Co-owners Kirk and Julie Leavell set out to make Wild Basin Fitness the antithesis of impersonal chain gyms. They're dedicated to fostering a comfortable and welcoming environment, where all of their clients feel like they can reach out for training advice and a personal connection. They have even let their exercisers determine the operating hours, class schedules, and instructor hairstyles at their two gym locations. Their team of experienced trainers subscribe to this personalized ideology during their custom personal-training sessions and in the more than 100 monthly fitness classes that accommodate an array of fitness interests such as yoga, boot camp, Pilates, Zumba, spin, and exercise programs for kids. Further beautifying bodies, patrons can lavish themselves at the spa, or make their beach-ready bod glow with tanning services.
As passionate runners themselves, Steven and Gina Bernhardt operate Capital City Running in an effort to supply fellow enthusiasts with whatever they may need, from sound advice to stylish accessories. The duo takes footwear very seriously, and helps runners get the most out of their stride with a fitting process that takes into account elements such as support, terrain, and gait. With the right shoes in hand—or, more reasonably, on feet—customers can build their running regime from the ground up with performance running socks, cold-weather running gear, and essential accessories such as water bottle belts and sunglasses.
Founded in 1973, Backwoods carries the latest collections of outdoor clothing and survival supplies for amateur earth explorers. Ascend summits in style with polyurethane-padded North Face gloves ($25), heavyweight fleece finger cocoons that keep digits dexterous in colder climates. The honeycomb construction of Patagonia Capilene 3 long-sleeve shirts ($32) draws swarms of sweat away from human hives, keeping men and women warmer, drier, and significantly less slippery than their perspiration-coated companions. Eagle Creek’s ultimate packing solution set ($29.99) gives adventure-seekers three ways to safely stow wrinkle-free wearables during their travels, none of which involves mounting an armoire on roller skates. Turn a walk in the park with Fido into a trip along the trails with a roamer leash ($24) to keep him close and a bivy bowl ($19) to satisfy his thirst for canine champagne.
The mechanics at Lake Travis Cyclery tune bipedal transports in a well-stocked shop that supplies competitive road cyclists, mountain bikers, and casual riders with apparel and accessories. During each tune-up, technicians ensure the safe and effective stopping power of brakes using tool-equipped hands and intimidating crossing guards. The cycle physicians then adjust shifters and derailleurs and outfit chains with fresh layers of grease to create smooth gear transitions. After cleansing drive trains of gunk and grime, mechanics true all wheels as needed and expel any loitering dirt particles or hitchhiking chipmunks to reveal pristine frames.
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Play It Again Sports bedecks kids and adults alike with high-end, wallet-friendly athletic armor so that they can kick, swing, and punt with gusto. Scores of subtly used merchandise, perfect for replacing equipment that children have grown out of because of rampant milk abuse, arrive fresh daily and boast brand names such as Adidas, TaylorMade, Wilson, and Easton. A dozen pick-your-own, Grade-A golf balls ($5.99) and a score of golf irons by Ping, Callaway, or Titleist replenish fairway warriors' cache of green weaponry ($30–$300). Those who golf with discs will find a variety of professional-grade flying saucers by Innova, who engineers discs to vary in speed, glide, turn, fade, and likelihood of attracting low-hanging tree limbs. Design a versatile free-weight routine using kettlebells ($15–$85), or opt for exercise on a steady, fluid track with a used elliptical ($199–$1,500).