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Get a Grip

Tid-bits about the sport, the gym and the children

The Year of Mondays

By Get a Grip, Important News

This year has been described as ‘The Year of Mondays’ and ‘Level 7 of Jumanji’ to name a few. It has been unprecedented.  As a small business owner, we got our legs knocked out from under us as we went from slowing down to full stop.  Losing half of our income without warning was quite a shock.  And yet, we survived with a lot of help from our friends and a dependence on our faith.

The BIO Family truly came together in support of us.  It was amazing and overwhelming at the same time. They continued to support us as we pivoted to online classes and navigated through this thing called COVID.  This single act of kindness from the parents allowed us to stay in business.  Then, on Divine Mercy Sunday, we received some other good news that let us know God was not done with us!

BIO Gymnastics is a family-owned, faith-based business.  When we talk about raising champions in and out of the gym, we mean our training and influence goes beyond winning.  We care for our all the children and strive to provide a fun and safe environment.  We teach them about serious fun and help them to develop a strong work ethic.  While things have slowed down, we have not.  Our staff has worked to keep the gym clean and safe.  We have taken CPR training, safety certifications and positive coaching courses to stay at the top of our game so we can continue to support our amazing BIO community.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank all of you for being part of our lives and if your child attends BIO, for letting us be part of yours.  If you are not part of the BIO Gymnastics family and would like more information, please contact our office or visit our website.

Happy 7th Birthday BIO!

By Get a Grip

Happy 7th Birthday BIO!

It is hard to believe that  7 years ago we took a true leap of faith and opened BIO Gymnastics.  To think that so much time has gone by try boggles the mind, especially this year, and today as we are faced with so much uncertainty thanks to COVID-19.

One thing I can say is our BIO family ROCKS!  From our families that entrust us with their children and are now supporting us with the same faith in us that we have in them.  We are so grateful for each and every one of you and thank you just doesn’t seem enough.

We know our faith will carry us through these uncharted waters and we hope you will take advantage of our on line options that we are going to be rolling out over the next week.  We are still looking forward to Summer and the amazing things we are planning for everyone.  We can’t wait to get everyone back in the gym!

Happy birthday, BIO!

It’s Okay to Fall and Fail. God has Your Back

So What’s with the Owls?

By Get a Grip

Many of you have wondered, if not asked where did we come up with these names for our classes.  Bears, frogs and owls – oh my!

Our mentor and friend, Coach Vlad, wrote the first children’s book specifically about gymnastics and the animal kingdom.  The main character is Gymmy, the Owl.  He along with many of his friends in the animal kingdom explore how their natural movements can relate to and tie in with the wonderful sport of gymnastics.  In a way to forever honor and recognize Coach Vlad’s contribution not only to the sport of gymnastics throughout the world, but more specifically to the birth of BIO, we named our programs and classes after characters in his book.

In addition, our end of the year performance for classes has been named the “Flight of the Owls”.  We look forward to our students being able to showcase their talent and all of the skills they have learned this year!

If you are interested in learning more about Coach Vlad’s book and ordering one for your child, please click here to visit our online store.

Do Not Make Me Cry

By Get a Grip

Many of you know that we will be gathering this evening to honor Coach Vlad as he ventures to Europe this Summer to be with his family, including his new granddaughter.  Ask him and he will assure you that this is NOT goodbye and that he already has his ticket to come back.  This just seems the appropriate time to honor someone who has become a special part of our family, someone I affectionately call “Godfather”.  I do believe he was sent to us through God’s intervention and we will be forever grateful for that.

When Vlad learned of Donna Kaye’s desire to coach, he took the opportunity to mentor her without hesitation.  Starting BIO Gymnastics was on his recommendation that the timing was right.  I still remember the first time I heard him coach in our new gym and how it warmed my heart.  I have truly loved hearing “Correct!” or “Everyone! Watch this!” come from the gym floor these past four years which have truly flown by.  I have enjoyed watching Donna Kaye grow into a great coach.  I have enjoyed watching other proteges that Vlad has mentored develop highly successful programs and I am excited for the future that is in store for BIO.  I am so incredibly grateful that we were the ones blessed with him and that my daughters took advantage of his knowledge and enthusiasm and became sponges every time he was around.  I am grateful that we were the ones who recognized his value as a mentor, person, and friend. I am grateful that Donna Kaye chose this path, delaying college so that she could be Vlad’s protege, one of the best if I do say so myself.

We have been through a lot as the BIO family, these past four years.  Incredible joys and incredible sorrow.  I will continue to focus on this time as one of joy and try to honor Vlad’s wish about crying.  It’s going to be hard not to cry, but it is now time for our gym to fly.  With our dedicated staff, left with an unending amount of resources provided by Coach Vlad, we will continue to move forward and grow.  Donna Kaye will move into a leadership role that she has literally been groomed for.  Katie and Eleanor will continue in their leaderships roles as well, along with J-Hawk and the rest of our amazing staff.

I am an optimist, and I look forward to our bright future. One that will continue to include Coach Vlad and made possible by him.

I love you, Godfather.


Recognizing Our Seniors – Mackenzie & Emily

By Get a Grip

This is always a bittersweet time of year as state meet season starts, so does senior recognition.  BIO has had at least one senior graduate every year since we’ve started competing.  It always brings tears to my eyes as I will sorely miss those that are moving on to the next chapter of their lives and the bright future they have in store.  This year is no exception.

Being recognized as a senior in gymnastics is truly an honor and the sacrifices and commitment that these athletes made should never go unnoticed.  The dances, football games and so many things that these wonderful athletes have passed up to pursue their passion in this sport is something that should be honored and congratulated.  The life lessons they learn of discipline, resilience and commitment are lessons they can take with them throughout their adult lives.

