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Taking flight

Senior Katlyn Luebke is a coach at Flight Club Power Tumbling & Trampoline (M. Krebs).

When senior Katlyn Luebke walks into the bright, white, airy gym of Flight Club Power Tumbling & Trampoline, her favorite sound to hear is the clear ringing of a loud, cheery bell.

As a former tumbler, Luebke knows what she is doing. It doesn’t hurt that she has been a tumbling coach for three years now, either. The springy black trampoline and the pit with red foam squares are familiar to her as she helps her classes run through their warm-ups and skills.

The ringing of the bell marks a special milestone for one of Luebke’s students; the little girl in her sparkling leotard has just mastered a new skill, and gets to ring the bell to celebrate her success. The smile illuminating the girl’s small face is mirrored on Leubke’s own.

Luebke’s tumbling career was halted by a back injury, so she now focuses on track as her main sport. Coaching ambitious tumblers helps her continue her involvement in the sport she had to leave behind.

There are challenges, of course, but Luebke loves coaching all the same. Sometimes it’s difficult to put a complicated tumbling routine into words a 6-year-old can understand, but Leubke describes routines again and again until flickers of recognition flash in the children’s eyes.

Luebke’s coaching inspiration is one of her own former coaches, Stacey Wall, who is one of the gym’s owners. Leubke strives to not only be a mentor, but also a trustworthy friend. Bullying isn’t tolerated, and Leubke strives to make her classes a safe haven where her students can learn in an encouraging environment.

When the peal of the bell echoes through the gym, Luebke knows that her hard work has been worth it.

“The smile on her face makes me feel successful,” said Luebke. “It makes me feel happy.”

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Holly Baldacci, Author

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