In The Vintage Easel?s painting classes, students learn from famed painters such as Van Gogh and Edvard Munch. While both men have long since departed this world, their techniques live on in their brushstrokes, which students replicate with step-by-step instruction from local artists. Each class focuses on a single work, which can range from Munch?s The Scream to simpler images, such as a large sunflower. Of age students can bring along bottles of wine or beer to sip during class, while younger students can bring empty bottles to look at wistfully. The studio provides paints, brushes, easels and aprons.
Ascuba Venture, a quarter-century-old diving school, rears expert aquanauts using the SSI signature water-training method, an entry-level system whose open-water diving certification is recognized internationally. Through academic, open-water, and pool sessions, students absorb beginning to advanced scuba and snorkeling skills, as well as vital safety fundamentals that include avoiding eye contact with hostile flushed goldfish. Heated to 82¬-84 degrees, Ascuba's indoor pool comfortably cradles amateur divers, who are clad in safe and modern equipment provided by the facility.
Shape Up Fitness nutritionist and fitness expert April Rojas tightens tummies and trims torsos with exercise programs tailored to shed pounds and fitness inhibitions. Tone trouble spots at unlimited classes led by certified aerobic instructors, and engage in kinetically charged moves that condition the upper and lower body, core, and hard-to-slim foreheads. Warm up with calisthenics and plyometrics before plugging into circuit-training sessions that get hearts pumping and substructures sweating with permissible pain. Each day is slightly different than the next, and Shape Up Fitness's instructors ensure a boredom-proof workout regimen while hosting a free nutrition seminar once a month for those wondering if gravy is a fruit or a vegetable. New boot-camp sessions begin February 1, March 1, March 30, and April 28.
Experienced art instructors at Vino2VanGogh guide fledgling students through three-hour painting productions within the inviting walls of a cavernous, trendy studio. The studio supplies artistic equipment, gourmet cheese trays, wine openers, ice buckets, and glasses, though students should bring their own wine and Fun Dip snacks. Students follow seasoned painters as they walk through step-by-step painting processes, and a Bose sound system serenades them with the dulcet melodies of Pandora radio. The studio recommends arriving to classes 20 minutes early to mingle with fellow classmates or to warm up creative muscles with rigorous lunges.
South Texas Speedway fulfills enthusiasts of distance divided by time with thrilling races and events for all ages. This summer features a full schedule of Saturday races that commence in the evenings at 7:30 p.m. and cover five different classes, from youth go-karts and front-wheel drive Front runners to entry-level Bomber cars. Pure stocks race around the quarter-mile dirt track with the speed and agility of a thoroughbred panther, and all races conclude with thrilling limited-modified laps.
Since he's a National Academy of Sports Medicine?certified personal trainer and owner of Pure Fitness Solutions, it may come as a bit of a surprise that Abel Gomez is a self-confessed pizza lover. But this fact, along with his sense of humor about his own weaknesses, is what makes the fitness pro and former member of the US Air Force so relatable to his clientele. "I always make a deal with myself," he says on his website, "I have to work out that day before I can have my favorite food."
Fortunately for Abel, and every member of Pure Fitness Solutions, his brand-new facility is open 24/7. Amid a rock-climbing wall, a childcare center, locker rooms, showers, and workout spaces full of boot-camp classes and Zumba are enough free weights and cardio equipment to carve out a diamond-hard body. And roaming amid all these are fellow N.A.S.M?certified personal trainers keeping their clients on track and accountable. In fact, every new member who signs up receives a complimentary fitness assessment by one of these personal trainers, providing immediate feedback about the client's physical condition and recommendations about how to get in shape and live a healthy, fit lifestyle.