The sun reflects off the chassis of a crimson Cobra as its engine lets out a declarative roar. Suddenly, gears shift and the driver makes their way onto the track. At Racing Adventures, thrilling moments are a normal occurrence as instructors show visitors how to handle vintage racecars and exotic sports vehicles from the inside of the cockpit. In two models of American muscle cars, a Porsche 911, or a Carrera, guests taste the adrenaline rush of high-performance driving during full-day racing adventures, laps around racetracks, or excursions on skill-testing roads in Arizona and Colorado.
Racing Adventures’ team also educates thrill-seekers in more aggressive styles of driving in its school. After outfitting students with suits and helmets, instructors demonstrate the basic principles and advanced techniques of racing before letting students practice on a real racetrack. Students can take the wheel of a Cobra, Corvette, or Porsche during three levels of driving experiences, and graduates of the program earn a certificate of achievement.
Rise Body Works' staff balance their serious fitness regimens with a laid-back studio setting that resembles a coffee shop. Inside, health and fitness professionals lead sociable group classes that introduce beginning and advanced Pilates techniques, TRX fusion workouts, and boot camps. Personal trainers whip clients into shape during private sessions, and massage therapists relax backs by massaging them, using chiropractic techniques, or by hiring an audiobook narrator to read the newspaper to them.
Before Art Stone was head of Total Woman Gym & Spa, he ran a chain of salons. His female clientele loved their custom cuts, but California had no shortage of stylists—what they really struggled to find was day-spa pampering and weight-loss assistance, all in one spot. Stone listened, and in 1965, created precisely the sanctuary they were looking for.
21 years ago, Ellie Herman worked as a professional dancer and choreographer, running her own company in San Francisco. She loved her work, but she had bills to pay. So, naturally, she took on a side job; she became the professional wrestler known as "Ruth Less." As soon as she began tossing fellow wrestlers around, she incurred a serious knee injury that threatened to end both of her careers. Luckily for her, the nearby St. Francis Hospital of Dance Medicine offered surgery-free rehabilitation through Pilates. Ellie did the workouts for months, and returned to her company an even better dancer than she'd been before her injuries. Later, as a masters student at NYU, Pilates once again helped her recover from hip pain. She discovered an ability to innovate within the bounds of Pilates, and resolved to become a teacher.
She opened the aptly named Ellie Herman Studio, where she continues to teach today. True to her inspiration, she uses Pilates as a basis on which to innovate better forms of corrective movement. So far, she's written nine books on the subject. She invented her own piece of equipment, the Pilates Springboard, which compresses the size and cost of the more traditional Pilates wall unit. She also developed a blend of Pilates and gait training, to help people stave of injury by becoming conscious of the way they move their legs in every day life, which helps to prevent things such as rolling ankles or randomly kicking strangers.
Jill Dailey McIntosh has always been intrigued by the human body and how it moves?so much so that she graduated in 1991 with a kinesiology degree and soon thereafter decided to open her own Pilates teaching studio. But it wasn't until years later that this curiosity would manifest itself in a single question: "How can one aggressively transform the shape of their body while still maintaining proper alignment of the spine?" Eventually Jill began to examine her diverse fitness background, pulling low-impact movements from ballet, Pilates, and even orthopedic-exercise routines to create the basis for her fitness style, The Dailey Method.
Now, more than a decade later, Dailey's fitness routine has ballooned into studios sprawled across more than 10 states and gained praise from Self, Allure, FitPregnancy, and InStyle magazines. Regardless of the location, instructors remain true to Jill's mission of offering a diverse series of exercises that focus on toning and lengthening the body while lengthening the spine and building strong core muscles.
Tony Carr was something of a renaissance man, simultaneously holding degrees from UCLA and UC Irvine, working on a vaccine for Alzheimer's, and preparing for a sailboat race to Hawaii. His regatta ambitions, however, were unjustly cut short by a debilitating lower-spine injury. Despite this twist of fate, Tony persisted, and took up Bikram yoga at the Bikram Yoga College of India as just the latest endeavor of a man with diverse ambitions. Within one month, his symptoms had been alleviated, and within four months they had almost vanished completely.
Tony had found his new passion, and he immersed himself in it with enough enthusiasm to lose 30 pounds?the average British child's entire net worth?and transform his body in the process. He traveled to India and studied personally with Bikram Choudhury, the father of Bikram yoga. Tony became certified to teach in 1998. Now he leads classes at Bikram Yoga College of India, where he guides students through the 26 postures in the hopes that they, too, can transform their lives.