An osprey hovers 30 feet in the air over Lake Washington, virtually silent until it spots something beneath the water's surface. Quickly, it folds its wings and plunges into the water, emerging seconds later with a fish ripped firmly between its talons. Nearby, Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers' founder, Dan Henderson, floats by silently. This slice of the pristine outdoors happens to be his workplace, but none of it would have happened if his mother hadn't forced him to take a canoeing lesson in 1972. Despite his initial reluctance, Mr. Henderson took to the water like a robot to a magnet store. He went on to race whitewater canoes and flat-water Olympic-style canoes, eventually earning four medals as a member of the U.S. national team. Later, Mr. Henderson became a coach and set out to train a new crop of water athletes. To this end, Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers serves as the natural continuation of Mr. Henderson's journey: a place to, in his words, "share paddling with the community in a manner that is fun and safe."
Under the leadership of expert guides—many of whom learned their trade directly under Dan Henderson's wing—visitors embark on day trips into inlets and bays, paddling in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains or tailgating orca whales. The staff also leads canoe and kayak classes that aim to take novices from beginner to expert. Their efforts have proved fruitful, as three of Cascade Canoe & Kayak Centers' students have made it to international-level competitions.
After studying biochemistry and molecular biology as an undergrad, the Dr. Gannon B. Stahl earned his dental degree at the prestigious University of Washington School of Dentistry. Dr. Stahl has garnered acclaim from both patients and fellow dentists—he was named the best cosmetic dentist in Seattle magazine's Best of 2010 Reader's Choice Awards, and awarded a spot on the Seattle Met's peer-nominated Top Dentists lists in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
To elevate his expertise, Dr. Stahl uses state-of-the-art technology during treatments at Pineview Aesthetic & Family Dentistry. He wields a laser to target periodontal disease, and employs a CEREC 3-D imaging and milling machine to create same-day crowns or tiny busts of medieval kings. Dr. Stahl extends his warmth and expertise outside the walls of his clinic, donating a significant amount of his profits to charities and the local community, and providing free dental care for people in need.
Back when it opened its first location, Crunch gym had no air conditioning or locker rooms, so staffers had to invent novel tactics to attract members, such as enlisting a live rapper to accompany hip-hop aerobics sessions. Bereft of fancy trimmings, the staff relied on imaginative classes that combined exercise with fun to build a base of loyal fandom and positive buzz. Their judgment-free attitudes and creativity eventually paid off, giving them enough steam to accrue new equipment, several franchise locations, and a reputation for turning boring workouts on their heads.
Today, Crunch locations have all the expected amenities. They boast brand-name machinery and certified trainers, as well as involvement with dotFIT, an online fitness and nutrition resource for members. They also host a range of group fitness classes, covering disciplines such as Zumba, yoga, Pilates, and TRX.
My Gym, which currently has more than 200 international locations, began more than 25 years ago as a structured place for children to safely play, acquire new skills, and romp off a sugar buzz. All classes are organized according to age level (starting as young as 6 weeks) and designed to incorporate the latest physiological, psychological, and meteorological research. My Gym offers classes for all developmental degrees, from Tiny Tykes, a class for parents and babies that focuses on movement, to Champions, designed for kids 6–8 years old to master sports and gymnastics skills. Schedules and class options vary by location; see the Bellevue and Kent class lineups. Classes meet once per week and run for four consecutive weeks.
As avid golfers themselves, Pro Golf Discount’s staff members boast a wealth of experience and professional equipment advice. They are eager to direct shoppers through stores full of golfing merchandise from brands such as TaylorMade, Nike, and Callaway, pointing out the differences between the quality products. They lead lefties to their expansive selection of left-handed equipment, and discuss the advantages of their specialty women's gear with ladies. The master club fitters evaluate clients’ swings with advanced Launch Monitors and the Foresight Sports GC2 golf-simulation system, enabling them to recommend equipment that is suited to the customer's specific needs.
Most of the locations host golf lessons within their onsite golf theater hitting cages, where top golfers dish out expert tips and techniques. The Tacoma, Bellevue, Lynnwood and Bellingham locations feature repair centers, where technicians can spruce up clubs in preparation for upcoming tournaments or a golf vacation.
Ninety-minute yoga classes conducted in a 105-degree room, twice a day, for nine weeks. This is what each of Bikram Yoga Bellevue's instructors conquered to obtain their 500-hour Bikram yoga teaching certifications. They now share their passion for Bikram Choudhury's 26-posture practice with their community, leading students of all ages and abilities down a path of mental and physical wellness. Throughout 90-minute classes, they inspire students with Bikram's carefully curated script and pepper the sessions with personal touches and individual attention. The studio's perspiration-inducing 105-degree heat and 45% humidity is intended to enhance the practice, helping even the stiffest muscles melt deeply into stretches as they move through the series of standing and seated poses. The balmy air also coaxes out sweat to expel harmful toxins from the body and increase one's appreciation for hugging snowmen.
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