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Kelly and Zabette have owned and operated the Vashon Recess Lab Climbing Wall since 2016. We stopped by recently for a chat to learn more about what they do and all the fun to be had!

VH:  From where do you hail?

Z and K:  Zabette hails from NYC and Kelly hails from TKWL (Tukwila)

VH:  How did you land on Vashon?

Z and K: Very smoothly. : ) We got here in the last few moments of the last century looking for a place that we could raise a family, be near a city, and run in the woods.

VH:  Tell us all about your business – what you offer, what you do, etc. 

Z and K: We offer a place for anyone to get a little more recess time! We have spin classes, weight classes, circuit classes, TRX, ViPR, yoga, climbing classes, we have classes for people in recovery or just returning to exercise, and for those getting ready for a specific sport or to tackle those piling up yard projects. Right now we have a specialized Parkour flip class as well.  Our trainers all have years of experience and love that they can pass their knowledge and passion for moving onto others!

We also host the VARSA Teen night every Saturday for middle schoolers as well as other events.  We rent our space out for birthday parties, workshops, teaching. We’re always open to new ideas!

Recess Lab Vashon Island

VH:  What inspired you to start The Recess Lab?

Z and K: Kelly has been teaching both privately and group classes since 2002 on Vashon. In 2015, the place where Kelly was teaching group classes was going through a major remodel and they had to close for several months which meant looking for a new location to teach!  Hence the search began.

The Recess Lab building was ideal for her but also for others to come and teach and then we saw that big blank wall and knew we had to have a bouldering wall! We have two children who were both climbing everything when they were little so we knew there had to be other parents on the island who needed an indoor place where kids could get rid of some NW yayas.

VH:  What is your superpower?

Z and K: Kelly’s is genuine love for supporting others in finding their physical superpowers!  Zabette’s is trying to keep up with Kelly. Actually that’s not really a superpower, that’s just an attempt at one!

VH:  When you have company visiting the island, where do you like to take them?

Z and K: Coffee at Burton, (if they row, the VIRC boathouse of course), Island Center or Dockton for a run, Pt Robinson, then town for Snapdragon, May Kitchen, Hardware Store, Luna, the Tea Shop, and then the Bookshop, Ace hardware, the pharmacy, and then back to the Recess Lab! And if we really like them, we take them to an opening night kid’s movie at the theater which is the best thing EVER.

VH:  What’s next for The Recess Lab?

Z and K: We’re hoping to offer more classes in the evenings and early mornings – 6 am spin anyone?  More interesting workshops, more fun!

VH:  What’s the best thing you ever bought at Granny’s? 🙂 

Z and K: Oh, that’s too hard… A 2# bucket of sidewalk chalk?  Sparkly stilettos? A screwdriver? And of course, lots of kid toys!


Be sure to check out their website for class schedules and more info:  Vashon Recess Lab 

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