The baseball and softball instructors at Great Lakes Baseball Academy share their passion for America's pastime with students as they draw upon accolades that include two national minor-league titles and a high-school state softball record for strikeouts in one year. Inside the year-round, 5,000-square-foot facility, coaches with experience at the major, minor, and high-school levels enrich players' skills during private lessons and team-training sessions. Line drives echo through three climate-controlled, 80-foot batting and pitching tunnels, which include Iron Mike pitching machines that hurtle balls from 40 to 90 mph and occasionally charge the plate. Along with their training grounds, the academy's shop stays stocked with such gear as the latest bats and gloves.
Garnering accolades from numerous athletic associations and websites, Life Time Fitness’s area locations offer various multi-use sports arenas, fitness centers, family recreation areas, and spas for gym-goers of all sorts. Basketball courts, volleyball nets, and racquetball matrices provide tangible barriers to determine out-of-bounds abuses, while audible battle cries on the indoor climbing wall and poolside water slide release workday tension. Calorie burning and muscle building options abound with Life Time Fitness’s impressive array of cardio machines, free weights, and resistance training equipment. Night owls and sleep-swimmers alike will appreciate Life Time Fitness’s 24/7 open door policy. Complimentary lockers and towels sweeten the experience with storage space for your keys and a new patch for your perspiration quilt. Post-work out, relax in the sauna or get pampered at the LifeSpa & Salon.
The qualified staff of Franklin Athletic Club ferries fitness seekers through the fundamentals of strength, core, and stamina building. One-hour classes limited to six students run through the tenets of reformer Pilates, a core-strength-building exercise that implements special reformer equipment. A knowledgeable instructor will usher students through six sessions, conferring the benefits of firmer muscle tone, increased energy, and the ability to sniff out lies.
Dream Dinners makes meal preparation a breeze with easy-to-follow instructions, precut meats and veggies, and a host of complementary ingredients. The experience is like a cross between a barn raising and a bar crawl, minus the alcohol and hard labor: After choosing from a rotating menu of up to 14 dishes per month, customers schedule a spot at a fun prep session (call at least a week in advance) to assemble meals in-store. Items from the April menu include blackened salmon with pineapple salsa ($15.89 for three servings) and crispy sesame chicken with gingered green beans ($14.04 for three servings). Groupon holders can dazzle dining-room tables with fancy, restaurant-inspired fare or serve up flavor-filled comfort foods such as white-chicken lasagna ($14.04 for three servings) and caliente pork chops with garlic mashed potatoes ($16.42 for three servings).
As a benga beat pulses through the crowd, the Kenya Safari Acrobats defy gravity and the body's limitations as they leap through hoops, tumble from human towers, and limbo under bars. In one of their most famous and startling acts, a single performer stacks, climbs, and then balances on a single-file tower of rickety wooden chairs. Meanwhile, other performers juggle up to six straw hats, bend metal with their hands and teeth, or walk across a bed of nails. As artistic ambassadors of their native Kenya, the acrobats tie educational relevancy to their school performances in stories that highlight the importance of physical fitness, respect for elders and the true meaning of the Swahili phrase "hakuna matata," which The Lion King incorrectly translated as "get rich or die trying."