Beneath their joke-slinging exterior, comedians can be fiercely competitive. When vying for club bookings or working material at open mic night, their desire to be the best bubbles up and sharpens their wit. So when Indiana Comedy Festival puts a $5,000 prize on the line, it turns the competition into a war. Across three weeks and 14 cities, 20 comedians fling their best anecdotes and observations to make it to the finals and get within a mic-stand's reach of the purse. These are no amateurs, however; many of the contestants boast credits from such programs as Comedy Central's Live at Gotham, HBO's Def Comedy Jam, and The Bob and Tom Show.
Tony Jacobs, the head instructor at Spear Tip Tactics, doesn’t sweat under pressure, and he doesn’t want his students to either. Using his advanced and diverse training across disciplines such as fighting, surviving, numerous weapons, tactical driving, rotary insertion and extractions, and active shooter/terrorist, he leads courses that could one day save a student’s life. Courses range from survival skills such as water purification, fire-building, and trapping and snares to hand-to-hand combat, knife use and knife fighting, and tactical tracking.
Learning martial arts isn't the same as learning to fight. At Bloomington ATA, the hand-picked instructors offer training for students of all fitness levels and ages, building confidence, discipline, and self-control in addition to covering valuable self-defense techniques. The studio's programs include martial arts lessons for adults and children as young as 4, krav maga instruction, and fitness-oriented kickboxing workouts. Regardless of a student's course of study, Bloomington ATA encourages physical and mental growth at a comfortable pace.
Lifelong athlete and All-American track and field competitor Wil Fleming, founder of Force Fitness & Performance, is joined by six other expert trainers to help everyday citizens shed pounds with personal training and boot camps. They also help competitive athletes improve their performance through functional motion training, which cuts unnecessary movements such as lifting the knees too high when running or clicking one?s heels when taking jump shots.
High above a lush vineyard, the morning sky brims with creatures of flight: an eagle, a large bumblebee, a pigeon that forgot how to land. These were just some of the sights Airbus Balloon Rides' owner Andy Richardson imagined would greet his future down-gazing passengers. He first fell in love with the roar of a hot air balloon's flame just before entering the second grade, and that passion has driven his dreams ever since. Ten years after buying his first balloon at age 14, Andy now commands a fleet of rainbow-colored balloons that come in standard and specialty shapes. These colorful vessels set the elevated stage for individual flights and tethered rides helmed by Andy and his talented team. Flights lift off at sunrise, in the afternoon, and at sunset, when the low sun paints an orange-red glow over water, fields, and reindeer still stuck on rooftops.
Back on land, Airbus Balloon Rides also educates visitors on hot air balloon creation inside their balloon factory, which welcomes tours. At the end of each tour, the guides lead guests in a champagne or mimosa toast with accompanying hors d'oeuvres, celebrating their skyfaring adventures together.
Paradise Rental Boats carefully curates fleets of Yamaha, Bayliner, and Sun Tracker boats, so that sun-kissed riders can jet across the sparkling waters of Indiana’s Lake Monroe and Georgia’s Lake Lanier and Lake Allatoona at their leisure. The company's vessels range from party barges and yachts—which hold groups of up to 26—to the smaller, two-person WaveRunner, whose highly responsive steering suits drivers trying to chase down and catch their fish dinner. Onboard radios and CD players let mariners groove to their favorite tunes, and the company also rents optional accessories for water sports, such as wakeboards, water skis, and artificial bait for licensed fishermen.