It truly does take a village to raise a child and, in this case, that “child” is Airborn Xtreme. Husband and wife gymnastics duo and Maple Grove residents, Chuck and Karen Osborn, had a longtime goal of opening their own trampoline and tumbling training gym, and with the help of a village of volunteers, that vision became a reality last fall.
“It’s something [we] had a dream of creating; something family oriented and personal,” Karen says.
The Osborn family has a long history in gymnastics, starting when Chuck was a student. A gymnast in high school, Chuck went on to become a gymnastics teacher, eventually met Karen, married and started a family. When their children became more active, they were enrolled in gymnastics.
Within nine months of starting gymnastics, their son Courtney joined a team and went on to compete in the Trampoline and Tumbling World Age Groups Competition in the Netherlands at age 11. Now 20, Courtney is training to become an Olympic freestyle skier in Park City, Utah, and he also teaches at the gym during the summer.
After working at various gymnastics studios for 14 years, the Osborns knew it was time to pursue their goal of opening their own gym. “As a coach, I wanted to do more,” Karen says. They started off renting space from a gym in Anoka for three years, but the Osborns realized that they needed more room if they wanted to grow a business. In October 2013, the ideal spot opened up.
With the help and support of various Maple Grove families, the dirty warehouse they purchased became a welcoming, family-oriented space that accommodates many different types of athletes. Hundreds of hours of de-constructing, building, moving, cleaning, painting and decorating-all done by volunteers-helped to make Airborn Xtreme what it is today: a unique and accommodating environment.
Karen says, “It’s something that kids can be a part of—any shape, size or ability.”
The Osborns take pride in the individualized nature of their training. While striving to take every student’s personal needs into account, they work with many different kinds of athletes including skiers, snowboarders, divers, cheerleaders and dancers, along with students varying levels of ability.
“Not everyone has the same ability. They can be in the same class together, but everyone is working on different things,” Karen says. “We want everyone to achieve the best that they can. We really try to touch base on being a nurturing environment…something less competitive.”
Classes at Airborn Xtreme cover areas such as core strength, flexibility and cross training. In February, a special needs program was started with classes for children with Down syndrome and autism, to provide more welcoming opportunities for students.
“They’re learning leaps and bounds and having a great time,” Karen says of the new program.
Along with classes, Airborn Xtreme also offers open gym hours, private lessons and birthday parties.
While the Osborns strive to create a less competitive environment, competitive options are also available along with recreational ones. The Airborn Xtreme trampoline and tumbling team competes at local USA Gymnastics events, the Region IV Championships, and the Junior Olympic National Championships.
From beginner to elite athlete, the Osborns take pride in recognizing the success and achievement of every athlete. “It’s so positive to watch an athlete grow and have that self-awareness and positive self-image,” Karen says.
Classes offered daily 9:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; monthly tuition ranges $54 and up. Open gym offered Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 6–8:30 p.m. (beginning in September); $10-$15