Fargo Start-Up Non-profit Offers More Than Gymnastics

Since 2006, Kim Pladson and the TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics team have been on a mission to unlock individual’s potential through movement. Over the last decade, the multiplication of this mission has led to serving over 2,000 people each week. “I love that TNT is inclusive and serves all individuals with the experience and benefits of gymnastics… I truly believe that movement can unlock everyone’s potential,” explained Pladson.

Memory into Motion

Gymnastics was a major part of Kim Pladson’s life beginning in her childhood days spent in Portland, North Dakota. The idea for TNT Fitness was formed from a memory made while Pladson worked in the registrar’s office in a school system. Over the course of 11 years as a coach and office worker, Pladson often built relationships with students with special needs that needed daily duties. “I remember walking the halls and asking the P.E. teacher about a few of these students walking the hallways… his reply stuck with me, ‘There is no room for them to exercise,’” said Pladson.

In early 2006, Pladson was contacted by a group of parents about opening a new gymnastics gym in the Fargo area. However, Pladson was convinced that another gym wasn’t needed unless there was a specific need to meet in the community. “The number one thing that was very important to me was that a child with special needs can have access to physical activity anytime, any day,” said Pladson. As a result of a community assessment and parent-to-parent interviews, an opportunity was realized in the areas of physical therapy and students with special needs and the 501(c) 3 for TNT Fitness was formed.

Gymnastics for All

Today, TNT Kid’s Fitness and Gymnastics is one of two world-class gymnastics programs in the nation that provide inclusive gymnastics for all individuals not depending on age, physical ability, or mental ability. In 2009, Pladson credits an epiphany gained during a sermon on Mother’s Day that led her to emphasize the talents of TNT Fitness. “I heard a voice that told me to capitalize on our talents… at TNT we are inclusive of all people and have a story to tell about our work,” explained Pladson. This story is now being told in a training model, SONIC, that was published in 2017 and being embraced by multiple gyms and physical therapists across the nation.

With daily programming that spans babies to adults, TNT has a class or open gym time for everyone. On Giving Hearts Day, February 8th, 2018, TNT has established a goal to raise $300,000 where all donations will be used towards future programming. “This year we are asking everyone to ‘give their heart to TNT!’ for Giving Heart’s Day and help us reach our goal to continue to fulfill our mission to unlock everyone’s potential,” said Pladson.

Brent McNeal