In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers 4 months to 12 years old with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
After spying his first electronic bike while teaching in China, owner Garnet Caldwell vowed to bring the unique and potentially revolutionary vehicles to his hometown. He told the Times Free Press, "These bikes are for people who just want to get out and ride," explaining that they can go about 20 miles before needing to be charged and, like a championship racewalker, can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour.
The bikes, available at the shop for rental or sale, come in all sizes and run off a battery that is recharged via a traditional wall outlet. Chattanooga Electric Bikes caries models from Ezip, Izip, Stromer, and Pedego, as well as conversion kits to help traditional two-wheelers to make the jump to electric. Certified technicians ensure bikes are held to the highest safety standards and don't become sentient, and they can service any brand of electric bicycle.
Rocky Top Guides' AMGA-certified instructors take their customers on outdoor expeditions to scale rocky terrain across scenic Lookout Mountain and through regions in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia. The expert climbers lead both half- and full-day trips that can cover climbing styles such as standard rock climbing, solo climbing, and aid climbing, which teaches how to ascend fixed ropes without a bat cape. With a 6:1 climber-to-guide ratio, the staff easily customizes each trip to clients' individual skill levels and goals. They also include all requisite climbing gear for free, asking that climbers only bring a few essential items and pens to get autographs from mountain trolls.
Tennessee Bouldering Authority's staff design climbing paths that pose physical and mental challenges across nearly 3,000 square feet of rock-climbing space. The team upholds a philosophy centered entirely around bouldering, a discipline that allows climbers to move unencumbered by belay systems and unbidden visions of their rope turning into a snake. Meanwhile, away from the rock walls, guests in workout classes use weights, training boards, and gymnastic rings to add some diversity to their exercise sessions. Energetic music blasts from a sound system during yoga classes, while climbers yodel their own workout beats on guided outdoor-climbing trips.
A team of cycling enthusiasts populates the staff of River City Bicycles, helping clients attain and maintain two-wheeled transportation. The shop specializes in sales and service of road, mountain, comfort, commuter, and children’s bikes, serving customers with a large inventory of products by top brands. The cyclery ensures a proper match between man and machine by performing a free custom fit before new bike purchases. In addition, new bike owners get a free initial tune-up to fix the stretched chains and loosened spokes that are common after the passionate first few weeks of bike ownership.
Since opening Nutrition World in 1979, founder Ed Jones has fostered healthy mastication with an expansive inventory of natural, organic, and gluten-free foodstuffs. As shoppers peruse the aisles, nutrition-savvy store clerks stand by to answer inquiries and suggest healthy alternatives to junk food such as chips or notoriously indulgent Cracker Jack prizes. Shelves sport boxes of DeBoles gluten-free pasta ($3.89), and refrigerators eschew lactose with cartons of sunflower, coconut, hemp, and almond milk ($2.99+). Shoppers can scarf down the protein of an OhYeah! chocolate-caramel bar ($2.49) or work on their Popeye impressions by downing Amy's spinach pizza ($7.99).