background img

Woodward at Copper: This Mom’s Ascent (or Descent?) Into Extreme Sports

I live a pretty adventurous life. Last week I went to Costco and tried the spicy jalapeno dip. On another day, I blazed pass those annoying lingering parents in the carpool lane despite the threat of death.

Let’s just say the introductory class at the newly renovated 19,400-square foot indoor playground Woodward at Copper Barn at Copper Mountain, Colo. took me to the next level.

If you’ve never been to “The Barn,” it is a sight to behold. Offering year-round Snowboard, Ski, Skateboard, Bike and Digital Media programs, it recently underwent a half-million renovation project that opened up their adventure alley beyond snowboards and skis to include skateboards, BMX and style-style mountain bike. There’s a new beginner foam pit with 2-foot and 4-foot jumps and a pump track designed for the development of park skills.

Hanging with the big boys.

Hanging with the big boys.

The staffer I chatted up before our class proudly said many of the Olympians and hopefuls at Sochi had, at one time or another, trained at The Barn. My daughter Hadley and I were in esteemed company.

I was Maui-bound the following week. My initial goal walking in there was to play it safe and not break my neck. But when my Hadley and I realized our class consisted of hip 20-somethings? All bets were off as I had something to prove. Surely I wouldn’t be the first to go to Hawaii in a body cast, right?

The minimum age for the intro class is 8. At archaic 9 years old, Hadley looked at all the big boys and appropriately said, “We’re doomed!” We were quite the pair as I calmly joked, “I’ll have to make sure to go to the bathroom first, otherwise I’ll pee my pants.”

Let’s file that one under said no extreme athlete ever at The Barn.

I’m not sure what I was expecting out of the 1 hour and 45-minute class. Maybe we’d jump on the trampoline. If things got really crazy, we’d launch into the foam pit.

Doing a frontside triple cork. #YeahRight

Doing a frontside triple cork. #YeahRight

What we got: Skatelite jumps into foam pits. Sick moves on the Olympic fly-bed trampolines and a Super Tramp. Tumbling practice with back rolls and rodeo progressions on the spring floor and tumble trak. And the more adventurous in our group ended the lesson by trying Woodward’s exclusive new Parkboards™ and Parkskis™ and launching off the ramps into the foam pits.

I wasn’t too disappointed when Hadley begged us to skip that last one.

Our instructor Greg was everything you’d expect and so much more. He was a veritable “dude” but an excellent instructor with a hyper-vigilance to safety and who spotted our every move. “Yell ‘PIT’ when you jump into the foam pit,” he coached. “And make sure you land on your back with your legs spread apart in a tuck position.”

Though Hadley has minimal gymnastics experience, she was bouncing and tumbling along with everyone else. As for me? I shocked the 20-somethings (and myself) by busting out several moves I haven’t done since my days in gymnastics and backyard trampoline glory.

Soarin' at Woodward

Soarin’ at Woodward

I don’t wanna brag but I did have the best cartwheel in the group.

After an hour of practice, most of the guys took to the ramps with their Parkboards while the girls stayed behind to test out our new moves on the Super Tramp and five Fly Beds. After a while, Hadley complained, “My back hurts.”

“So take a break.”

“I. Can’t. Stop.” And she soldiered on with her ninja kicks against the padded wall.

By the end of our session, we were both limping a bit but proud and esctatic at what we’d accomplished. Hadley looked at her old mom in a new light.

“Hey Mom, you did some flips and didn’t even break your neck,” she marveled.

I’m counting that one as a win.

Woodward at Copper has various options for adventure including our Intro Session ($49) or a Tramp Only Session ($35), Drop-in Session ($35) or various daily and weekly camps. They are also famous for the “raddest summer camps on the planet.” Go here for more info. Special thanks to Woodward for hosting and teaching us how to not break our necks.