Dressed in an orange fitted t-shirt with “Travelin’ Tumblers Kids Fitness printed across the right side, leggings, and black Nikes with bright blue laces, Hoboken Program Coordinator Kristyn Lobo greeted me with a warm smile and a laugh, “Yeah, this is the uniform,” she said. “I’m not really the office type.”
“The uniform is just one of the awesome parts about my job, in addition to the cool Mini-Van I get to drive,” Kristyn said as her smile grew wider.
With a Master’s Degree in Education under her belt, Kristyn’s passion to encourage a healthy and fit lifestyle allowed her to continue her family’s tradition in a somewhat non-traditional way.
Although fitness is not something many of us thought about before the age of maybe….uh say….15? The Lobo family gets children as young as two traveling’ along on their fitness journey.
Twenty-seven years ago, Kristyn’s mom Bev, founded Travelin’ Tumblers, an interactive, educational program for children that includes the teaching and instilling of self-esteem, confidence, motor skills, fitness levels, and communication skills.
According to the Travelin’ Tumblers website, it is their goal to, “create a unique and personalized experience for every child by merging physical activity and fun. We believe active bodies are conductive to active minds,” she said.
“What we teach is what we believe,” she said. “While fitness is something I believe in as a lifestyle, when you are working with children that are as young as the ones we are working with, it is about so much more than that,” she said.
“You can’t teach a kid to jump,” she said. “But you can train them to have energy, make them stay positive and believe they can do it, as well as instill in them the courage to keep trying,” she said.
While part of Travelin’ Tumblers’ mission is to get kids out and active, Kristyn explains her background in education is critical. “The program requires a lot of behavior management and effort to maintain a comfortable, non-competitive, team-work friendly environment,” she said.
While Kristyn and the team teach a series of different classes for children ages 2-6, all classes are circuit formatted with four stations. The circuit set-up keeps the kids always moving and always engaged, says Kristyn. “The circuit encourages learning, listening, taking turns, and sharing, while aiding the students in becoming familiar with colors, shapes, and counting,” she said.
On a more personal level, Kristyn explained that she has always had a true interest in fitness. “Growing up, I always played sports, and observed my mom as an instructor. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a part of my mom’s program. Whenever I would come home from college on breaks, I’d help my mom teach her classes. A few years ago when my mom felt it was time for her to retire, I couldn’t possibly part with Travelin’ Tumblers,” she said.
“I decided I’d take the program. I think it was pretty bad-ass of my mom, as a woman, to create, found, and start this idea. She really got it up and moving. We really take pride in what we teach and we all really believe in it. I couldn’t just let it die,” she said.
While Travelin’ Tumblers gets it’s name from the fact that Kristyn and co. travel to pre-schools around New Jersey and do not have a permanent location, Kristyn has found two class locations right here in Hoboken.
“I brought the program to Hoboken about three years ago,” she said. “I just really felt there was a need for it. There are so many young kids and young families here that I felt a program like this would really be beneficial,” Kristyn continued.
While Kristyn said that it is her goal to one day have her own space, she said she loves the fact that the business is traditional, family run, and essentially is her life. “I’m very social and love kids. I really couldn’t image myself doing anything else,” she said.
For more information upcoming Travelin’ Tumblers programs and to get your child involved, visit http://www.travelintumblers.com/