At Eclipse Fitness Sports and Wellness, working out and watching an all-day Real Housewives marathon are not mutually exclusive pursuits. With high-definition 15-inch screens on every cardio machine—which are also outfitted with integrated iPod connectivity and USB ports—the gym's treadmills, elliptical machines, and Expresso bikes double as media centers. The gym complements its cardio machines with more than 100 pieces of strength equipment from makers such as Cybex, Life Fitness, and FreeMotion, rather than forcing patrons to bench press each other. Clients who want a high-energy group workout can join the gym's group classes, which accommodate participants of all fitness levels. The sessions use all kinds of exercises and equipment, including kettlebells, suspension training, and slam balls. Spinning sessions motivate cyclists with a soundtrack of high-octane music, rather than the recordings of Lance Armstrong sweating that are popular in other gyms. Patrons can also hit the onsite racquetball and basketball courts and sip on the juice bar's nutritious shakes during breaks in their games.
In 1976, Joan Barnes—a California mom frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time—took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. In the decades since Gymboree’s founding, Joan’s vision of a safe place where youngsters could build confidence and creativity has come to fruition and spread to 30 countries around the globe. Staffed by attentive and expertly trained instructors, each Gymboree outpost adheres to a curriculum of activities designed by experts to foster the development of children's cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play and close readings of Goodnight Moon. The staffers also conduct entertaining classes for parents, newborns, and children under 1 year that cover subjects ranging from music to sports, imparting valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. To further set apart her business, Barnes employed nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers.
Like many artists, Jamie Lindholm explored a few routes before answering her true calling. Although she?d been painting her entire life, she acquired her first college degree in marketing and management. Shortly after, she started training with artists including David Leffel, presidential portrait painter Everett Raymond Kinstler, and photorealist Robert Neffson, all masters who helped hone her ability to capture life on canvas.
At her own studio in Martinsville, Lindholm takes on the role of instructor. Her classes include foundational studies in drawing and painting as well as BYOB sessions in which students can unleash their artistic potential alongside a glass of wine or vintage tempera paint. She conceives of her studio as a traditional atelier where students and the artists who share her space through the Open Easel Program can feel inspired and at home.
Kettlebells and TRX suspension-training are just a few of the tools the instructors at Pure Energy Fitness use to strengthen and sculpt physiques. Students can focus on building muscles, burning calories and toning muscles in spin classes, or combining cardiovascular exercise with strengthening resistance routines in boot-camp sessions.
Young Chefs Academy provides a fun, safe, and motivational environment for kids to become acquainted with food and food presentation. Engaging chefstructors instill lessons of kitchen etiquette and safety in youngsters, giving them a gourmet guidebook for their future journey into the land of food. Classes educate a variety of age groups; classes for the kindercooks and junior chefs let kids follow a recipe to edible fruition, creating a nutritional meal while mastering basic food-prep skills. Senior chefs are offered advanced classes that hone specific skills and techniques to expand the parameters of cooking creativity.