2 and 3 year olds and is actually just starting his 3rd term. It has been awesome watching him learn to listen to other adults and interact with other kids. I also go there to work with their personal trainer Lamont Nash and it has been a very positive experience for me- one that has lost me almost 13 lbs so far!
But all of these things are just a small part of what is so amazing about Break The Barriers. The other side of what they do is have a really kickin' performance team, The Barrier Breakers. The team has traveled all over the world bringing a message of ability awareness along with a great show.
Plus, they have some of the loveliest receptionists on the planet.*
I love Break the Barriers because they do so much for so many in Fresno.
(Photo from Break The Barriers webpage.)
*My sister is one of these receptionists. Of course she's lovely, she's related to me!