It's like a scene from a secret agent film. A man in a black wetsuit shoots out of the lake, propelled by a jet of white water coming from a pack on his back. He arcs into the air, flips head over heels like a dolphin, and splashes back down into the crystalline depths.
This type of high-adrenaline excitement is commonplace at AV Watersports, a sporting company that deals in thrills such as flyboarding, jet ski rentals, and innertubing. Its flyboards are comparable to jetpacks and can propel wearers into the air, or horizontally across the surface of the water while they stand on a board. Using a personal watercraft for propulsion underwater and in the air, Flyboard riders stand on a board that is connected with a hose through a jetski. As water is routed to a pair of jet ski boots, riders fly into the air or can dive headfirst through water. Instructors are readily available to acquaint newbies to the unique aquatic sport, and to acquaint them with the customs of the cloud people they'll soon be meeting.
A group of rowers founded Sammamish Rowing Association (SRA) in 1996, meeting at Idylwood Beach Park in Redmond before each of their journeys across the water. Eager to grow SRA, it wasn’t long before the crew took notice of an abandoned boathouse in Marymoor Park, languishing on the banks of Lake Sammamish. Its ceiling was rotting away, and its oar racks were emptier than a child's pockets after a candy-shop spending spree—but that didn’t deter the passionate rowers or their vision. They put in a bid for the building, formed a strong subsequent partnership with King County Parks and Recreation, and set to work renovating the vintage structure to make it fit for public use.
Ever since, SRA has introduced adults and youth to the benefits of rowing. The sport's fluid, low-impact motions tone muscles all over the body, and the collaborative nature of the sport nurtures sportsmanship and camaraderie. The association's future is bright: members are building a new boathouse scheduled to open in the summer of 2013.
Length, grace, and a healthy body. These are the focuses of barre3 founder Sadie Lincoln. To achieve these results collectively, however, Sadie knew she needed to come up with a completely new routine. Working with yogis, professional dancers, doctors, and athletes, she created the barre3 system. It's a three-step sequence that consists of isometric holds, low-impact movements, and recovery stretching. This combination strengthens cores and aligns postures while sculpting long, lean muscles and burning calories. While upbeat music fills the studio, instructors lead small groups through a heart-racing sequence of yoga-inspired poses and pilates-based exercises. The ballet barre comes into use when striking muscle-building dance poses and stretches.
It's a system that has had proven results, which has spurred the successful growth of barre3 locations throughout the country. Today, fitness enthusiasts can find a barre3 studio in 16 states. An easy-to-follow routine, barre3 can also be performed at home with online workouts. These workouts are designed to fit busy schedules with routines that range from 10?60 minutes. All that's needed for online workouts is a barre3 core ball, weights, an exercise mat, and a sturdy, waist-high surface such as the top of Danny DeVito's head.
At its core, the Adventure Park at Redhook is a "jungle gym built for adventurers." But more than that, it provides visitors with an escape from the everyday drudgery of stuffy offices, boring paperwork, and tedious leg-walking. For the park?s creators, the lush Pacific Northwest countryside that stretches out around the park is the office. They?re a band of adventurers themselves, and they designed Adventura as a way for others to experience the growth, laughter, and connections that seem to bloom naturally outdoors.
Of course, Adventura puts its own spin on spending time outdoors by filling Woodinville Wine Country with a series of sky-high exploits. With the park typically booked 45 days in advance, visitors can be found leaping from decks, balancing precariously on cables 50 feet off the ground, or scaling cargo nets throughout most of the year.
The Cascade Bicycle Club bolsters the Puget Sound biking community through educational programs, community action, and organized events and rides. A 14,000-rider-strong nonprofit organization, the club advocates cycling as a worthy alternative for fitness routines, daily commutes, and backup power generators. Every year, volunteers lead more than 1,000 free club rides, ranging from short joyrides to multiple-day tours, in addition to their yearly schedule of special events, including the Seattle Bicycle Expo in March, the Bike Month Commute Challenge in May, and the High Pass Challenge in September.
The coaches at Cappy's Gym arm their students with ring-ready pugilism skills and endless encouragement. Boxing Fitness corrals small troupes in one-hour sessions designed to condition bodies without actual boxing competition. Classes focus on fortifying each fighter's foundations by first aligning posture to safely stack muscles and properly balance on traditional boxing stilts. Coaches help students shape up with medicine-ball drills, plyometric moves, and footwork drills to build lean muscle mass, and jump-rope routines raise heart rates with a hastened twist on a playground pastime. During punching practice, learn to time quick jabs at a speed bag or blast full-powered blows against the indifferent surface of a jaded heavy bag. Those that opt for a month at Cappy's can protect their wrists with stabilizing hand wraps as they take to the gym's equipment as often as desired.