At Athens Running Company, shopping for running shoes is much like test-driving a car. As part of their mission to educate customers, owners and childhood friends Mark Schroeder and David Laggis consult closely with clients and perform complimentary fittings, whereby a foot scanner and a video gait analysis narrow down the best options for stability and comfort. Guests then slip their feet into the latest styles of footwear by the likes of Saucony, Asics, and Brooks before taking shoes for a 15-second spin on the shop?s treadmill so employees can evaluate their movement. Once customers have reviewed a selection of suitable pairs, they take the finalists out on an actual walk or jog, ensuring that the shoes give proper support by squeaking ?great job? after every mile.
Aside from carrying shoes for all running disciplines ranging from light jogs to triathlons, the shop?s staff also outfits visitors with workout apparel and accessories, including compression gear, orthotics, heart-rate monitors, and jogging strollers. Despite the breadth of their catalog, Mark and David both reject the personal detachment of a large retail store. They invest in several local running programs, sponsoring races where they time the competitors and host finish-line services. Works by neighborhood artists decorate the shop?s walls, alongside leashes and pet jackets by Ruffwear?items of potential interest to Mark's dog, Sam, who accompanies his owner to work each day.
In 1993, after years as a tech in the carpet cleaning industry, Gregory Cole founded Pro Carpet as a one-stop shop providing the best carpet-cleaning practices he had learned during his career. Gregory's team, which now numbers more than 30 techs, begins each carpet-cleaning service with a thorough walk-through, during which customers can point out specific soiled areas before the techs evaluate carpets for their levels of dirt, stains, and rainbow sprinkles. As they begin to clean, they employ steam-based cleaning and stain-specific products, such as the company's proprietary enzyme-based pet-stain formula, to remove odors and soils.
Pro Carpet's expertise also extends beyond carpeting, tackling upholstery and area rugs with the same thoroughness. They can also be called upon to repair water damage, clean office cubicles, and sweep dust and allergens from inside air ducts with professional-grade tools that improve air quality.
From spacious locker rooms to family-friendly facilities, BodyPlex gyms are built to take the stress out of working out. Fitness machines ranging from cardio equipment to free-motion systems beckon those familiar with the gym scene to jump right into a regime. Newcomers need not stress about a learning curve, as personal instructors power walk the grounds, ready to give one-on-one instruction with an appointment. To ease the workout worries of parents, enthusiastic staff members man the gym's onsite Kidsplex, a youth-focused playroom stocked with crafts, toys, and two different video-game systems. Additionally, those who achieve their best when with like-minded people can break a sweat and their personal fist-bump record in one of the gym's daily fitness classes.
At AKF Athens Martial Arts, students not only sharpen their ability to defend themselves, but also gain the mental toughness to grow as individuals and only fight when absolutely necessary. Under the direction of Grandmaster Tommy Lunsford and Master Lloyd Holden, head instructor Ken Blumreich teaches his proteges the techniques and discipline of kyuki-do, which is a mixture of taekwondo, hapkido, and judo. Students as young as 3, aka "little dragons," learn how to be polite and respectful before joining older students in the Kyuki-Do Basic program, which focuses on introductory stances, strikes, and conditioning. Those who graduate from the basic program move onto more difficult techniques in the Kyuki-Do Leadership program.
The holistic healers at Five Points Acupuncture help clients overcome pain, kick bad habits to the curb, or lose weight—all by utilizing the body's own energy. With the skill of a surgeon and the diligence of a surgeon's Volkswagen Beetle, they redirect the body's energies with sterile, hair-thin needles, coupling treatments with massages and Chinese herbal medicine. Treatments can take place in private treatment rooms or in a community setting with other patrons—an Asian tradition.
At its 38 locations, Wireless Communications, a Verizon Wireless Premium Retailer, puts clients in touch with the wider world, providing smartphones, accessories, and phone plans. As a Verizon Wireless retailer, each location may stock phones from brands such as Samsung, Apple, LG, and Motorola.