The modern athlete is a walking sculpture—made of chiseled brawn that can leap through the air, dart across a field, and pull off wearing a tank top that says, “The Muscles Not Necessarily from Brussels.” Given this grandeur, it's understandable that some athletes might overlook the means to the end. At Fitzmaurice Performance, co-founders Brian and Shawn Fitzmaurice and their highly experienced staff strive to offer athletes a well rounded path to overall wellness.
While the gym's 6,000-square-foot space lends it a "big box" feel, the family-owned Fitzmaurice Performance prides itself on the tight-knit feelings it fosters among its clientele. Brian and Shawn can now boast 20 years in the personal-training business and 13 years of ownership of Fitzmaurice Performance, offering one-on-one services as well as group classes. They take a four-pronged approach, focusing on performance training, nutrition counseling, motivation and recovery. These facets comprise their 360 Fitness program.
Those looking to get fit outside of the sports realm benefit from their expertise as well with personal-training and small group personal training classes. The instructors lead sessions including hallmark 360 fitness classes, which incorporate exercise equipment such as suspension bands and Power Plate machines. For good measure, Fitzmaurice Performance also has its clients channel their inner Rocky Balboa as they run up and down the gym's stairs.
In 2009, while refereeing women’s flat-track derby bouts, the founding fathers of the St. Louis GateKeepers realized they wanted a taste of the speed, adrenaline, and action found in competitive roller derby. The pair gathered a crew of like-minded skaters and, in November of that year, the GateKeepers held its first league practice. By the end of their 2012 season, the league had expanded to feature three teams, plus a travel team that defends St. Louis from out-of-town opponents hoping to claim the Arch as a trophy. Despite its expansion, the GateKeepers stands by its original mission to provide a league for the players, by the players, and welcomes men from all walks of life to try on the sport's sweat-soaked jerseys and multicolored bruises.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
Aspiring bar- and beam-dwellers find supportive instruction at Team Central Gymnastic Academy and Olympiad Gymnastic Training Centers, which mold everyday children into lithe lads and lasses. A wide selection of classes are available for sprouts of all ages. The Tumble Bee program allows wee ones from 18 months to 3 years old to bounce into fitness, and older flip fanatics may start in a beginning boys or girls class, or catapult straight into age-appropriate trampoline and tumbling.
Since 1965, bowling buffs have decimated the pins at West County Lanes. Slip into a pair of piebald loafers ($2.75 for a rental) and practice perfect follow-throughs as you hurl sporty spheroids down any of the 24 lanes ($3.25 per person each game, $3.75 weekends and holidays; $15 per lane each hour, $18 weekends and holidays). Powered by a savvy system, hanging monitors display scores as well as embarrassing childhood photos of any player who rolls a gutter ball. On Fridays from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Saturdays after 10 p.m., the futuristic lights and glow-in-the-dark lanes of cosmic bowling ($19 per lane each hour) comfort homesick time-travelers trapped in the ancient present.
When Olympiad Gymnastic Training Centers opened its doors for the first time, it counted only 16 students on its roster. That was in 1979, and more than 30 years in business later, the gym has grown considerably. It now counts 10 locations and more than 150 employees to its name. Despite the changes to its size, the training centers maintain the original gym's mission to help children find health, happiness, and confidence through gymnastics. Olympiad's areas of study, open to boys and girls, include not only gymnastics, but tumbling, cheerleading, and trampolining.
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