In its inaugural year, That Dam Mud Run corrals energetic participants onto the sprawling grounds of Santa Fe Dam Recreation Area to test their endurance and determination in a 5K mud run. As they sprint along mud-laden roads, runners are faced with a brigade of professionally built obstacles that they must scale and conquer in the form of dirt mounds, tires, jump walls, and mud pits full of muddy mud people. After crossing the finish line, participants can cleanse themselves in one of the 30 onsite showers before swilling sips of craft brews in the beer garden, grooving along to live music, or perusing the bevy of eco-friendly booths during the Action Sports & Eco Fair. A portion of the proceeds go to the Gavin R. Stevens Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness and funds for those living with blindness due to Leber’s congenital amaurosis.
Monique Jaime of Yoganette Yoga describes her MO as an instructor: “I teach a style called Vinyasa Flow; it is called this because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance. This style allows a lot of variety, but will almost certainly include Sun Salutations—expect movement, not just stretching.” Jaime and the several other instructors share personal anecdotes about their professional work, in which they lead students through a variety of yoga classes, from rhythmic, dynamic yoga flows to slower-paced, stress-relieving sessions. Their flow-based classes focus on strength, balance, and flexibility, and their detox classes use twisting poses and inversions to help the body cleanse itself, which is also what the body of the Catmobile would do if it existed. The team teaches barre-fusion classes that combine barre and core work with yoga poses for sweat-inducing, fat-burning workouts. Along with yoga classes, the studio hosts knitting and crocheting meet ups, meditation series, and workshops that help awaken the chakras for improved overall wellness.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
PickUp USA takes the infamous pitfalls of pickup basketball—uneven teams, sloppy play, and incessant arguing over fouls and whose mama gives the best hugs—and replaces them with officiated and organized game play without the restrictions of a league. Its members hit the courts in a pristine 17,000-square-foot space, which features a lounge, a stretching area, and courts built by the designers who create them for the NCAA and NBA.
Championship-level karts and professional Formula 1 racers grip the asphalt turns and straights at Allen Berg Racing Schools' duo of private racing tracks. Navigating Auto Club Speedway's 13 twists and turns in a fleet of competition-grade racecars, the speed-smitten staff demonstrates the art of tire burning and swift pizza delivery. Alternatively, along Varsity Chrysler Speed Park's 1.1-kilometre track in Calgary, miniaturized karts reach up to 120 kilometres per hour while staying inside the new-and-improved safety barriers. During the road-car program, experienced instructors crank the speedometers of street-legal cars to teach students the art of lapping, slalom, and how to achieve speedy drive-thru chicken-nugget orders. At the cap of engine-revving sessions, the vehicles' HD cameras capture the full experience in an on-board video.
La Sole's International Performing Arts Academy's instructors educate graceful gallopers and ham-footed hoofers alike in the Spanish and Middle Eastern dance traditions. Owner Yvetta Garcia "La Sole," an award-winning dancer, instructor, and choreographer hailing from Andalusía, Spain, oversees a plethora of paw-popping classes. Fine-tune rhythmic hand-clapping, dramatic skirt-twirling, and non-lewd shadow-puppeteering with a flamenco class or brush up on posture, technique, and castanet skills in the Castanets & Classical class, which combines instrumental instruction with classic Spanish choreography. Check La Sole's schedule for a current list of classes.