Through its camps, recreational classes, and competitive teams, Apex Gymnastics helps hone students’ physical skills and mental acuity. A dedication to safety and discipline informs the staff’s approach as they help participants gain strength, flexibility, and the agility to back-handspring to school every morning. In addition to regular lessons, Apex’s coaches offer up birthday parties with gym activities and present-opening time, as well as Parents’ Night Out, which provides a safe environment in which kids can play and allows parents to alphabetize their rock collections in peace.
When not helping businesses build relationships with their clients via the world's most exacting sport, Executive Links, LLC's Raleigh representative, Craig "Hollywood" Mason, improves long drives and short games alike with private lessons. The local golf pro maintains a +3.5 USGA handicap and has qualified for multiple national and PGA-Tour events—and also knows how to access every course's underground gnome casino by wiggling the cup on the seventh hole. Drawing on ten years of teaching experience and a little humor, Mason focuses on each student's most needed areas of improvement, be it imprecise putting or jerky follow-through. Mason will also videotape swings, then break down the footage to point out any kinks that are causing the ball to slice left or detonate on impact. Post-lesson, golfers can show off their newly supple swing with a bucket of balls.
Riding a flyboard might make adrenaline seekers feel as though they’re inside a prototypical, water-powered Iron Man suit. They take to local waters with their feet strapped into a main board that shoots powerful jets, and their arms control the board’s direction with two stabilizing sprayers. Atop the columns of pressurized water, riders can reach speeds of 18.5 miles per hour and heights of nearly 30 feet, enough to chase down gulls escaping with stolen hot dogs. With skillful manipulations of the stabilizers, boarders can perform spins, flips, and even cuts through the water.
Sam Carlson, a sixth-degree black belt with more than 20 years of studying karate, leads the staff at The Karate Dojo - Apex. Together with Yuni Carlson—Sam's coowner and a second-degree black belt herself—he aims to instill positive social interaction and a love for physical fitness into each student. Discipline, self-confidence, and leadership are woven into each class for kids and adults.
At Life Time Fitness, the concept of fitness encompasses every aspect of physical health. The team of certified personal trainers and instructors can assess the mechanics of a basketball player’s jump shot, lead yoga and cardio dance classes, or recommend local triathlons to athletes of all ages. They can also shift the focus to nutrition, crafting custom plans for lowering cholesterol or catalyzing weight loss.
Laced with elements of yoga, Pilates, and gymnastics, the women-only classes at Aradia Fitness sculpt lean, toned physiques. And though physical fitness is a cornerstone of the studio, it's not the only one. Classes such as Striptease and Lap Dance foster a certain amount of unrestrained confidence that, as Aradia puts it, “teach[es] women to unapologetically love their body and themselves.” At 17 locations across the country, Aradia's staff of certified instructors, including world-record holder Amanda, lead women of all shapes, sizes, and experiences through sessions ranging from pole-dancing classes that teach aerial lifts and holds to Sexy Fit classes that forgo the pole for yoga fusion, boot camp, and lap dancing. No matter the class, the environment at Aradia is always light hearted, nurturing, and more supportive than a stainless-steel hammock.