"Tread softly," say players on Insane Paintball’s outdoor forts course. No matter how careful you are on the ground, opponents likely lurk atop the field’s 14 one- and two-story buildings, waiting to strike on the unsuspecting players below. More buildings tower above the wooded field, where teams can take cover behind mounds and old, paint-splattered cars.
Those pellets fire from Insane Paintball’s semi-automatic rental guns, part of gear packages that include face masks and compressed-air bottles. Snacks await players after long stretches of recreational, scenario, or tournament games, as do shopping sprees inside an on-site 3,500-square-foot retail store. Besides stocking new gear, the store hosts certified technicians, who repair malfunctioning equipment such as guns that only let players load crayon nubs.
Covered in jagged faces and colorful tape, the climbing spaces at Urban Rocks Gym challenge mountaineers of all skill levels. More than 100 top-rope and lead-climbing routes rise up to 35 feet, with both relaxed vertical paths and grip-testing overhangs. A separate kids' wall offers lower altitudes for aspiring climbers, bolstering their confidence once they reach the top. Topped by an amphitheater-like roof, the 3,000-square-foot top-out-bouldering area enables participants to live out their dream of becoming a stalactite with a 60-degree wall, overhanging arêtes, and a maximum height of 14 feet. Those returning to the gym will find that its routes are regularly recalibrated, with 15 new top-rope routes and 25 new boulder problems every week.
Over the course of 50 to 55 minutes, the Missionary Ridge Local takes train-spotters on a 6-mile travel through time along Chattanooga's original rail lines. Once the classic, old-timey steam or diesel locomotive has chugged its way out of Grand Junction station, it will pass through the Missionary Ridge Tunnel, which predates both the Civil War and its disappointing sequels, the Civil War Reloaded and Civil War Revolutions. When they arrive at East Chattanooga Depot, locomotive looky-loos will also witness the two ways to turn around a train. One involves the more familiar turntable method, and the other uses a wye, resulting in a maneuver similar to a three-point car turn but that doesn't involve slamming into the trash cans in your alley and waking the neighbors. The Missionary Ridge Local is closed Sunday–Friday in January and February.
The multiple YMCA locations in metropolitan Chattanooga serve more than 37,000 members a year and fulfill the mission of uniting guests regardless of gender, age, faith, background, abilities, or income. Founded in London in 1844, the YMCA spread to its Chattanooga home in 1871 and continues to operate with help from local community volunteers as stalwart as I Love Lucy syndicators. Each location caters to the needs of children, teens, seniors, and families with afterschool programs and fitness-based activities. Cardio machines pump hearts, racquetball courts host fun competitions, and pools allow goggles to fulfill their original purpose: snapping the face with their elastic band to make a diver jump off the blocks faster. A sauna and steam room heat clients up after they cool down in the pools, and parents can drop their young children off at the nursery before participating in group fitness classes.
Dr. Shahid Iqbal shepherds a staff during beauty-bolstering services that ranges from permanent laser hair reduction and VelaShape cellulite reduction to facial flatterers such as Botox injections and chemical peels. The pros also slather faces with organic products during custom massages and incorporate hot stones, hot sea shells, and games of hot potato into their massages.
The Junior League of Chattanooga, a coalition of local women improving their community through charity work and education, won the 2011 Nonprofit of the Year award from its city’s chamber of commerce. Recognized as the second oldest Junior League chapter in the South, the organization has poured approximately $2 million and 425,000 volunteer hours into the city since its founding in 1917. With more than 600 current members, the Junior League of Chattanooga fundraises by holding annual events, such as the Tour du Jour, a walking tour of stylish local kitchens, and by selling the League cookbook, Seasoned to Taste, which features recipes for delectable meals and after-dinner treats sweeter than the heartwarming bird song of a marshmallow Peep. League wealth flows throughout the city, funding the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile as well as advocacy against online predators and workshops on baby-care basics.