We have been blessed this to recognize two individuals who have been a wonderful presence in our gym and will be missed for sure!

Mackenzie Miller is a graduating senior from Forsyth Central High School.  One of twelve children, Mackenzie started gymnasts at the age of two and has pursued the sport throughout her entire scholastic career.  Her highlights include scoring a perfect 10.0 on the uneven bars as well as winning multiple local, state and national champion awards.  She has qualified for regionals twice as a level 9 and competing as a level 10 in her senior year.  Mackenzie also competes all around for the Forsyth Central high school team.  In 2016, she was awarded the Georgia Positive Athlete Award. She is a member of the FLOOD Service Organization and the National Honor Society with a current GPA of 4.1 Mackenzie currently coaches for BIO Gymnastic’s competitive team and is a constant encourager at the gym with her bright smile and never give up attitude. Mackenize’s bright future includes majoring in Exercise Science at Kennesaw State University where she will also compete for their club gymnastics team.

Emily Loveless is a graduating senior at Forsyth Central  High School and is rounding out her career as a level 8 gymnast for BIO Gymnastics.  Emily is ranked 9th in her class and has a 4.2 GPA.  She found her passion for gymnastics at the young age of 2 and has pursued the sport her entire scholastic career.  Emily’s favorite event is floor.  Her tireless work ethic in the gym serves as a great example for her teammates and she always can find a smile to share with those around her.  Emily also competes on the Forsyth Central High School Gymnastics team and was on their High School Cheer Team all four years, lettering in both sports.   Emily will be attending UGA in the Fall.

Excuse me, are you Katie Heenan?

James Price

Taking a Left into a Driveway

By Get a Grip

As we are fast on our Road to Rio and Olympic Trials, I wanted to take a moment to write about our own Olympic treasure, Dr. Vladimir Zaglada, or Coach Vlad as he is affectionately referred to.

The story of how we met Coach Vlad is worth sharing.  He literally drove up the driveway of the gym we used to be at one Saturday afternoon.  I remember him walking in and straight to a coach.  I thought he was a gymnast’s grandfather.  Not long after, he started appearing at the gym – helping team and creating a buzz.  I remember being told to check out his credentials and he is someone we should hang on to.  So, I did – on both!

My daughters became fond of him and I remember telling him that Donna Kaye wanted to coach and someday have her own gym.  His mind immediately went to work.  He pulled me aside one night and said,

“You need to find a building.  I have friends that have a rhythmic gymnastics team and they need a home too.  We’ll start out small…”

The rest, as they say, is history and BIO Gymnastics will be celebrating its 3rd birthday on April 1st.  As we talk history, here are some facts about our beloved Coach Vlad:

  • He received a degree in coaching gymnastics from the Lvov (Ukraine) Institute of Physical Education.
  • He went on to do graduate work at Moscow’s Lenin Institute of Physical Education, earning a Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences (the approximate equivalent of a PhD)
  • He served as the head coach for Moscow-Dynamo’s Olympic Reserve School, where many of the Soviet Union’s top female gymnasts spent their childhoods training to become champions.
  • Later he became the first president of Dynamo-Moscow’s Gymnastics Club.
  • He was a member of
    • The Women’s Technical Committee of the Soviet Gymnastics Federation
    • The Executive Board of the Dynamo-Moscow City Council
    • An Honorary Member of Russian Dynamo
    • Vice-president of the Dynamo-Southampton Gymnastics Club (now the United Kingdom’s Dynamo School of Gymnastics).

I am still, to this day, in awe that we have Coach Vlad as part of our team, not only instructing our gymnasts, but our gymnastics coaches as well.  He has a solid vision for our coaches and the program.  I am proud that he wants BIO to be a part of the enormous legacy he has in the sport of gymnastics throughout the world.  Share this story with your children.  It truly is a privilege to be taught by this man.


To think this all started with turning into a driveway….

Ballet and Gymnastics

By Get a Grip


Ballet…..again? To some gymnasts, they hear it and meet it with enthusiasm and to others, dread.  So many parents and gymnasts alike wonder why ballet is considered necessary and important to gymnastics.  Some gyms offer it a part of their programs, others not.  At BIO, we feel strongly that it is important and see tremendous improvements overall especially when it is met with a positive attitude from the gymnast.


Ballet is excellent for improving posture, core, discipline, balance, flexibility, and lower-body strength. These components can help a gymnast in many ways. Posture and core are of the utmost importance to gymnastic performance. During gymnastics, posture can become distorted due to the bending, twisting, and executing of moves that go far beyond daily functional activities. In ballet, posture is the foundation of every movement, be it static or dynamic. Learning to command the body and postural alignment in a controlled environment with strict form can carry over to gymnastic training. Alongside postural awareness is core control which is also the foundation for all movement.Gymnasts need to be flexible, but remain tight at the same time. Staying tight and attaining the ability to rid the body of unwanted motion begins with core control which allows for efficient movements without wasted energy. There are many ways to improve gymnastic ability, and ballet is a great supplement for skill enhancement – National Academy of Sports Medicine


balletBIO Gymnastics is very proud to have Ms. Nina Markman as our dedicated ballet instructor.  Ms. Markman formerly performed sixteen years with the Belorussian State Philharmonic, touring within the Soviet Union and Europe. Her teaching experience spans over fifteen years within the Belorussian State Philharmonic, Draper Studio of Dance in NY, and Rotaru International Ballet School, in Atlanta. Her primary focus is bringing the grace and beauty of ballet into gymnastics, as well as other sports such as figure skating.  Our competitive team is privileged to have her instruction as part of their weekly training.