Listen to Your Inner Child
Growing up shouldn’t mean giving up your childhood passions. This philosophy rings true with Sarah Schoback and Hunter Guerard, two of the owners of Obstacle Academy, who trace their love of movement back to their respective childhoods. “Human movement is cool,” says Guerard, who watched Power Rangers and Jackie Chan as a kid, and wanted to be a stuntman or a gymnast when he grew up. On a parallel plane, Schoback loved to play on monkey bars, run around, and swing all over the place. This early love of activity would manifest into the later catalyst for Obstacle Academy.
Find Your Inspirations
Schoback’s two inspirations were her kids and reality fitness competitions on television. Her daughters were climbers from birth. “I knew I could not be a parent and have kids who climbed and NOT find a way to connect with them,” she says. An American Ninja Warrior fanatic, Schoback mentioned to her husband how cool it would be to train like competitors on the show. Taking the hint, Schoback’s husband found places online where she could sign up for classes and encouraged her to go for it. After one class, she was hooked, but there wasn’t a facility close to where they lived. Determined to get to her goal, she approached Guerard to be a coach. Obstacle Academy soon followed.
Bring Back Your Childish Fearlessness
Obstacle Academy is for ninjas of all ages, and families work out together. Parents see their children’s progress and are often inspired to better themselves. “The fearlessness that kids have is what inspires adults to push themselves,” Schoback says. “If kids don’t know if they can do it, they still try it.” If a kid fails the first time, they’ll try again, while adults often give up after their first failure. Though we all start out fearless, we lose it over time. Guerard and Schoback advocate bringing back childish fearlessness.
Set Your Brand Apart
A workout at Obstacle Academy doesn’t feel like a workout, which is a part of Schoback and Guerard’s success. You’re getting stronger through playing, not working. Unlike solo workouts at traditional gyms, an accomplishment for one member is cause for a group celebration, which fosters a sense of community.
Obstacle Academy also exercises mental muscles. Some women in Schoback’s class have gone through challenging experiences, but “they’ve come to this class and it’s really rebuilt them up. They’ve become strong, confident. Their physical abilities have increased, but it also helps them mentally.”
“Plus it actually makes you cooler!” Guerard adds. There’s nothing like learning to be a ninja to boost confidence.
Set Goals and Work Towards Them
Guerard and Schoback hope to have people view obstacle training as an actual sport and a true way to get fit. “The more we can hammer on turning this into an actual sport, maybe develop seasons and more local competitions … that’s the lifeline of obstacles,” says Guerard. They’ve grown their obstacle course racing, or OCR, division. They’ve also hosted several competitions, bringing in people from all over the country.
Working with the Foster System
Like true superhero ninjas, Schoback and her husband are in the process of adopting a teenager out of the foster system. They’d like to raise awareness of the kids in Minnesota who are looking for permanent families. It can be difficult for adoptive parents and their adopted child to connect, so Obstacle Academy is interested in donating classes for those families to come together. “It will help build their relationships together,” says Schoback. Donated classes would also be open to foster kids. “Sometimes you just need a place to have fun and be free to be who you are.” Feeling success at Obstacle Academy will push them forward to be more successful in their lives.
You can keep up with Obstacle Academy or sign up for classes on their website, or give them a call at 952-452-8770.