For more than 130 years, the YMCA has worked to facilitate growth for individuals as well as communities by providing social-enrichment programs that promote honesty, respect, and responsibility. YMCA of Greater San Antonio, which features locations throughout the metropolitan area, helps people improve their lives with healthy living programs that offer inclusive training classes as well as lifelong learning classes. Youth development initiatives and childcare services allow children as well as teens to develop positive behaviors while exploring their interests in a safe, supportive environment. The centers also encourage social responsibility by providing opportunities to support local communities through volunteerism and charitable giving.
At Boerne Gymnastics Center, a staff of professional instructors, former competitive gymnasts, and a former Olympian unveils the world of gymnastic possibilities to students ages 5 and up. With five-hour daily sessions, Super Fun Combination Day Camp invites budding Mary Lou Rettons and Bart Conners to dabble in the various activities offered at Boerne, from purposeful tumbling to trampoline routines. Acrobatics training tasks nimble attendees with Voltron reenactments, and circus-arts instruction imparts the age-old wisdom of trapeze performance and juggling. An indoor climbing wall, arts-and-crafts activities, and various games mollify flickering attention spans as apprentices cartwheel from area to area. The fully equipped facility boasts parallel bars, cushioned floor-routine space, and pommel horses. Gymnastic rings challenge meat-sleeve strength and also double as tethered tokens of affection for classmate crushes.
Top trainers Brent Currie and Ken Tollett share a record of heroic, athletic service as firefighter and police officer respectively. The duty-bound duo use the elite CrossFit system to prepare for the demands of crime-fighting, firefighting, and teaming up to fight fire smugglers. After embracing the CrossFit credo, Currie and Tollett joined forces to teach Texans of all fitness levels how to tame the 11-headed fitness fiend of cardio, respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. CrossFit avoids the pratfalls of repetitive practices with an ever-varying workout of the day that keeps routines from becoming routine while encouraging progressive growth scalable to skill. This program is excellent for committed beginners, and because efficacy is emphasized over ease, enlisted exercisers will soon find their cores well-hardened.
In 1997, Damian Cortez decided that a crammed calendar shouldn't cancel out exercise. He founded Specialized Fitness as a way to transport the gym to working men and women, either at their home or in their office buildings. Today he sends insured and certified personal trainers to more than 100 houses, where they set up equipment and guide clients through customized cardio and resistance routines. The company also has two of its own gyms and boot-camp classes, which incorporate innovative workout tools—such as tires, ropes, and sledgehammers—to keep groups engaged. Body-composition assessments help track progress throughout the training programs and ensure that coiled springs have taken the place of fat deposits.
As the name suggests, Anytime Fitness is open all day and all night, seven days a week, 487 days a year. But just because it's open at all hours doesn't mean it surrenders its locker rooms to the dark forces of the night: security is active there around the clock. Besides creating a safe gym atmosphere that fits your life's schedule rather than vice versa, Anytime's hours cuts down on crowds and long lines to use each club's array of cardio equipment, circuit equipment, and free weights.
San Antonio native Jim Landers has spent a lifetime behind the lens. After graduating from Sam Houston State with a degree in photography, he started Landers Photography School. Jim's work has appeared everywhere from the pages of The Knot, advertisements for Mercedes and Whataburger, and even the galleries of Smithsonian Institution. The team of Instructors at Landers is no less impressive. Jim Binegar is one of the few PPA master photographers in the area, and Jack Braden brings more than 24 years of experience to the team and has photographed assignments worldwide capturing images of ordinary people, celebrities, and world leaders.