In July, Dmitry and Crystal Tananykin got married, bringing their two families together including three children, ages 11, 10 and 7. The North Branford residents became dismayed when trying to find family-friendly physical activities so they decided to take matters into their own hands.
On Sept. 27, they opened the doors to City Climb Gym in New Haven – a 12,000 square foot rock climbing gym in the Science Park section of town.
“With three kids, we were always looking for different activities, as far as physical education and discipline – something to help them in the future, physically and mentally,” said Dmitry, who has worked at Walt’s Auto for 13 years. “I love what I do, but I constantly deal with problems with accidents and car troubles so it’s nice to do something different and fun.”
Dmitry isn’t giving up his day job so the Tananykins have a staff of about 30, which includes certified climbers, help desk staff and those who assist with belaying, as well as setters, who “resent problems on the walls, which is a whole new science to me,” said Dmitry.
While Dmitry isn’t working at the gym, he has gotten certified in belaying, noting how much he has enjoyed the bonding time it has allowed with his children.
“Your kid’s counting on you and then when they make it to the top, to see the smile on their face is amazing,” he said. “Every time they get to the top, it’s a victory for them. It’s an amazing feeling.”
City Climb offers open climb times where anyone can come in and climb the constantly changing walls, in addition to birthday parties, a cardio room and yoga and Zumba classes. There are also climbing classes and climbing leagues for both adults and children.
“We concentrate a lot on the children’s programs and our travel teams go to competition,” said Dmitry, whose two older children participate in the ‘Monsters’ program. “It’s about making it to the top, from point A to point B,” he said. “Everyone has to get to the same point, but how you get there is up to you – you have to find your own way to get to the top. It’s a very hard sport, very physical.”