Dianna Goodman’s daughter developed an eating disorder in the ninth grade, according to a 2011 article in VERVE magazine. Unfortunately, this occurred in the mid-1990s, when eating disorders were not well understood and help was hard to find. Through her struggles to find health providers or books to help treat her daughter, Goodman found a new passion: preventing other families from facing a similar struggle.
In 2004, Goodman founded T.H.E. (Treatment, Healing, and Education) Center for Disordered Eating, which organizes prevention efforts and gathers support and resources for people with eating disorders. Today, support groups make up the cornerstone of the center. Every week, a group gathers to discuss their steps in recovering from an eating disorder, forming a presence in the community where healing can occur and people can share tips. The center also maintains a local treatment directory for individuals and families affected by eating disorders and sponsors middle-school prevention programs in schools across the region. A free lending library provides information on disordered eating, nutrition, and body image with more than 90 books targeting people of all ages.
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The mixologists at ABC Bartending School divulge saloon secrets during certification-based and recreational bartending classes. During two-week certification courses, burgeoning bartenders mix classic and popular drinks while learning about alcohol laws, responsible liquor service, and stocking and inventory. Alternatively, an entertaining mixology course lets amateurs shake up drinks and take cover from projectile champagne corks behind an ornate bar with mirrors and gold trim. Once finished imparting their knowledge, the instructors set students up with ABC’s job-placement program, which puts certified graduates to work everywhere from restaurants and nightclubs to the zero-G sports bar where astronauts celebrate successful trips to the moon.
In 2012, the Runaway Circus struck upon a brilliant idea—find an unused studio space to fix up and turn into a community art center dedicated to teaching and practicing acrobatics, juggling, comedy, and highly physical performance art. That dream became the Toy Boat Community Art Space, which today provides a home base for such acts as the jugglers Forty Fingers and a Missing Tooth and the mysterious Wendal Wandell, who conjures waves of applause with his feats of legerdemain. Those without a big-top passion project to work on at the gym-cum-art studio can participate in other upcoming events involving folk music acts, DJ sessions, goofy plays for young and old, and unpredictable comedy shows.
Outside The Mill Pizzeria & Pub stands a rustic sign that bears the eatery's name and a disc painted to resemble a giant pizza. The sign was clearly made by hand, perhaps to hint at the handcrafted menu of oven-baked pizzas and sandwiches sizzling just inside. Nearly all the ingredients the kitchen uses are either made by hand or delivered fresh, and each pizza and sub is prepared only once it's ordered, rather than being made ahead of time and being forced to hug each other to keep warm. A $1,000 prize is offered to any two people who complete their two-topping, 40-inch pizza eating challenge. The spartan dining room exudes a homey feel, inviting diners to pull up a chair at either the knotted burl counter or the simple wooden booth near the fireplace.
Ladies Workout Asheville's supportive, attentive staff help women navigate the facility's full exercise circuit, packed schedule of workout classes, and other body-bettering amenities such as tanning beds and nutrition counseling. Members and pass holders can tone tired muscles while shaking their hips in a Zumba class, tackle cardio and strength machines sized specifically for women's bodies, or channel their disdain for punching bags during group kickboxing lessons. After each workout, a thermal massage on a Migun bed relaxes weary muscles, and the sweat-sapping far-infrared sauna evicts toxins from the skin and lifts voodoo stress curses. Ladies Workout Asheville also offers fitness programs for kids at Cardio Kids.
Combining experience in lampworking, glass blowing, and jewelry design, the experienced glassblowers of Asheville Glass Center lead workshops and classes to share their passion for manipulating molten glass. The two- to three-hour intro courses teach neophytes to craft borosilicate marbles and soft glass beads, and more in-depth classes result in intricate implosion flowers and sand-cast solid forms. The center also offers open studio time for more experienced artists who wish to work alone, like the winningest three-legged racers.