A letter from B!
In March of 2012, Kahne Perkins, April Murrell, Alyssa Murrell and I were looking for a fun, Christian environment in which to exercise. I love sports, working out, and friendly competition. So I decided to host our small group, and the four of us began working out in my backyard with one Rogue Box and a climbing rope. My husband Larry reluctantly allowed us to also workout in a single stall of our home garage. During the summer of 2012, Kim McCain joined us and inspired several other ladies from the Dry Prong area to join our workout group. The garage quickly filled with ladies desiring a connection and a healthy lifestyle, both physically and spiritually. Larry could see how much it meant to me and this growing group of women, and he allowed us to transform the remaining two stalls of our three-car garage into a home gym. He dedicated himself to building an adult jungle gym in the back yard, complete with ropes, pull-up bars, monkey bars, rope walls, climbing walls, pegboard walls, parallel bars, and handstand pushup walls. This small group of ladies spent countless hours outside my home flipping tires, pushing sleds, hurdling walls, and playing Hoover Ball. Unified by the comradery and our common goal of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, we began calling ourselves “B22.” We wanted a reminder that no matter our age, we could enjoy the fun spirit of being 22!
Because of the connection that our small group offered to like-minded Christian women, we quickly outgrew the space limitations of my garage and backyard. In the summer of 2017, we began praying for direction and launched a building fund. The following January, the Dry Prong High School/Jr. High School gymnasium where I spent two years in junior high school was placed on the real estate market. Even though I had not been inside in thirty-eight years, I had to see it the same day that I saw the listing for sale. Immediately, I knew this was a perfect place for B22 to continue to grow. However, the building had been unoccupied for seven years, the roof leaked, and the walls and floors were rotten. Although it was in poor condition, I saw promise and a future for the B22 ladies there. Because of the overwhelming costs of repair and renovations, the ladies of B22 vehemently objected to me moving forward with the idea. After a number of expert inspections and obtaining the hesitantly given blessing of my husband, we purchased the property on March 1, 2018. Thereafter, I watched in amazement as the local community came together to support our vision. Many donated their time and money towards renovating the gymnasium, which allowed us to expand our ministry to men and women of all ages on July 1, 2018.
Although our location changed and the initial group dynamics are no longer the same, the fundamentals of our small group – fitness, spiritual growth, and community connection – have evolved on a much larger scale at a new location. B22 now inspires members, male and female, young and old, to get in shape physically and spiritually and offers connection with like-minded believers who find a place to belong. Since its inception in my backyard, B22 has followed Jesus’ example of meeting the physical needs of our community, which opens the door to meeting the greater spiritual need.
It is my hopeful prayer that B22 will continue long after I am gone as a place where friends become family, where we serve and minister to our community, and where we give all glory and honor to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
If you are not part of our B22 family, I personally invite you to join us. With open arms, we welcome you with support, encouragement, and heartfelt connection.