The instructors at The Body Center don't view Pilates as a simple exercise trend—instead, they conduct classes as interactive seminars on human anatomy. They teach clients how to train certain muscle groups by identifying and coaxing them through specific movement patterns designed to increase strength and flexibility at the same time. Ultimately, they try to instill in their students an enhanced sense of bodily awareness, one that informs walks down the street just as much as it does stretches on the mat.
Because physiques differ depending on build, lifestyle, and how often they were pinched as babies, The Body Center's curriculum is appropriately broad. Class themes range from Reformer and mat Pilates to TRX suspension training and High Intensity Interval Training classes. These subsets are also divided by skill level. Beginners derive comfort from the company of other trainees, while intermediate and advanced classes pursue communal challenges. Specialized lessons can focus on specific body parts, sports performance, or the use of props, and modifications throughout every course cater to individual fitness levels.
The staff keeps classes small in the interest of personalization. Mat classes accept up to 10 students, and Reformer classes won't admit more than 6. Private and duet sessions allow for even more focused attention, as instructors won't be distracted by the loud popping of several emerging six-packs.
A Saturday intro class teaches the basic skills needed to extract the warmest of fuzzies out of this stress-freeing sport. Instructors spend half of the class in the shop discussing knots, flies, and equipment, and the other half focusing on casting technique. Fervent fishers gain valuable insight into fly-fishing strategies, conservation methods, and chill technique. After the lesson, head into the shop use your gift card on a wide selection of apparel, instructional DVDs, and equipment. No equipment or fishing license required.
Adventure Paintball Park outfits sharpshooters with all the gear needed to unleash a water-based fury of flamboyant colors on four separate fields strewn across 10 acres of wooded battlegrounds. A knowledgeable staff of instructors debriefs first-time players on safety procedures and frontline etiquette. Then players suit up with rented guns, masks, compressed-air tanks (a $40 value), and 500 rounds of ammunition (a $20 value). As strained negotiations collapse and battles commence, contestants are set loose to stealthily traverse paint-stained fields littered with muddy trenches, abandoned trailers, and improvised sandbag shelters. Staff members monitor battles at all times to ensure safety and balanced play while a ghostly gang of starved artists observes the proceedings with cold indifference.
Gig Harbor Rent-a-Boat maintains a diverse fleet to ferry locals and tourists both across the Puget Sound at whatever pace they prefer, whether that means leisurely floating in a kayak or zipping around the harbor in a powerboat. Instructors make sure riders are comfortable on the water with stand-up paddleboard and kayak lessons, and students can practice their newfound skills at their own pace with SUP and kayak rentals. Guided kayak tours can take paddlers past wildlife such as eagles, herons, seals, or even the domesticated Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
Whether inside the gym hopping on and off plyometric boxes or outside lifting weights when the sun shines, the trainers at Westsound CrossFit keep routines interesting with ever-changing daily workouts. It’s all part of the CrossFit system, which is designed to employ all muscle groups while staving off the boredom of repetition. Intense classes feature functional movements—such as lifting, pushing, and pulling—that prep participants for all sports, work, and daily activities.
Alderbrook Golf Club showcases a sweeping 18-hole course that carves its way through a forest of cedar and fir trees, the entire verdant paradise looking out on the gorgeous vistas of the Olympic Mountains. Club swingers will find leisurely fun on the par 72 course, and seasoned chippers can relish the challenge of a tricky double dogleg on the eighth hole. The included cart rental conserves golfers' energy so they can smack shots far onto the fairway or chase down birds that have nicked their score pencils. Customers can also hone their drives on the range with a bucket of range balls. Alderbrook houses a bar, a golf shop, and a Southern-barbecue eatery for replenishing one's nourishment after a vigorous day outside.