Kim's Gym Grows to Serve Over 400 With Fun-Focused Gymnastics at the J
Shortly after graduating from the University of Texas in 2002, Kim Lindauer, then 21, founded Kim’s Gym at the Jewish Community Center in Northwest Hills. Young and driven, Lindauer was determined to fulfill a lifelong goal of providing local children with a gymnastics program that would prioritize self-esteem over sport.
Lindauer, the middle of three daughters, grew up as a competitive gymnast in Shreveport, Louisiana. She spent most of her childhood in the local gym, which centered around the philosophy “Have fun or go home,” a rare notion in the world of competitive gymnastics.
Feeling love and support from her coaches and teammates, Lindauer thrived in a team environment and went on to spend more than 11 summers as a camper and counselor at URJ’s Henry S. Jacobs camp in Utica, Mississippi. It was there that she was introduced to the non-competitive ideology that now weaves its way through Kim’s Gym on a daily basis.
“I lived for competitive gymnastics as a child,” Lindauer said. “But it certainly isn’t for everyone.
The demands of both practice and meets make it so there is no time for other sports, much less friends or family. It’s a huge sacrifice that many children are unable to make.”
Based on her experience, Kim’s Gym was founded with a vision that every child would succeed and have fun in the process.
“It was so important me that gymnastics become accessible to all children and all levels of ability. We strive to celebrate every single victory — from a forward roll to a back flip,” said Lindauer.
Sixteen years later, she has done just that. Opening its doors with just three coaches and 40 students, Kim’s Gym now has 16 coaches guiding nearly 400 Austin-area children.
“When I started Kim’s Gym, we had limited equipment and only a few mats. I remember that my goal was to one day have enough equipment to cover the entire gym floor. I am proud to say that two years ago we met that goal,” said a beaming Lindauer. “It is crazy to look back on the past two decades. It is now 2018 and I have been happily married to my husband, Jared, for 10 years.
We have three crazy, beautiful little boys and a full, busy home. I could have never dreamed any of this and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!”
Lindauer credits her full-time program director, Rachel Butler, for helping her manage the excitement and stress that comes along with running a successful business. Together, and along with the rest of the Kim’s Gym team, they are gearing up for a summer filled with camps, classes, clinics, Parent Night Outs, birthday parties, and, most importantly, fun.
When not at the gym, Lindauer enjoys spending time with friends, reading, volunteering with her children through Generation Serve, mentoring other women entrepreneurs and running lots and lots of errands for her family. ■
To find out more about Kim’s Gym and to access class schedules and summer camp information, visit kimsgym.com.