Photo courtesy of Maurice Mille.
Members of the competition team at Ingrid's Gymnastics in East Lake.
Ingrid Pfau is the owner of two gyms: Ingrid’s Gymnastics in East Lake and Trussville Gymnastics.
The native of Santiago, Chile, who has been a coach for 35 years and is a former rhythmic gymnast, said gymnastics is her passion. “I love it, and it’s my life,” Pfau said. “I think it was my destiny to do this.”
Her passion was rewarded by her teams’ stellar performances at the Alabama USA Gymnastics state meet in Tuscaloosa in December. Ingrid’s Gymnastics finished first in the Level 2 Large Team category and third in the Level 1 Large Team category.
Trussville Gymnastics finished first in both Level 1 Large Team and Level 2 Small Team.
And it’s not just about winning but about helping gymnasts build strong character and learn important values, according to Pfau, a 29-year Birmingham resident.
“The gymnasts get significantly stronger, and as they get stronger they become more confident in themselves,” Pfau said. “Nothing is instant gratification, and that’s a good lesson to learn.”
They realize other benefits, as well, she said.
“They learn how to manage their time, to take care of their bodies and to be responsible for themselves.”
It’s also fun to build a community of gymnasts, coaches and parents, Pfau said.
“It’s a journey to teach not only our gymnasts, but the parents, about the world of gymnastics,” she said.
The age range at both gyms is 2 to 18. Pfau offers only girls classes at Ingrid’s Gymnastics but teaches girls and boys in Trussville. Visit ingridsgymnastics.com.