Apollo Athletic Club spans nearly 45,000 square feet of body-moulding fitness facilities enhanced by a stereophonic sound system, an abundance of natural light, and a layout designed to facilitate availability of equipment. The one-month membership requires no contract or crop-sharing arrangement, bestowing upon members a pass card that grants unlimited access to all of Apollo's fitness areas. Facilities include the weight room, outfitted with Hammer Strength and Cybex equipment, a 25-foot lap pool and three hot tubs, squash and racquetball courts, two steam rooms, a basketball court, and designated seniors- and ladies-only areas. Approximately 40 classes per week harness the power of group motivation and wind energy of simultaneous jump roping with strength training, Zumba, and six senior classes, such as Osteo-Fit, designed for those living with osteoporosis.
Tired of feeling unfit and unhappy with their bodies, husband-and-wife team Barry and Jana Ratzlaff decided to make a change. They registered for a fitness and weight-loss challenge, and have since revamped their physiques and lifestyles. Today, 50 and 25 pounds lighter, respectively, Barry and Jana have made it their mission to help others change their lives while having fun.
To that end, their mostly outdoor fitness facility spans 10 acres of cedar forest. But the natural expanse is more than idyllic hiking grounds. Twenty challenges obstruct winding, wooded trails, through which Barry and Jana lead small groups in flipping heavy logs, balancing on cedar beams, scaling rope walls, and outrunning beavers. When the weather isn’t ideal, they bring their fitness expertise indoors to their fully stocked studio for one-on-one personal-training programs, which can include weight-training, cardio counseling, and nutrition planning.
Born from the mind of Italian racing magnate Claudio Valiante, SIMA International Motorsports Academy creates full-fledged racers with intense hands-on driving experiences in high-speed karts and motorcycles. The multipurpose track—a 3/4-mile technical circuit—boasts CIK-style apex and exit curbing for precision cornering, and can be configured into three different courses. Making use of the track is the karting school, a universal first step in any racer’s journey. The open-wheel karts simulate the speed and force of more mature open-wheel vehicles, and technical aspects of racing such as starts, racing lines, and post-race massages for the vehicles are easier on karts. National competitive racing circuits make stops at the track as well, with different classes of racers and karts vying for notice and championships.
The Clay Cottage’s cozy studio fosters creative expression with color-ready ceramics in the form of dinnerware, pots and jars, pet bowls, and adorable figurines, all waiting to be painted and taken home. Artists first select an item from the porcelain forest that lines the walls, or take a more in-depth dive into the catalog. Then, with studio-provided paints and brushes, they adorn their piece with the colors, designs, and Klingon war cries of their choosing. After about 3—4 days, the piece is fired, glazed, and ready for pickup. Those in search of a more private event can rent the studio for birthday parties, as well as bridal and baby showers.
Inside a room heated to a balmy 105 degrees Fahrenheit, a certified Bikram yoga instructor leads students through eagle, locust, and rabbit poses. These poses, part of a 26-asana sequence designed by yogi Bikram Choudhury, are intended to increase oxygen and blood flow through every inch of the body. Though the physical benefits of a stronger, more flexible body are undeniable, the good done to the mental and spiritual selves can only be described—a greater sense of peace, increased mental clarity, and the ability to tolerate people who talk about their night dreams. Eager to share its passion for the practice, the staff at Bikram Yoga equips new students with everything they need to succeed. Friendly receptionists hand students towels and mats before pointing them in the direction of clean, sleek changing and shower areas. The studio itself is constantly filled with purifying practitioners, as a deep bench of certified instructors teach both morning and evening classes seven days a week.