Gymnast flips her dreams to reality

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by Bill Dunning



It’s not very often that someone whose dream starts at the young age of 12 sees it become a reality, but that’s just what happened for one local resident.
Ashley Stratton has been part of gymnastics since she was asked by a neighbor friend to join her in a tumbling class when she was ten. From then on her life has always included gymnastics.
A Spencer County native, Stratton’s career spans from being a Spencer County High School cheerleader to a University of Louisville cheerleader, an all-star cheerleader to now a gym owner. But for Stratton it’s more than a business, it’s a passion for youth and what they can accomplish.
“Gymnastics, cheer and tumbling are not all about winning or being the best.” says Stratton. “It’s about setting long term goals, making steps to meet those goals, and then working as hard as you can to attain those goals. It shows students that you don’t need instant gratification but to keep sights on a goal. It means a lot to me when I see a child improve and meet their goals.”
As the owner of Competitive Edge Gymnastics Academy, she started her dream in Louisville in 2009. As a child, having to go out of town to a gym weighed heavy on her heart. That memory brought her to ultimately move her business to her hometown of Taylorsville a few years ago.
When asked why she chose to bring her gym back to her hometown, her answer was easy.
“I wanted to give children a local opportunity to experience the sport that meant so much to me, and still does,” said Stratton. “I love seeing the kids come in and be able to learn and train with their friends from school.”
Recently, her ambitions to see local youth do great things came to a new reality when she, along with her staff,  were able to accompany 15 of Competitive Edge gymnasts as they traveled to Tampa, Florida for the AAU National Competition last week.
As the only gym from Kentucky, it was a moment Stratton dreamed of. With gymnasts placing well, and many placing in the top four in individual events as well as all around placements, the local gymnastics academy represented Spencer County and Kentucky well.
“This was such a fun experience for the gymnasts to be able to perform in a national competition,” commented Stratton. “It was also some of our girls’ first time to Florida so it was really awesome to get to be a part of that experience.”
Being able to see such great things come from her passion for gymnastics, her ultimate goal of building her own gym is about to be reached. Breaking ground last year in Elk Creek behind the Dollar General store, the new gym is set to open late this summer.
“With the help of this community, my talented husband, my wonderful mom and dad, my amazing staff, and my gym family, it’s becoming a reality,” Stratton said on her new gym opening.
For Ashley, her passion stems from one thing, her faith.
“I believe all talents are gifts from God and should be used to glorify Him. I am blessed that I get to share my love for gymnastics with so many friends and families,” said Stratton.
Along with being a wife to Daniel Brown and a stepmom to Lilly, Ashley is a member of the Fisherville Baptist Church where she also shares her time and talent as a classical pianist.