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Family Opens Successful Gym after Emigrating from Zimbabwe - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Family Opens Successful Gym after Emigrating from Zimbabwe

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WAYNESBORO, Va (WVIR) -

This week marks the one-month anniversary for a new gym in Waynesboro. But for the owners, the building means a lot more than that. They say it's their American dream realized.

Warren Blumears wasn't born in the U.S., but he and his wife Menna are about as patriotic as they come. “Since I was about 9 years old I've always had this vision, this dream of coming to America that's where everything would just fall into place for me,” he said.

The couple started their lives in Zimbabwe, but unrest in the country led them to flee with their now-15-year-old daughter Camaryn in 2001. They arrived in California a year later on asylum. Warren took up coaching and Menna became a stay-at-home mother for the family's children, of which there are now four. They moved to central Virginia in 2008.

Menna says it things sometimes felt like they wouldn’t work out, but they did. After a gymnastics career that ended with a last-minute injury during the All-African Games, Warren's a successful coach and you can find Menna on the floor too.

They just opened up their own business, the Flip Factor Gym in Waynesboro, last month. With the American flag on full display, the business is thriving and programs from cheerleading to parkour.

“It's just been truly amazing, the journey that we've been on - you know, the amount of people who have stepped up and helped us and guided us and taken a chance on us,” Warren said. “So I look at this every day, I walk in here and am just so thankful for this.”

Warren shared his coaching philosophy: “I believe that if you pull toward something, you don't have to be pushed to do it.”

Warren and Menna have moved around a lot but they say they've found a home in Waynesboro and they're not planning on leaving anytime soon.

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