Well, the festive season has been and gone. So has January, and February for that matter…
2020 has fizzled out with a whimper and we’ve strode bravely into 2021 only to wide up back where we were for large swathes of 2020. But whilst the last few weeks may feel like we’re back to square one, 2021 is going to be SO much better than the mess that 2020 turned into. Now, we don’t want to spout baseless optimism, but we do think that every little bit of optimism and good news is a precious commodity, now more than ever, that we need to protect and share cautiously.
As such, we’d like to belatedly wish you all a happy new year by focusing on a few positives that help us remember why 2021 holds a lot of promise.
We WILL be Open Again
There is no question that Gym Bubbas is here to stay. Rest assured, it’s going to take a LOT more than a pandemic to get rid of us!
It’s been a long winter for everyone, and whilst the odd day here and there snuggled up under a blanket is a nice break, two months of it has definitely been too much. But the light is starting to shine at the end of the tunnel now as schools have started reopening, the country is slowly starting to come back to life, and we won’t be far behind!
At present we’re scheduled to resume classes in the gyms on the 12th of April according to current government guidance. Every day brings it a step closer to this date so always remind your kids that Gym Bubbas will be back just as soon as possible!
We Have All Been Through this, and it Can Bring Us Closer
We’ve been through this twice before, and yes it has been hard going at times, but for some reason, this (hopefully) final lockdown seems to have hit everyone the hardest. Our staff and their families have been in exactly the same situation as most of you, furloughed, homeschooling, going slightly mad with it all. But this also means that we can all appreciate and understand how tough this lockdown period has been, and with any luck be able to pull together and support each other. As you will see from some of the little snippets below, we’ve all been feeling low and vulnerable, and this is absolutely OK. No one should feel ashamed or embarrassed to not be their normal selves right now. So if you’re understandably feeling a bit pants of late, be kind to yourself. Things are improving all the time and the good times will be back soon.
So, we thought we’d all share a few thoughts, feelings and pictures to let you know how we’ve been handling lockdown (please note that the level of alcohol and chocolate consumption mentioned below may not be representative…)
“Obviously, we have had the stress of worrying about the business during lockdown. Luckily enough we have been able to keep the kids busy by taking them to the gym to play and have been doing lots of baking, walks, and for Austin, playing Xbox.
We worry that Betsy has spent nearly 50% of her life in lockdown and how that has affected her development. We aren’t worried about her physical development but the social side of things as the only other child she socialises with is her brother who is 9 years older than her. Austin, being nearly 11, has struggled with the isolation of not having child interaction. Being with his peers is very different to being with adults 24/7 and he has very much missed the social side of being in school and can’t wait to get back.
We feel that everyone has found this lockdown much harder than the last due to the time of year (the weather not being as nice !) so we are counting the days until we can get back to the gym!”Wayne and Kate
“I’ve been pretty much the sole child carer for Elsie as Nicky has been working from home. Elsie stopped going to nursery as her nursery requested that only key workers’ children attended.
I’ve spent time trying to do small, structured activities with Elsie throughout the day to keep her stimulated and busy. I’ve probably spent more time together with her than ever before during this lockdown as I’d normally be working full time, which has been a massive positive.
However, I do worry that Elsie was having no interaction with other children and we’ve been keen to get her back to nursery as soon as possible. On a personal note, I’ve been struggling to motivate myself to do anything (which is really unlike me!) I’d normally be heading out for runs and keeping busy, but during this lockdown, I’ve seemed to lose all motivation. On a plus side, I’ve had more time for gaming!”Andy
“I’ve been homeschooling Freya and trying to keep her busy with arts and crafts, bike rides etc!
Although it has been lovely to spend time with Freya, I’ve felt quite lonely at times. My husband is a school teacher, so is working a lot on online content and trying to teach Educare in school. This has meant I’ve spent lots of time on my own with not much contact with any other adults, which has been difficult.”Jess
“I live in a bedsit on my own, so I’ve not been doing a lot over lockdown and I’ve been going a little crazy because I have to eat, sleep and cook all in one place!
Honestly, the boredom has really got to me, to a point where sometimes I just walk laps around my room! I cannot wait to have some human contact again!!
On the upside, I’ve decided to watch all of the Marvel movies again, and just the other week I managed to watch 18 in a week! (The joys of solitude I guess!!!)”Katie B
“Like everyone else, I’ve been homeschooling and trying to keep my two children busy with walks, arts, crafts, and bike rides.
Being Polish however, I’ve found teaching English at home very difficult and feel as though my children have really missed out because I’ve not managed to teach them as much. Plus I really worry that I just wasn’t teaching them right.Maria
Exciting Times at Gym Bubbas
Whilst we may not have been able to open our doors so far this year, things have been far from quiet behind the scenes at Gym Bubbas! Now we’re not quite ready to share full details of everything just yet, but we can tell you there are some big things coming up for Gym Bubbas. So, in the spirit of sharing positivity, here are a few sneak previews of some of our big news:
Lockdown may have hit all of our wallets hard, but we’ve been squirreling the pennies away so that we can make investments in both of our gyms.
This could take the form of new artwork for the buildings, new equipment, revamped seating areas, new facilities, new merchandise, new masks for the staff (it’s been suggested the current one’s still show too much of their faces) or who knows what else. We’re not telling for now.
But rest assured that when the time is right we’ll be sure to let everyone know!
Increased Staff Training
Along with the investments in the buildings, we’ve also been making sure that our staff are put through their paces as well. We’ve been having online training sessions throughout lockdown and will carry on until we can do so face to face.
But on top of this, we have also signed our instructors up to the next level of their gymnastics coaching qualifications. We know they’re good, but having it officially on paper just means that everyone else (and the insurance company!) can see just how good they are too.
So when we’re back in the gyms and you see some of the instructors looking a bit more tired than usual; that’s all the late nights they’ve been up studying!
Super Secret Possibility of…
Now, we can’t comment on this too much and NOTHING is set in stone yet. But we do have a super secret project we’ve been working on quietly for a few months now…
We cannot say when. We cannot say where. We cannot even say for sure if this is going to happen or not. But…
We have been in talks about the possibility of opening a third gym! Now this is obviously something we’d absolutely love to do and something that has always been on the cards. However, a certain opportunity has presented itself to us, and we are currently investigating it with the distinct hope of making it a reality.
But for now this remains an exciting possibility, nothing more. Rest assured, if or when there is anything to tell, we’ll be shouting it from the rooftops.
Hang on, How Old?
On top of all of these other interesting things coming our way this year, 2021 also marks a certain milestone for Gym Bubbas.
Unbelievably, it has been 10 years since Wayne and Kate first set out with the dream of creating their own space for children to learn gymnastics. That humble goal has now snowballed into a successful business that has endured through a lot of difficult times (not to mention lockdowns).
So now here we are, in our tenth year and it won’t pass without being marked. But precisely how we go about this is still being planned out in top-secret meetings behind closed doors that require passwords and bribing security guards to get through.
Later on in the year, we will be celebrating properly, but for now, we just wanted to sneak a little mention out there so people wouldn’t just think we’re after cake and presents when it comes up.
Hopefully, you can see from this small taster that there is a lot coming up this year to get excited about. This is just the tip of the iceberg from us, and we know that there will be loads of positive things going on in the communities around us all once we’re allowed to meet again. By the summer the worst of this situation will hopefully be behind us and we can start to enjoy life again, together.
But no matter what happens, you can rest assured that Gym Bubbas will be here for you and your little ones, making the best of whatever the world throws at us and loving every minute of it!