LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Ultimate Ninja was scheduled to hold its grand opening in March, but COVID-19 shut the Ninja Warrior style gym’s doors before anyone could run the obstacle course.
Brendan Kelly, who is a four-time American Ninja Warrior competitor, said opening this gym is his dream.
“My whole goal with this gym was to have a place where families can come together and grow together,” he said. “Doing that cool move or climbing that wall, doing something you’re uncomfortable doing and getting out of that box to accomplish the obstacles that are literally in front of you also gives you the mental state to accomplish the obstacles that life will throw at you.”
Kelly said all his energy is going into keeping his dream alive, but he’s struggling. The money he had set aside for advertising and outreach suddenly needed to be budgeted to help make ends meet.
“No one really in Lexington knows about us and it's really sad because there’s really nothing in Lexington like it,” said Kelly.
In June, Ultimate Ninja was able to partially reopen based on reservations, according to Kelly. However, like many other small business owners, he’s constantly looking for new ways to bring in business.
“It is what it is. You have to adapt to the situations. So right now, I’m kind of just surviving off camps,” he said.
The newest camp at Ultimate Ninja is called the ‘Lion’s Den.’
The ‘Lion’s Den’ is a camp designed around helping students from all grade levels complete their schoolwork when classes begin with non-traditional instruction. During the camp, participants have structured work times and periods to learn different skills on the obstacle course.
“We want to help those kids learn as well as get the social skills they need,” Kelly said. “We need to be teaching our kids to reach the goals they have and what to do when you’re struck with adversity. That’s why I call it the ‘Lion’s Den’. I want to send little lions out into the world.”
Students are asked to bring their school-provided Chromebooks and hot spots. They will also be practicing social distancing during camp, according to Kelly.
“We’re trying to be a positive light. We’re trying to help parents,” he said.
You can find more information about Ultimate Ninja and the ‘Lion’s Den’ on the gym’s website or by calling 859-797-0410.