Just below the Four Seasons Hotel on the north shore trail of Lady Bird Lake waits the Waller Creek Boathouse, where first-time kayakers and paddling experts alike shove off into serene waters. Paddlers embark on hourly or half-day tours aboard easy-to-navigate water vessels, soaking in the lush scenery. The Congress Avenue bridge's reflection glimmers on the water, lined by thick foliage and towering trees. Throughout their trips, kayakers might find themselves floating alongside a family of ducks or beneath a colony of Mexican free-tailed bats, each of whom have signed a contract promising not to get tangled in paddlers' hair.
As a former ballerina and key player at some of the country's most renowned gym chains, Lee Vallely's experience is as diverse and well-rounded as her studio's approach to fitness. Along with assistant studio director and certified instructor Elisabeth Kristof, Lee teaches dynamic Pilates-based classes, which call upon elements from other fitness disciplines, including sports conditioning, dance, yoga, and full-contact chess. However, following Lee and Elisabeth's moves is only half the battle for their students, as they make sure each participant executes the moves with precision. By doing this, they instill their students with an understanding of the purpose for each technique, which they believe yields enhanced results.
An intensive four-week exercise regimen crafted by certified personal trainer Ally Davidson guarantees speedy results and sweat-addled brows for campers across the fitness spectrum. Ally’s local boot-camp staff sends muscles on a brisk march toward a firmer condition six days a week, helming total-body workouts that include interval training, plyometrics, and an abs-twisting assortment of timed strength and agility drills. The staff regularly switches up workout regimens to ensure that muscles don't become as bored as nihilists in a bounce house. Aware that not all recruits have the same motives for joining their flab-busting brigade, trainers customize their workouts to squeeze the best results from bodies of all ages and fitness abilities. The camp schedule varies based on location, with four early-morning camps to awaken muscles stuck on snooze and a pair of evening sessions to end the day on a note of high endorphins.
Most runners simply want to cross the finish line of their first marathon. Steve Sisson wanted Austin’s runners to set loftier goals, so he created Rogue Running and hired a staff of experienced and decorated coaches. Steve himself is tribute to what drive can accomplish: he was a three-time all-American cross-country and track runner at the University of Texas, and is currently the assistant coach for the women’s track-and-field team.
His vision is to pass on that sense of discipline as well as advanced running techniques in a training program tailored according to how hard runners want to work, rather than how frequently they’ve spotted Jesse Owens in the supermarket. Using this method, the Rogue crew has readied runners for everything from 5K races and marathons to triathlons and trail runs. One of Steve’s ultimate goals is to create a thriving running community. To this end, Rogue Running has trained more than 10,000 runners of varying skill levels, and opened retail stores that outfit the community with athletic apparel and running shoes.
Nestled within a gym, Castle Hill’s soothing day spa treats hard-grinning faces to pampering 60-minute sessions. Guests can choose their own opulent adventure from four organic specialty treatments suited to a wide range of skin types and persuasions. Those with excess oil may opt for the purifying facial to treat breakouts, while the dry of dermis can choose the hydrating facial, packing the watery punch of bobbing for apples without the cumbersome process of peeling fruit with your teeth. The rejuvenating session incorporates a wine and grape or berry mask to firm skin while boosting glow. Treat unique dermal conditions with the soothing option, which placates overly sensitive skin with a spiced apple or plum mask and a plethora of post-facial compliments.