CRESTVIEW — FROG Ninja Academy, an obstacle course training facility, is set to open April 24. The gym will be located on James Lee Boulevard, next to New Beginnings Church.
Owners Randall and Sha-Hannah Forsythe said the idea for the gym came from losing Randall’s parents, along with his time on the TV show "American Ninja Warrior," where contestants race through an obstacle course.
“When my dad passed away, it was like ‘Well, you never know when you’re going to pass away,’ so I applied for a show,” said Randall.
His said his time on the show in 2015 opened a new door for him.
“I gained a whole new interest for it,” said Randall. “It started consuming me.”
He moved to Crestview after his mother was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years later.
“We wanted to do something in honor of her, and she really loved frogs,” he said. “The reason we call it the FROG Ninja Academy is for 'fully rely on God,' which is why she loved frogs so much.”
The family wasn’t sure if opening a gym was something they wanted to do — until Randall had an idea.
“With 'American Ninja Warrior' there are obstacles,” he said. “There are obstacles in life too, so what we want to do is we want to tie names to the obstacles, like bullying, violence, just things in life.”
His wife thought it sounded like a good idea, but the family continued to pray until they got the building for the gym. Once the building was officially theirs, the idea really came together.
“We want people to know they’re not the only ones who struggle,” said Randall. “The whole theme of our gym is overcoming life obstacles.”
“It’s not just geared toward kids,” Sha-Hannah added. “We want to uplift the community and give back.”
The gym will include an obstacle course for kids and adults, a fitness section and training for the Spartan and Tough Mudder races. The gym will feature competitions for all ages and will occasionally have open gym hours.
FROG Ninja Academy will offer memberships and drop-in rates for those who do not want to be a member, as well as team-building opportunities and birthday parties.
“For the memberships, you have to sign up for at least three months,” said Randall. “We will also have a six-month option at a lower rate and a 12-month option at an even lower rate.”
The gym will also offer options for just the fitness section, along with options to mix the fitness section and obstacle course.
“We want to make it as family-friendly as possible,” Sha-Hannah said. “We will try to be as flexible as we can.”
For more information, call the gym at 689-3764 or visit the academy's page on Facebook.