A note about the start of Fire House Gym from Owner, Kristy Neuman:
Being one of four children in my close family that grew up in a very small house my parents encouraged us to get involved in sports. We each picked one, my choice was gymnastics. I always dreamed of being good enough to one day make the gymnastic team. Although my gymnastics talent never really matched my dream, I fought hard to be the best that I could be! Once middle school started I was in heaven because it was free to do every sport. So I did just that, I joined basketball, baseball, volleyball, dance and cheerleading. I just loved being part of a team, to be constantly learning and conditioning my body. I always had fun! High school came and I tried out for the high school cheer team! I did not make it and it left me devastated. I am a very positive person, so I decided to work harder and prove everyone wrong! No one can ever make me give up! The next month I tried out for the dance team and made it! Definitely out of pity and probably because I was so cute! By the start of my junior year I had worked so hard and developed into an amazing athlete that I became captain! This was my first chance to lead a team! I focused on positivity and hard work. As a result, we made it to the NDA High School Nationals in Orlando, Florida! I continued senior year as captain and accomplished many more amazing goals, such as dancing at the Citrus Bowl and in London! After high school I began community college. I couldn’t give up my love of the power of a team! I got a job coaching the Wauconda High School Dance Team, where I coached for three years and then moved onto coaching a college cheer team!
During this time in my life I learned how to balance life and how to focus on a goal and accomplish it! I was a single mom in medical school, working two jobs and coaching. It was hard but so worth it. I coached at Harper College for 3 years, where I gained so much knowledge on how to motivate an athlete and how to help athletes develop and achieve their goals using the power of positivity. I graduated from Roosevelt University with a degree in Nuclear Medicine and began working at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. One of the best experiences in my life! The power of customer service and care for people that I learned was invaluable! I will be forever grateful! I realized how strong little kids are, true fighters with the ability to accomplish anything put in their paths.
Sadly, I resigned from my position at Children’s to spend more time at home with my family, a belief I stand true to as family always come first to me. At this time I decided that I needed to fulfill my love of leading, teaching and spreading positivity! I began my first cheer season within Progressive Movement Gymnastics Academy in Johnsburg, IL, which is now Fire House Gym! We had three very small teams! At which point I found my true passion, the best “job” anyone could ever ask for. During that first year season the owner of Progressive Movement went out of business and offered me the opportunity of purchasing his equipment. Of course I jumped on that amazing offer, opening the doors of Fire House Gym. An establishment offering gymnastics, tumbling, cheerleading and dance. We started with seven athletes including team members and two employees, my sister Katie and my cousin Dana!
We worked very hard to pour tons of love, time, and dedication into building this dream that resulted 11 years later to proudly have over 600 athletes and over 40 staff members! It gives me great pride to know that every day my staff and I have the opportunity to make a lasting difference in a small person’s life. We teach positivity, self-confidence and the power of strength. Fire House Gym is making a change in the future of athletes! We are so excited to see where the journey goes!