Local Gym Instills Confidence, Goals & Strength For Hendricks County Youth
Hoosier Warrior Gym is more than just a gym for owner Christel Boe. It’s where she works with kids on building confidence and inner strength through fitness-based classes using tumbling, navigating obstacles, parkour, free running, and calisthenics.
The gym itself is most kids’ dream come true. There’s a trampoline, multiple rock walls with varying degrees of abilities, titan tower, peg wall, ropes to climb on, ledges and walls from which to leap and padding on absolutely every possible surface.
“Here we teach them how to set goals and reach goals,” Boe says. “And if the goals aren’t realistic, we help them set short term goals until they reach that long-term goal. We want to empower these kids, but we also give them tough love here.”
Boe is big on overcoming challenges, which is a theme in her classes. She grew up in Indianapolis and competed in gymnastics at Pike High School. She enlisted in the Army at the age of 17 and served as a member of the Military Police for eight years. She met her husband when she was charged with security details for his unit. He proposed to her at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and they wed a week later and moved to New Orleans. Boe was deployed to Iraq when her oldest son was five months old. Her family also evacuated the city twice, losing their home in Hurricane Katrina the second time. That’s when they moved to Avon.
Boe wasn’t enjoying her day job working for the Federal Government during the day, but she was loving teaching her gym classes. The juggling became too much, and she decided she needed a place to do her own program so she could pursue her passion.
“I teach my kids to set goals and be courageous,” Boe says. “I had to set that example.”
Boe started the Hoosier Warriors program at Hoosier Gymnastics in Plainfield in May 2016 with her own three kids. In a year, she gained 50 kids as well as a waiting list. She opened more days and times, and the numbers again quickly jumped to almost one hundred kids — still with a waiting list.
Boe finally opened the doors to her own gym in Avon in June 2018. Immediately, classes filled up even with extra nights being offered. Boe worked with the landlord to secure the suite next door, allowing her to double the gym’s size from 16,000 sq. ft. to 32,000 sq. ft., all while continuing classes throughout remodeling and construction. Everything was just recently finished in February.
Boe’s husband, who is now a firefighter for the Speedway Fire Department, has been instrumental in helping with logistics.
“Michael calls himself the Executive Engineer for the building,” Boe says laughing. “He does whatever I need. He does the painting, builds the walls, gets me new ropes. He just says, ‘Let me know when and where you need me. Otherwise, I’m your cheerleader.’”
In addition to classes, Hoosier Warriors Gym offers private lessons, open gym, birthday parties and events, kids’ nights out and camps. She’s completely open to other uses of her gym as well, such as yoga, adult workout classes and more. But the most popular offering she has are her Warrior classes.
The Warrior classes are a combination of ninja warrior moves, tumbling, calisthenics, parkour, plyometrics and strength training.
“There is a lot of confidence building in the warrior classes,” Boe says.
Kids build on individualized skills and goals, such as climbing the rope, scaling the rock wall in a certain amount of time or attempting the peg wall over and over until they get it right. Some opt to tackle challenges written each week on the wall and are rewarded with popsicles if they accomplish them.
“It’s part of our theme, to do things that are hard and things you’ve never done before,” Boe says. “That’s how you go through life. It’s a really good life lesson.”
Lisa Stahley has had her two boys in Boe’s Warrior programs since was teaching at Hoosier Gymnastics in Plainfield. What started as a desire to get her boys involved and working on skills has turned into what feels like an extended Hoosier Warrior family.
“They’ve done a lot of sports,” Stahley says of her boys, “but Warriors is hands down their favorite. It helps them in everything — balance, flexibility, confidence, and listening skills. I believe they excel at every other activity because of the foundation she has given them.”
Boe’s philosophy at the gym is filtered through her love for superheroes. A superhero poster by the doorway reads: help those in need, care about the little things, stand up for what’s right, never give up, pick a theme song, do not wait to be told, capes are optional and practice kindness.
“Being strong and brave and practicing kindness is big to me,” Boe adds. “We are doing this for future warriors, potential future soldiers and leaders, and politicians. You have to let them face their fears and do problem-solving. It’s hard work but there are a lot of rewards here: physical rewards, mental rewards and sometimes popsicles.”
For more information on classes, camps, and registration, you can visit them online at hoosierwarriorsgym.com.