(Spoiler alert: Because we care about them.)
We joke about our kid cage, I say I’m going to put a lock on it. I can’t wait until we have an official kid room at the new gym. But it’s (mostly) not to avoid the screams and crying, it’s because I want everyone’s kids safe.
I recently heard about a child walking out onto the workout floor of a gym and getting struck in
the head by an athlete doing kettlebell swings. Because the child was 4 years old, few details
were released about the accident. But even at the lightest of kettlebells, that child did not have
a chance, and sadly did not survive the injuries. A gym does not bounce back from an incident like that. Even if financially the owners could survive the legal fees, no one in that community will ever be the same. The owners are devastated. The coach can’t stop blaming himself. The member can never step foot in the gym again. The parents are heartbroken, and the very place that might have helped them through such a tragedy is where they lost their child.
In talking with affiliate insurance companies, I learned that the two biggest claims they see are
accidents because of dogs (also do not bring your dog to Eclipse) and incidents involving kids—and not the kids who are part of a class and being coached; members’ kids who were allowed on the floor during a class or open gym.
I want my girls at the gym, I want them involved in our community. I want them seeing us workout, seeing their parents work hard and lead healthy lives. I want to instill that in my girls from a young age so it’s a core part of who they are – strength, hard work and resilience. I want them working out in whatever capacity they can at young ages, but more than anything I want them safe.
We’ve had to repair the cracked concrete in the floor multiple times from barbells being dropped. If a barbell can do that to concrete, I don’t want to imagine what it can do to a small child. As coaches we warn you to be careful of bouncing barbells, control your bar all the way down, keep an eye on athletes around you as you move to the next station. It’s hard to keep an eye on everything in the middle of a workout when you can barely keep track of your reps and what comes next. So who is watching the kids on the workout floor and making sure they aren’t hurt?
Eclipse has a kids area, an area they can be safe. An area they can still see you and allow you to get a workout in. An area that might not be huge or as nice as it will be at the new building, but still an area designed for them. We aren’t trying to be mean, we aren’t trying to inconvenience you or punish your kids. We are trying to make sure they stay safe while you and our other members get a good workout and take care of yourself. Kids on the workout floor distract the parents and our other members. Members who come to the gym to spend an hour working on themselves, improving their lives, reducing their stress. Kids on the floor increases everyone’s stress, especially mine.
We want you and your family to be involved in the gym, we want it to be a fun place everyone is happy to come visit. We want your kids working out next to you, when they are old enough. We want Eclipse to be a family place, but more than anything we want Eclipse to be a safe place.