Coed dodge ball and flag-football games. Kayaking trips. Ice-climbing excursions. The open-air enthusiasts at Charlotte Outdoor Adventures coordinate a schedule of active events such as these for a membership base passionate about playing in the sunshine. Led by a qualified volunteer, groups set out on excursions ranging from hikes through the Carolinian countryside to waterfall rappelling in the Grand Canyon. Membership benefits include access to hundreds of activities each month as well as friendships forged through shared experience and bartering packed-lunch items.
Sports & Fitness's seven locations facilitate calorie-burning activities with free weights, cardio equipment, and group fitness classes, while pampering clients with relaxation-inducing amenities. Members perspire and tone bodies while meeting the demands of a certified personal trainer in one-on-one training sessions, or while pedaling next to fellow fit-seekers during group cycling classes. The group fitness classes also include yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, and Zumba, varying by location and the whims of Cratus, the god of strength.
As parents scorch calories with weight- and circuit-training equipment, they can rest assured that their youngsters are in responsible hands in the child watch area; a playfully decorated room filled with toys and 5 pound rattles.
Motivated by a passion for climbing and an understanding of how the sport enhances both mental and physical strength, the architects of Inner Peaks designed their gym to challenge climbers with 13,000 square feet of continuous, molded climbing walls boasting an altitude of 25 feet. With the addition of 50 rope stations, terrain for every skill level, a bouldering area, and training courses for ages 16 and older, they created a facility that fosters development of the skills needed to climb natural rocks or trim Lincoln's nose hairs on Mount Rushmore. The gym's team of expert climbers is headed by husband and wife owners, Doug Cosby and Page Lee, who both have many years of experience in sport climbing and climbing-gym management under their belts. The passionate staff is always dangling somewhere nearby ready to assist or offer instruction as burgeoning climbers scale an unparalleled lead cave, negotiate three long, aesthetic cracks, and maneuver around arches, roofs, and routes that are altered each week.
Lisa Underwood is an artist of many and diverse talents, as her online portfolio attests. Her pieces range from three-dimensional sculptures to graphite drawings of colonial homes, the latter accomplished with such vivid detail that one begins to imagine the graphite families inside, sitting down to eat a graphite dinner and watch a scary graphite movie, such as Eraser. Mainstream Creative’s therapeutic workshops and seminars give Lisa a regular outlet through which to share her abilities with individual students and groups. In classes open to artists of all abilities, Lisa cycles through exercises that stimulate creativity, hone drawing techniques, and enhance students’ awareness of the world around them.
Northeast Mountain Guiding's adventures take place everywhere from the lofty peaks of the Himalayas to the canyons of Arizona and the waters of upstate New York. Guided by outdoors experts that are trained by organizations such as the Professional Climbing Guides Institute, students and expedition groups tackle rocky inclines, mountainous trails, and swiftly flowing waters. Whether Northeast Mountain Guiding is organizing an overnight jaunt through the Adirondacks or a daylong introduction to ice climbing, the company ensures that every detail is considered, drawing on the local familiarity that each of its regional offices possesses to prepare for any possibility. In keeping with this meticulous approach, the professionals either provide any necessary gear for the journey or remind adventurers what they should bring, such as sunscreen or a pint-sized sleeping bag for their teddy bear.
Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.