Memories from Nancy Kludt, Owner, Twisters Gymnastics
April 2, 2004
Today, when I was reviewing saved email messages, I came across a note from Paul Hausladen. The message, which was sent two days before he passed away, was full of plans and optimism for the upcoming season.
Paul was a friend, colleague, and advocate of children. We worked together at Twisters Gymnastics for over a quarter of a century. During his years at Twisters he coached my daughter, my sister, and my niece, as well as countless other gymnasts in our team and recreation programs. Paul was a talented and passionate photographer who generously recorded my family’s gymnastics years as well as those of Olympian Pam Bileck and many more.
Paul was more than a coach to us. He was a member of our family. Paul and I loved to banter, play practical jokes, and swap stories. We had an ongoing competition between us where one had to buy dinner for the other depending on whose events won the most awards at meets.
Paul had a knack for keeping athletes in the gym throughout their elementary and teenage years. Humor was the basis of his coaching style. He was very popular and is well remembered. Almost weekly, these days, we meet and greet former Twisters on the street. Inevitably the question is asked, in a bubbly voice, “How is Paul?”. With a heavy heart I relay the news. There follows a moment of silence, then a quiet remark of fondness for the gentle man who devoted his life to children and gymnastics.
During Paul’s 25 years at Twisters, we were side by side during family celebrations and competitions, swapping stories and feeling fierce pride for our athletes. Even after his move to the head coach position at Redwood Empire, at every meeting and competition we would seek each other out. Our conversations would always go first to family and the gymnasts we coached. We remained friends until the day he slipped away.
Paul, today I read your email, sighed, smiled, and tucked it safely away with my saved messages.