Our facility, Rock’em Extreme, is an amazing space for many reasons. In the very beginning we felt that this project and our mission, is much bigger than us, and we envisioned feeling overwhelmed as we are right now, trying to put our thoughts onto a canvass to be seen by hopefully thousands of people monthly.
I should first point out, that upon initially bargaining for the space, I became physically ill once it became apparent it was ours, and the real tasks were now firmly in front of us. I try and teach my children that they should always be moving forward, and striving towards some positive goals, and I lead by example, and these times are no different. I’m 55 years old, and while most people my age are dreaming of stopping work one day, so they can relax., I’m continually thinking of ways to move forward, make a difference and help those in need. Personally, I’ve found the greatest rewards in the simplest gestures of acts of kindness towards a random stranger.
When we decided to open this facility, we thought about some of the problems Staten Island, and many other boroughs have. Drug abuse is rampant, and in some cases has wiped out entire generations of good hard working families, because of lack of focus, discipline and the ability to overcome obstacles. We all fall down, but not everyone can get back up stronger than before, if at all. Bullying, is also another problem, in this, and many other boroughs, We’ve all heard horrible stories of teens hurting themselves, or worse, from bullying, and we want to continue working with people to help with these, and other problems facing people today.
It’s very important that we pay attention to what we’re telling our children, and I’ll briefly discuss a few things I’ve heard from people after having our first place for almost a year. I’ve had 5 year old kid’s come in and tell me they have no upper body strength, and the first question I ask myself is how/why they would know and/or say that at such a young age. I’ve also had parents come in and before hearing anything and/or looking around, they would say ” you don’t want to try this do you, this looks too hard for you”. What are we teaching our children? Not everyone will be a professional athlete, but perhaps should be driven like one, which is the point..My youngest daughter is 9 years old, and about 4 months ago she came home with my wife from a science project, with a certificate and a medal. I asked my wife is she won, and apparently everyone was “awarded” a certificate and a medal for participation. I became so annoyed and frustrated by the system, that I posted a response on Facebook, and subsequently I had my 9 year old daughter read my post, and she agreed that it was not fair that everyone received a medal and certificate. While I believe the system is flawed, I’m happy my daughter understands that, and learned a valuable lesson, notwithstanding her trophy and certificate.
We feel honored that we’ve created a very unique space where people will be physically, mentally and psychologically challenged all within the confines of a social and friendly environment. We love that we’re helping to bring back the passion for people working individually, and collaboratively., without judgment of any kind.