Four times a week, the Sanford Orlando Kennel Club unleashes its greyhound dogs for live, competitive contests with up to 16 races per day. Spectators can nosh trackside on savory American fare or wander the grandstand or clubhouse between heats while gazing at the tidy midfield and lush foliage framing the track. A full card of simulcast racing compliments the live action. On monitors throughout the club, nationwide greyhound, thoroughbred, and harness races beam in stretch runs and photo finishes. Once a week, amateur poker players assemble at tables overlooking the track, hoping to win a slot at a monthly or regional tournament, or to get the rare opportunity to play cards with a dog.
The Sanford Orlando Kennel Club nurtures their canine athletes long after retirement with the Adopt a Greyhound program. The initiative places dogs into loving homes with the help of four area adoption agencies, who also find school-bus-driver vacancies for retired stock-car drivers.
Between 1984 and 1986, Michael Echevarria. For three years running, he out-hoisted all comers to become, and stay, the U.S. Air Force powerlifting champion in his class. But it wasn’t until 1996, when he started training for bodybuilding competitions—which emphasize aesthetics and pageantry over raw power—that he learned how hard it is to shed body fat.
As a personal trainer and owner of Fitness by Example, he leverages that struggle to deliver tailored programs and boot camps to his clients that help them lose weight and build muscle. Clients, ranging from 11 to 91, amp up cardio strength during outdoor boot camps or glean all kinds of benefits, such as lower cholesterol, during one-on-one sessions. When he’s not helping patrons hit their target weight right in its smirking face, Echevarria authors myriad articles that outline clever tricks for speeding up metabolism or the benefits of flexibility.
At ASR Indoor Motor Sports Raceway, drivers of all ages control miniature high-speed chases on a 1/8-mile slot-car track that snakes around a spacious room. Models of classic Fords and ad-emblazoned stock cars calibrated at 1:24 or 1:32 scale zip around the course as drivers wield controllers on the sidelines. Miniature car parts and add-ons are available to personalize each driver’s ride, as are tune-ups from miniature mechanics. In addition to a regular schedule of weekly racing programs, ASR Indoor Motor Sports Raceway rents out real estate along its miniature highway for birthday parties and corporate team-building activities.
A recent transplant to Altamonte Springs, dedicated pianist Joyce Lundeen has spent the last 30 years teaching students of all ages to coax melodies from the ivory keys. Initially unsatisfied with the instructional books on the market, she has published more than 50 of her own, which are used by piano teachers across the United States. In addition to learning to read and play music, students can hone improvisational skills and learn music theory.
Employing the methodical skills he gained as a mechanical engineer at BMW and the culinary skills he developed at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, chef Jermaine Allen whittles the steps required for families to share a meal at home down to just two: heat and eat. After consulting with his clients about their preferences, he and his staff take care of all the meal preparation, including hunting down wild lettuce. They plan the menu, go to the store to procure its ingredients, and then take them to the clients' kitchen, where they assemble the home-cooked meals. Once prepared, the meals are packed away and labeled with heating instructions, and the chefs leave the kitchen just the way they found it. Chef Allen also prepares one-time meals for customers in their homes, whether it's a sit-down dinner for two or a lunch buffet for 16, and leads in-home cooking classes for up to 12 aspiring chefs.