My Mom Was A Saint

By: Gymfinity ltd. | Posted: 06th May 2011

My mom was a saint. I don’t mean that she appears in the stained glass windows of churches but she was a pretty amazing woman. I think back at all the things she did for me and the extras she went without just to provide for us (I have 2 brothers). She drove us all over for our various sports, my oldest brother was a swimmer, the middle brother did every sport and I was a gymnast. I think back to how many hours she spent driving and I think, “What a saint”.
My oldest brother is 7 years before me, my other brother is 5. One born in April, one in February and I in November, and each of us had a birthday party. Our house served as the neighborhood youth center and every kid was welcome to come and play or hang out. For birthdays we always had some organized event with usually about 20 kids showing up. Every party had cake and juice, a crazy game to play, some outside play (even in winter) and the biggest draw: the Orkowski Basement Obstacle Course. My mom would set up a course that had hurdles, tunnels, slides, challenges, climbs and more all in a 15x15 foot basement. We had a table of cakes and we sat on picnic benches; after playing we gorged on cakes and candies and we loved every minute. When everyone went home we cleaned up the decorations and mess and put the basement back in shape. 3 times a year, sometimes just for the fun of it, we didn’t even have to have a birthday to have a birthday party. My mom was a saint.
Now, I’m grown and have kids of my own. Thankfully both have summer birthdays AND I have access to really amazing gymnastics birthday parties (ask me where). I realize now what my mom went through. The Orkowski Basement Obstacle course was different every time and the creativity it took to build them with minimal supplies was admirable. My mom would bake and set up the table (s) in the basement and she would tell us what to set up and where. We never knew how it would work until she was explaining the rules to our guests. My mom was the quintessential birthday party hostess and every person we hire at Gymfinity is compared to Mom. The gymnastics birthday parties offered at Gymfinity is a memorial to my Mom’s memory. We do games, courses and cake and clean up for our guests just like she did but the defining factor is the energy and love that goes into every gymnastics birthday. We try hard to live up to her level of excitement when we do a party at Gymfinity and we will continue that honored tradition.
Parties at Gymfinity are great fun, for the parents and kids but for us too. Many of our party hosts have other obligations at the gym and doing a party is totally different than teaching or working in the office. Many of our staff will fight to get the opportunity to do our gymnastics parties because it’s so fun. I was in one afternoon working while we had parties going on. This whole post came to mind when I overheard a guest host-parent talking to our hostess of the day: Wendy. She knew that the set-up, the invites, the party, the fun, the energy, and the clean up are real loads of work. Not to mention keeping kids engaged and excited, being sure that their child’s special day is actually special. She said to Wendy, “you are a saint.” I sat quietly, smiled and thought “yeah, just like my Mom.” Thanks Mom for your guidance way back when, little did I know that what we did for birthdays and fun would someday be my career.
J Orkowski is Owner and Operator for Gymfinity in the Madison Wisconsin area. He, his wife Stephanie and all of their coaching staff invite you and your children to experience what a gymnastic birthday party can do for that special someone on their special day. Stop by their gym at 6300 Nesbitt Road Fitchburg Wi, 53719, call 608-848-3547 or visit them online at to see all they have to offer for your next birthday party.
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Tags: creativity, hurdles, birthday parties, gymnastics, tunnels, slides, candies, cakes, birthday party, swimmer, obstacle course, stained glass windows, party host, gymnast