Welcome to the Jungle

Jungle Gym co-owner Daniel Rohde, working out on one of the fitness challenges offered by Durango’s newest gym, Thursday, Jan. 11.
The Jungle Gym’s co-owner, Allison Kardas works with a client on Thursday, Jan 11. The gym offers an alternative approach to traditional fitness centers, and is the first of it’s kind to open in the Durango area.
Southern Ute tribal member Daniel Rohde, and partner Allison Kardas, are offering an alternative workout experience for fitness and training at the Jungle Gym.
Maria Rivera | SU Drum
Maria Rivera | SU Drum
Maria Rivera | SU Drum

Southern Ute tribal member Daniel Rohde and partner Allison Kardas recently opened their own gym in Durango called Jungle Gym. It is equipped with anything you may need to train for American Ninja Warrior, Spartan Race or any kind of work out. Offering personal training, as well as group classes, Jungle Gym is open for all ages and fitness levels.

Daniel Rohde is a member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and found a love for fitness at a young age. Before going into this business venture, he and girlfriend, Allison Kardas had a passion for competing in obstacle races such as Spartan Race and Tough Mudder. This year will be their fourth season. “It started with an idea, and we started to build off of it. We would always say there is nowhere to train for obstacle races,” Rohde said. “Since we have opened we have had a lot of people come up to us and say that this is what Durango needed.” Since the opening of the Jungle Gym, Monday, Dec. 18, there have been around 400 people who came into the gym to try it out, or check out the facilities.

The process started with an idea. That idea, and the drive of two individuals made it happen two years later. The planning took a year and a half and a year to find the perfect location. Rohde and Kardas both quit their jobs and put all their time and energy into the gym. “I’m always the happiest when I’m working out and I always wanted to open a gym, so when the opportunity presented itself, I said if I don’t try it won’t happen and now it’s here,” said Rohde. With the help of family and friends it took them 68 days to build the gym once they secured the location. From warp walls to the rig system all the way down to flooring it was a group effort. Local tattoo artist and owner of 550 Tattoo, Raphael Harrison designed the Jungle Gym sign inside the gym and Doug Fiala built the 10’ and 14’ warp wall, which took the longest out of all the projects.

The gym was created to give the community an alternative way to stay in shape. There are CrossFit gyms and weight rooms throughout the city, but the Jungle Gym is the first of its kind in the Durango area. There is the warped walls, traverse wall, salmon ladder, peg boards, Olympic weight system, dumbbells, sandbags, rope climb, box jumps and almost everything you may need for any workout. Created to suit the needs of all ages and skills, workouts are designed for the group or individual’s fitness level. It gives individuals an alternative way to get in shape and have some fun while doing it. “When we got it all together I was like a kid in a candy store, the next day my tendons were so sore from all the movements,” Rohde said.

Throughout the day there are several classes offered as well as open gym in the evening for all ages. Classes offered include: kids camp, open gym, functional fitness, sunrise interval, jungle boot camp, little jungle bears, jungle bears and jungle tots. Jungle Gym also hosts birthday parties in the gym where kids can bring a group of friends and enjoy hours of play time.

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