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OUR VISIONARY

 

Kendra Barker

Even though she isn't in the building much these days, the “old folks” that work here know none of this would exist without her faith and vision. In 2024, Rock Solid will celebrate its 13th birthday, but God planted its seed in Kendra’s heart years earlier. For those that haven’t heard this story, you might enjoy it. How did a little girl envision and name RSA?

 

Kendra fell in love with gymnastics in preschool. Even though Craig and I knew nothing about the sport, we loved seeing her passion for something so good for her. Our little gymnast would talk about being a gymnast at the highest level. She would tell us, “I do gymnastics for God.” She also shared her plans for the future, saying, “In my gym, there will be….”

 

Every school project was not just gymnast-focused but centered around gym design. There were drawings, models, and essays. We heard new details about “her gym” all the time. We tried to steer her to try other things. “That sounds cute, but you know this isn’t easy for you. How about you try something with a ball?” 😂

 

In March of 2011, God began revealing His plan to the rest of us. We purposefully kept Kendra in the dark about what we were working on. We knew the reality was that it most likely wouldn’t happen.

 

On the way to church youth in April, she said, “Momma, I know what I want to call my gym.” I braced myself for something silly like the Purple Princesses, but instead, she continued, “Rock Solid. You know, like Christ the Solid Rock.”

 

We all quickly agreed that we had a name. There has never been any doubt that God placed it in Kendra’s heart at the perfect time.

 

A month later, we were able to tell her there would be a Rock Solid sooner than she ever imagined. It wasn’t the one she had dreamed of yet as we were renting that long skinny building, but kids were learning gymnastics, getting healthy life lessons, and all in faith. God blessed the efforts of so many over the next 5 years and we were able to build the current building where many of her visions became reality – after we spent lots of detailed architect hours.

 

While away for undergrad, our visionary has never stopped contributing and helping implement her faith-based ideas for Rock Solid. Even now, in the middle of Med school 6 hours away, she has helped us progress and move forward no matter what we are facing.

 

While we frequently (and jokingly) "blame" Kendra for Rock Solid's existence, she quickly gives God the credit which is why I share this part of our story. We fall short daily; but, we strive to let God lead as we offer great things to the families of our community and our sport.

 

*After she completes her training, she hopes to return and practice family medicine with her dad next door.

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