How It All Started

by Duncan Richardson (Founder)

The seed for Bodies in Motion was planted when Rachel, and our 3 year old son, were playing at a local play center. It was awful. The seating was uncomfortable, I feared my son was going to get trampled on the inflatables by the older kids, and their version of snacks were Doritos, Snickers, and Gummy Bears.

Rachel and I said, why don't they make a facility that was comfortable for adults and fun and safe for kids. We joked that Starbucks ought to come up with the design. So, we went on a mission to find this particular facility, and we found it! It was a play center on State St. called Rafiki's. They had microfiber couches, espresso, a deli, and a delightful play structure that didn't have us on edge the whole time. 

Then, it hit us like a ton of bricks. We are "they." You've heard it a million times. You've said it a million times! "They need to make this... They need to make that..." The only problem was, we weren't in the play center business. We were in the martial arts and fitness business. At the time, we owned two martial art schools. In addition to teaching martial arts, we had adult fitness, summer camps, Parents' Night Out, and participated heavily in tournaments. It occurred to us, we ARE in the play business. Play is nothing but motion that is exhilarating. Martial arts, fitness, and all the activities we were already doing was exhilarating motion. 

We declared that if we opened a play center, it would promote "motion." And, we also declared that it would have healthy food options, absent of soda's with high fructose corn syrup, and candy. It would also have activities that promoted fun, education, and fitness through motion for all ages. If it were to happen, we would add Sandella's Flatbrad Cafe' because it has all natural ingredients that are prepped daily. The flatbread has no preservatives or additives which gives it a shelf life of 24 hours.

On Friday, January 7th of 2011, we opened our doors for business and began full operation of martial arts and fitness classes on that Monday. Boy, has it been a wild ride! We started with 7 Motioneers (employees), most of them Black Belt instructors from our martial arts program. We now have 35 Motioneers, have had over 40,000 unique visitors in our facility, 10,000 people on our ropes course, over 2,000 birthday parties, have already replaced 2 slides, avoided bankruptcy twice, given ourselves a few black eyes from screwed up processes, and we're still going stronger than ever. 

Unfortunately, Rafiki's didn't make it, for reasons unbeknownst to us. In fact, we own their couches now. But, we thought they hit the nail on the head. As for the future of Bodies in Motion, we're out to make Idaho proud. We're currently working on our expansion model which will include a blend of corporate and franchised locations. And, we're not just limiting our locations to the US. We have our sites set on Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Imagine a family summer camp program that is abroad! Cool, huh?

Stay in Motion!



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