- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Since she was 10 years old, Ashley Stratton knew exactly what she wanted to do for the rest of her life: She wanted to own a gym.
Now, that early childhood dream has come to fruition for her, leading to the opening of Competitive Edge Gymnastics in Taylorsville last year.
Stratton, who grew up in Spencer County, was an avid gymnast as a kid and had to travel to Louisville for her classes. After college, she wanted to bring a gym to Taylorsville so that kids like her wouldn’t have to travel so far to do what they loved.
“Kids have nowhere else to go in this community if they want to do gymnastics,” she said. “It’s my hometown so it’s very rewarding to be able to give that to the kids. People seem very grateful for it.”
Grateful, indeed. On Competitive Edge’s first day of business, about 50 children showed up at the gym throughout the day.
“I was so happy,” Stratton said. “We had done a survey through the community to see what kind of interest everyone would have in a gym. But I was shocked at how many people showed up. It was definitely a good shock though.”
Competitive Edge Gymnastics offers classes for all kids ages 2 and up (through high school). Open gym nights are offered on Fridays, so that kids who aren’t members can join the fun. An after-school program will also be offered in September from 4-6 p.m. each day.
Last year, Stratton coached two girls (ages 8 and 9) in competitions, and this year there will be a team from the gym that will compete at meets throughout the region.
There are also invite-only classes offered for more intermediate gymnasts.
Regardless of skill level or age of her students, Stratton simply wants them to leave Competitive Edge “happy.”
“I had some mean coaches when I was a kid,” Stratton said with a laugh. “I just want them to feel successful when they leave. I’ll tell them, ‘Hey, you worked really hard today,’ and they’ll get really proud of themselves. I love that.”
Stratton has also grown attached to her students after all the time each week she spends with them.
“We spend almost as much time with them as their families do sometimes, especially when school starts,” she said. “It’s a very emotional thing. You get really protective of your kids.”
Working with the children is Stratton’s favorite part of her job, by far, and something she always wanted to do for her career. There isn’t much about working at the gym she doesn’t like, even when unexpected challenges arise.
“One time a daycare came in with 26 kids ages 5 and up,” she said. “That was a little stressful. The younger kids don’t really cause any trouble, but the older kids will run around everywhere. But it’s still a lot of fun.”
Maintaining an atmosphere of both recreation and safety has been a priority as Stratton’s gym has continued to grow. About 100 kids frequent Competitive Edge now, and Stratton is looking for a bigger space to move into at some point.
That growth has made the gym into quite the success story in its short time in Taylorsville. Stratton credits at least part of that triumph to the advice she first received on starting a business.
“Just go for it,” she said. “If you fail, just try again. I wasn’t very business-oriented, but I love the kids and I love what I do. I just keep going.”
Owner: Ashley Stratton
Address: 58 Elk Park Drive
Hours: Class from 3 to 8 p.m.
Number of employees: 2
In business: Aug. 1, 2012
Primary business: Gymnastics and cheer instruction
Facebook: Competitive Edge Gymnastics Spencer County
Price range: Basic classes at $70/month up to invite-only classes at $154/month