280 feet per second. That's the speed limit at Central Alabama Paintball. Although some paintball guns are capable of catapulting pellets at much higher speeds, staff here check each gun's speed to ensure a safe, fun, and comfortable experience for every player. They also require that everyone use the field's own paintballs, specially formatted to splatter at lower impacts—without staining clothes, which is especially helpful at paintball weddings.
Refs at Central Alabama Paintball are paid professionals who brief every player on rules and equipment operation. To ensure fair play, they also group paintballers by skill level. The staging area's sound system announces whether each game is for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players, and solo players can join a team matched to their ability level.
With safety firmly in place, the fun can begin. The round starts, and paintballs soar over one of five outdoor fields with obstacles such as wooden spools and giant inflatables, or the full mock-town field. It's common to see birthday parties, family reunions, and other celebrations darting around the field. In addition to amenities such as a large covered deck, a grill and fire pit, and setups for cornhole and horseshoes, the field boasts lower-impact guns suitable for players as young as age 6.
Any gym can have free weights and treadmills, but Fit 24 thrives on a strong sense of community. The gym’s trainers host nonstop group fitness classes five days a week, including classic aerobics and boot-camp sessions that blend cardio and strength training. Trainers can also set up personal-training sessions, during which they teach clients to make the most of the gym's perpetually available equipment. Trainers can even go mobile to bring their expertise to the front doors of nearby homes and offices to keep the sweat flowing. For competitive customers, the staff organizes flag-football and kickball teams, which compete in six-week seasons against other local teams. After working up sweats, gym members can hit the free tanning beds to maintain their summery glows throughout the depths of winter or in the event that the sun never rises again.
Debuting in spring 2013, the Xtreme South Football League features semi-professional teams from all across Dixie. Its 14 teams include representatives from Florida, Tennessee, Mississippi, and eight squads hailing from Alabama. As one of those eight teams, the Alabama Crusaders give Birmingham Metro, Jefferson, and Shelby County football fans with a home team to cheer for. The Crusaders' main goal is to develop local talent: they give players an alternative to going overseas or posing as a peewee team's tackling dummy just to stay in the game. Fans can watch those players display high-octane athleticism during home games, which take place atop the gridiron at Pelham High School.
Sips n Strokes gifts paintbrush-wielding neophytes the tools and confidence to create, with a mélange of masterpiece-making tutorials and a bring-your-own-beverage policy. Artists can elect a class from the shop's calendar to hone the painting style that best complements their home, office, or neighbor's windshield, including picks of imagery from Parisian scenes to funky roosters. Each course, led by an instructor well versed in the trade, pairs well with the liquid inspiration of each student's choosing. Silence-seeking artists or easily corruptible mimes may opt for an afternoon or weeknight session, as the weekends generally garner 20 to 50 rowdy rookies.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
They tell a tale to quake your bones at Warehouse 31—on October 13, 1875, a woodcutter by the name of Billy Turner killed his nine-year-old daughter in a horrific accident. Unable to cope with his grief, Turner killed himself. But the pain was too great for death to assuage. Soon Pelham was under siege from a series of mysterious events. A young girl found roaming unattended along a railway. The sound of a chainsaw echoing from the forest. Glass doors sliding open as soon as somebody stepped in front of them. Today, Warehouse 31 stands on the site of that ill-fated lumberyard, and guests can experience some scares of their own, thanks to a cast of monsters, high-tech animatronics, and gravely unhinged clowns.