Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Test of Gravity Caps Internship

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Test of Gravity Caps Internship

Article excerpt

Topeka's Sky Zone indoor park was abuzz with energetic fun when I wandered in mid-afternoon last week, along with Seaman High School intern Shelby Sutton.

The 19,000-square-foot facility at West Ridge Mall had its grand opening Saturday, no doubt increasing the decibels pouring out of southwest Topeka considerably.

It was Shelby's last day to intern with me. On top of introducing her in a trial by fire to the journalism profession during the last semester -- we laugh a lot but newsrooms can be scary places -- we wanted to send her out with something to remember besides our bad jokes about ... well, everything.

So I strapped a GoPro camera to her and sent her onto the courses at Sky Zone, content to send her back to high school pumped full of adrenaline.

And sore muscles.

Shelby at Sky Zone1

Shelby said repeatedly that it was a lot more strenuous than it looked to dig her way out of the foam pits. Finally, Andrew Keillor, operators and events manager, took pity on her and showed her how to roll across the top of the foam so you're not fighting it the whole way.

Andrew was full of good tips. He moved to Topeka from Virginia to be one of the store's managers, and clearly thrives in the environment. Apparently we had just missed a group of Topeka firefighters who were in to practice doing rescue out of the foam pits and other areas. They also took a little time out for a quick dodgeball game, which made Andrew grin.

The fun is just a little irresistible. Who doesn't want to throw themselves into a pit of foam?

As a mother, I watched Shelby's waning strength (she texted the next day to say her arms were sore) and thought of many days I would have loved to have worn my kids out at just such a facility. But I also looked at the foam blocks when I was picking one or two up to throw at Shelby while she was trying to turn a flip -- did I mention journalism is tough? …

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