When 16-year-old Roger Soler crossed the finish line first at the Peruvian National Junior Championship, his victory marked the beginning of a love affair with running. At age 18, he set a Peruvian record in the 1500-meter and eventually brought his talents to the U.S., where he competed in the 5000-meter race at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics. Through it all, Roger nurtured a genuine fondness for running that blossomed into a full-fledged passion when he opened the first Soler's Sports more than two decades ago.
Today, Soler's Sports boasts four locations staffed by athletes with real-life experience in biking and running and was awarded a spot on Running Insight's Top 50 Running Stores of 2011. Staffers tend to customers on an individual basis, guaranteeing sneakers to accommodate gaits and bikes to fit bodies based on detailed analyses. Once employees have profiled the perfect shoe or bike, they help patrons find them, searching through the store’s stock, which includes brands such as Ridley Bikes, Vibram FiveFingers, Vitalsox, and Spibelt. Patrons can test-drive new kicks and wheels at the store's group runs and rides.
Perched atop a circular raft, a reddish golden retriever lifts his wet nose from the water and swiftly turns his head in the direction of the riverbank, his tail wagging rapidly and his ears perked. As he stares, a whitetail deer flits between the trees, pausing only long enough to make eye contact with the soggy dog before disappearing into the thick foliage. Defeated, the canine gazes at his owners as they laugh from their inner tubes before he plunges his face back into the cool river to escape Texas’ thick summer heat.
Through its long and short float tours, Tube Haus enables lazy interactions with wildlife throughout the summer. The staff furnishes customers with large inner tubes before sending them on leisurely floats along Guadalupe River’s Horseshoe Loop. It also rents out coolers so participants can enjoy refreshing drinks along their journey or keep their potential organ transplants nicely chilled. To further enjoy the experience, floaters may also bring their dogs and play music.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
Dr. Tamyra Rogers could not have predicted how spending time on a Navajo reservation would shape her multifaceted approach to weight loss. After spending a year as chief resident at The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Dr. Rogers directed the metabolic clinic at the Tuba City Indian Medical Center in Arizona. She helped build a wellness center for the Navajo Nation and chaired a program to fight the growing diabetes epidemic. During her time there, she gained an appreciation of the community's holistic health-care philosophy.
Today, Dr. Rogers combines her background in traditional Western medicine with weight-loss strategies that address each person as a whole rather than two children in disguise. Dr. Rogers's team of personal trainers and group fitness instructors complement her own fitness knowledge, which stems from playing college basketball.
The instructors at Saldivar Martial Arts Leadership Academy aren't exactly new to teaching students the passion, discipline, and integrity of martial arts. The studio itself has been open since 1986, and its four instructors have a combined experience totaling more than 60 years. Matt Saldivar, a 5th degree black belt, is among them. Together he and his wife Amy Saldivar?a third degree black belt and instructor?co-own the academy and bring 25 years of experience to their business. The duo leads not only intensive muay-thai sessions for adults, but also after-school programs and summer camps for kids as young as five. The studio's class list is just as beginner-friendly, since it separates pupils by their level of experience and their ability to quote the best lines in The Karate Kid.
For more than 14 years, paint-splattered players have duked it out on the varied terrain of Krossfire Paintball's well-kept outdoor fields. Under the watchful eye of fair-minded referees, participants duck for cover and take aim from behind blue inflatables, stacks of barrels, large wooden spools, and a fort surrounded by fencing. Over in the woods, meanwhile, players huddle in bunkers, plan ambushes from behind standing and downed trees, and crawl through overgrown grasses while avoiding opponents camouflaged as overgrown grasses. After private weekday or open weekend games, guests can update their gear by browsing the latest equipment in Krossfire Paintball's pro-shop, which stocks guns, loaders, goggles, and protective pads.