As the St. Johns River winds through the Everglades of central Florida, it flows past forests of old-growth cypress trees. Bald eagles perch on branches draped in spanish moss, and below, blue herons and alligators prowl the edges of floating grass beds. Holding US Coast Guard Master Captain licenses, the guides of Airboat Rides at MIDWAY take passengers into this swampy wilderness aboard custom airboats. Launching from their own marina, the guides educate guests on the river's ecology and history via two-way headsets and stern, unwavering eye contact. These tours have earned multiple certificates of excellence from TripAdvisor, plus respectful nods from the river's turtles. In addition to airboat tours, the guides take guests out on seasonal gator hunts.
Imagine you're tailgating before a big football game, checking scores on your phone. You reach into the cooler for a beer, only to realize that the bottles are not twist-offs. At this point, you could drop to your knees, shake your fists at the sky, and curse the evil that would bring such a wicked fate upon you. Or you could just turn over your phone and pop the bottle open.
The innovators at HeadCase had such situations in mind when they created a line of cases with built-in bottle openers—only one of several stylish but practical products designed to enhance the use of mobile gadgets. Along with custom photos, cases sport camouflage designs and the colors and logos of professional and college teams. HeadCase products protect devices from both Samsung and Apple, meaning that users don't have to settle for the brand of smartphone they happened to be holding when they were born.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they?re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness?s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths.
At Massage Connection, licensed massage therapists aim to ensure that "every sight, sound, smell, and touch" makes clients feel good. While kneading muscles with light or firm hand movements, massage professionals attend to the client's comfort level, adjusting their methods to optimize relaxation and muscle health. Massages target basic aches and pains as well as the needs of expectant mothers, athletes, and milkmaids. Other spa services, including body scrubs and mud-mask treatments, draw out impurities and leave skin feeling supple. In contrast to relaxation-based options, sauna-treatment sessions promote weight-loss by warming the body, inducing sweating, and burning fat.
Rose has been specializing as a licensed and established psychic for more than 30 years. In the comfort of her cozy studio, clients can seek advice on issues ranging from love and careers, to complicated financial matters, and marriage and divorce. She dispenses this advice through tarot and palm reading, as well as more comprehensive aura reading.
The gym looks like equal parts Olympic training facility and old warehouse?here, exercisers hoist themselves up rows of pull-up bars, grunt around a collection of kettlebells, and hop through jump-rope routines. On a power-lifting platform, a lifter explodes from a squat, hoisting a plate-loaded bar up to his shoulders and then dropping under it to catch the weight over his head. Elsewhere, athletes do dips on gymnast rings and build a sweat on rowing machines.
This low-tech setting is typical of all true CrossFit gyms. Though the equipment may be basic, the results are not: CrossFit workouts develop all measures of physical fitness?from power to cardiovascular endurance?through workouts that are broad, general, and inclusive. This approach is often described as specializing in not specializing: it develops physical fitness in ways equally beneficial to everyone, from professional mixed martial artists and police officers to weekend softball players.
CrossFit gyms typically start clients in a foundational program where trainers teach the basic movements, such as the squat, dead lift, and pull-up. Every exercise is scalable to a version that clients can complete?a pull-up, for example, can be scaled back to a negative pull-up, a static hang, or body-weight row with gymnast rings. It can also be scaled to a more challenging version, such as the kipped pull-up. After students learn CrossFit's basic movements, they move on to open group classes, which follow the ever-changing WOD, or Workout of the Day. These workouts are short and intense, and they foster camaraderie through frequent team circuits. In addition to supervising WOD class, trainers coach members on nutrition, advocating a caveman-style diet of low-glycemic carbohydrates, monounsaturated fats, and lean proteins such as raptor meat.