By the time she was a junior in college, Patti Gable had been a competitive gymnast for nearly a decade, racking up accolades and even qualifying for the 1976 Olympics trial.
In 1979, as a 19-year-old enrolled at the University of Washington, Gable decided to share her love of the sport by leading a gymnastics program at South Pacific University. Gable would relocate that program to Kirkland two years later under the banner of Northwest Aerials. On Aug. 7, that gymnastics club will celebrate 40 years of coaching kids of all ages with an open house followed by an alumni party.
“Right now, we have third generation students. I’ve coached students’ sons and daughters,” said Gable, whose own gymnast daughter helps out around the facility whenever needed.
Gable ran the original South Pacific program on afternoons, evenings and Saturdays at a rented facility until graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1981. After contemplating whether to bolster her flourishing program or pursue other post-college options, the graduate chose to acquire a facility for gymnastics in Kirkland. That first year on the Eastside saw only 10 enrolled students, but the program took root the following year in 1982, training roughly 300 aspiring gymnasts.
Enrolled in one of those 1982 classes was Suzy Adsit, who had been practicing gymnastics in California prior to her family’s move up north.
“As soon as I moved, my grandma found, I think it was in the Woodinville Weekly or something, an ad for Northwest Aerials’ open house,” Adsit said.
The rest was history: In 1988, Adsit joined the Northwest Aerial’s staff and today she manages the club.
Adsit said that the open house event is an opportunity for “showing off our family-friendly facility and our love for fitness and children.”
The Aug. 7 open house at 7 p.m. will include tours and demonstrations for the general community. In September, another celebration is planned for those who have been enrolled in programs and families who have been a part of Northwest Aerials’ story.
The club serves all ages, walking to adult, offering swimming courses, mixed-activity summer camps and even a ninja class, which is inspired by the show “American Ninja Warriors.”
“It’s loosely based so lots of obstacles and climbing, we have a warped wall and cargo, and we have the rolling dice,” Adsit said about the latter.
“Gymnastics is a sport where you can never achieve perfection. It’s a challenging sport for coaching and for performing because once you learn a skill, there’s always another skill to work on next,” Gable said.