Local family cheers students and their families to better health
Perpetual motion. That’s what takes place at Rebelz Gym in Georgetown. A young girl does flips down a runway-type trampoline as easily as an ordinary adult would walk the same distance. Another climbs a rope dangling from the ceiling, displaying amazing upper body strength. Still another practices walkovers on a wedge-shaped mat designed for that purpose. Students practice handstands, cartwheels, kickovers, roundoffs, and other moves over the ample floor space in the gym. Gym owner Lori Celum also supervises cheer teams, so you can often find her coaching as a four-member team tosses one girl into the air to perform a flip before landing safely in her teammates’ arms.
Every day is one of perpetual motion for Lori, a teacher in the Florence Independent School District and former gymnast. Lori started teaching tumbling using borrowed space in a school gym. As her business grew, so did her need for a larger space. The gym moved to the current facility in March 2012. “My husband is a former youth minister, so we see this as a ministry to the community,” Lori says of her work with young people. Their daughter and son participate in the classes as well.
For boys and girls ages eighteen months through high school, the gym offers tumbling and cheer classes. Starting with a Mom and Tot class, children ages one and a half to three years learn the basics of body movement and tumbling in a fun, playful way. “They are also taught things as simple as waiting your turn,” Lori explains with a laugh. Subsequent classes build on those skills by adding progressively more difficult moves.
Rebelz Gym offers seven tumbling classes, some requiring prerequisite skills, as well as specialized clinics. Students interested in school or competitive cheer can join the Cheer Prep class, where they’ll learn jumps, cheer technique, motions, and introduction to stunting. Rebelz Gym has a cheer team that participates mostly in regional competitions. Lori explains, “We try to go to competitions close by to keep down the costs.” One exception is a cheer competition on South Padre Island in July. Five national champion banners from Cheer America hang in the gym, attesting to the competitiveness of the gym’s six cheer teams.
Earlier this summer, Rebelz Gym debuted a program for adults modeled after a popular television series that stresses weight loss through exercise. “Parents were always asking to work out with their children,” Lori says. “We are doing this as a fun activity for the parents of our students. It gets parents involved.” Enlisting the help of her husband Royal, an Austin police officer, Lori leads participants through a warm up in the gym parking lot. After about ten minutes, the group does some stretching exercises, takes a brief break to get a drink of water, and then assembles inside the gym. There, Lori joins Royal in taking the group through amped-up exercises. Twenty minutes later, they cool down to end the workout. The program includes exercise classes three days a week and follow-up support to encourage participants to continue the healthy habits they’ve learned. Class members stay motivated by working toward cash prizes based on percentage of weight loss rather than number of pounds lost.
Rebelz Gym has become so successful in keeping students and their families active and healthy that Lori plans to leave the classroom and devote all her time to the gym. Perpetual motion, it’s fair to say, has become her mission.