Taking a note out of the playbook from many police academies and military special operations units, CrossFit Pisgah’s seasoned trainers lead small groups through a constantly rotating fitness regimen that fuses cardio work and strength training for a highly intense total body workout. Inside the no-frills gym, participants—with the encouragement of motivational instructors and other students—perform functional exercises based of off movements found in everyday life, from squats reminiscent of picking up heavy laundry baskets to weight lifts evocative of hoisting lazy husbands onto the roof to clean the gutters.
At O3 Health and Fitness, Keith Wimsett leads a team of certified trainers while his wife Marlena rubs down recovering muscles with therapeutic massage. Keith and his team advocate a four-tiered philosophy built around increasing strength and cardiovascular endurance while monitoring food intake and hydration. Personal trainers work with individuals or small groups to forge customized fitness plans while also eliciting sweaty smiles through group boot camps.
Matthew Altbuch started learning the art of circus performance at the tender age of eight, quickly mastering the unicycle, juggling, and the trapeze. Throughout school, he performed in talent shows, ultimately going on to spend time with the Florida State Flying High Circus after college. Eventually, he realized his passion lay in sharing the circus arts with others, so he founded Aerial Trapeze Academy to carry out his mission of training performers around the world. He now lives his dream, joined by three other teachers as he holds trapeze classes for the next generation of gravity-defiers.
With a long-standing commitment to women, children, minorities, and social-justice issues and a presence in Asheville since 1906, the YWCA is more than just a workout facility. Its history is peppered with groundbreaking programs to bolster race relations, achieve women's empowerment through business ventures, and promote children's health by providing access to physical activity, urging them to hula-hoop with donuts instead of eating them. Staff members further the organization's vision with dedication to school-age programs for health and fitness efforts and initiatives to help unemployed community members locate jobs in the area.
While Christine smiles every time a client announces another drop in pant size, she is more proud of helping people lower their blood pressure levels and stabilize their blood sugar levels. Motivating people to transform their health on the inside versus how they look on the outside is why Christine opened her own fitness studio, Christine?s Cardio Fitness. She and a crew of certified Zumba instructors help students dance their way into better health with easy-to-follow routines set to high-energy tunes and yodelers in classes like Zumba Fitness, Zumba Toning, Zumba Sentao, Zumba Step, and Zumba Gold. Not wanting anyone to miss out on the fun of Zumba, Christine also offers a free class on Saturdays for kids during the summer months.
For 17 years, third-generation and FAA–certified sky engineer Addison M. Brown has hoisted panorama junkies into the sky by harnessing the power of hot, blustery air. Each morning, between the hours of 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., he and his team pile up to 8 to 14 passengers into the basket of their giant balloons. Then, firing off the burner, they slowly lift off as the sun begins its own ascent, typically reaching heights from 500 to 2,000 feet. Below them, the rays of the sunrise wash over vistas of downtown Asheville, a patchwork of multicolored crop fields, and the tree-covered backs of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Maneuvering with the morning's mild wind currents, they ferry the group over hills and hollows for a 3- to 5-mile float. Upon a gentle landing, the crew celebrates with passengers by offering them a champagne toast and helping them dust the clouds out of their hair. Passengers are welcomed to bring their own cameras or video cameras to document the flight.