As he trains his eye on the target's innermost ring, the archer retrieves an arrow from his quiver. He exhales, crooking his fingers around the bowstring and pulling it back until the feathery fletches tickle his cheek. He will only have one shot to win the contest and finally earn his family's respect—but his elbow is off, and his aim will suffer. "Cut!" comes the call from the director, and the cameras stop rolling for a moment as an archery coach enters the scene. She tilts the actor's arm and adjusts his stance so that his form is truer to life, breathing accuracy into the portrayal. When "Action!" sounds, the archer is ready, and the tension achieves new heights.
Sending its nationally certified coaches to such television clients as CSI: Miami and The Discovery Channel is just one way that Archery House spreads an appreciation of the sport. Company leaders Lorinda Cohen and Tara “Robey” Folz—both of whom hold national titles—ally their combined 36 years of archery experience with marketing savvy to plan classes for all ages, promotional events, and athletic counseling. At multiple outdoor ranges, they outfit beginners with the equipment and know-how to pop a balloon at an impressive remove, and challenge advanced archers to do so with a balloon that’s farther away and filled with wasps.
Extreme Fitness sets Toronto's calories ablaze at the 13 renovated, multimillion-dollar locations peppered throughout the greater suburban area. Each facility hosts a menagerie of group fitness classes, which can be taken à la carte or bundled into a gym membership. Muscles loosen up in hot-yoga classes or bulge into sinewy symbols of might in outdoor boot camps, where students soak up vitamin D or distill Capri Sun from the sun's rays. To make sure members get the most of the gym's myriad amenities, personal trainers kick off fitness journeys with their Smart Start program, taking BMI measurements and analyzing heart health and oxygen uptake to give patrons a clearer picture of how much and what types of exercise they need to hit their goals.
After working up a calorie-blasting sweat, members can retire to the steam rooms or whirlpool tubs to soothe sore muscles. The internet business lounge lets people catch up on email while sipping a rejuvenating smoothie from the juice bar, and the basketball courts host pick-up games where adults can show underdog teams of fifth-graders that it takes a little more than pluck and an adorable animal sidekick to win games.
Step into to a bird's house. Get eye-to-eye with a moray eel. Greet a sea turtle as he swims up to say hello. The Living Coast Discovery Center isn't a nature museum?it's a chance to hang out with Southern California's plants and animals on their own turf. The Discovery Center's "living, breathing, flapping, buzzing, and splashing home" sits on the 316-acre Sweetwater Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, the ideal location for exploration of the region's most memorable residents in their native habitats.
A walk-through aviary encompasses the tidal slough habitat of black-crowned night herons, red-breasted mergansers, and endangered clapper rail chicks, freshly hatched from the in-house breeding program. Bald and golden eagles await up-close encounters at the Eagle Mesa, but the rays get even closer: an interactive touch pool puts the aquatic creatures beneath your fingertips. Raptor Row hosts the Center's rescued birds of prey, all of which have injuries or other conditions that prevent them from surviving outside the refuge on their own. Visitors are also free to pursue their own wildlife adventure along the center's 1.5 miles of walking trails.
At Dream Body Boot Camp, which was voted San Diego A-List's best boot camp of 2012, trainer Matthew Johnson and his staff of specialized trainers help patrons to quickly sculpt physiques into top form during indoor and outdoor workouts that pair cardio moves with strength-boosting exercises. Instead of painting muscle ripples onto participants’ abs, each of Johnson’s instructors draws from a kinesiology degree or a national personal-training certification when designing a new 60-minute workout each day. Before their first class, students meet with Johnson to get acquainted and set their fitness goals, such as looking good in a bikini or ripping through a T-shirt to reveal their swimsuit with one powerful body flex. In the course of 10 minutes, he asks clients what they’d like to achieve in class and how they’ve pursued their goals in the past.
Once the talking ends, the training begins, and the motivational instructors put patrons to work hefting dumbbells, straining against Trx suspension gear, and flipping giant tires end over end. Johnson and his trainers leave long runs out of their workouts, opting instead for tire hopping, jumping rope, and other dynamic exercises to elevate heart rates.
Featured at two star-studded award ceremonies in 2011, Balensi's Institute Skin Care & Spa makes everyday clients feel like VIPs with luxurious spa services. Guest pass by a water fountain and tropical plants as they enter a cozy, renovated bungalow that dates back to 1910, the same year that the Great Sphinx had her first microdermabrasion. Medical aesthetician Lorena Balensi performs most treatments?from facials to enzyme peels?with pharmaceutical-grade products. For more than 10 years, certified medical assistant Jean-Michel Balensi has applied principles of color theory, facial geometry, design/application, skin health and wound healing, anatomy and physiology to all aspects of his craft, servicing more than 3,000 clients. Applied one by one, his ocular artistry of eyelash extensions give eyelids the volume and length to attract compliments or entire butterfly colonies. Massage therapies include relaxing and healing modalities such as Swedish, deep tissue, stone, pre-natel, and sports massage. Garden fountains perform a liquid symphony for patrons who relax at a shaded outdoor patio.
Within the multihued walls of Kidville’s indoor playland, tykes expand their minds, network with members of their peer group, and deplete their vast energy reserves. Babies, toddlers, and kids 6 years old or younger delve into classes developed by Kidville’s early-childhood-development gurus. Burgeoning Beethovens can swivel their hips, flex their sing-along muscles, and edit their massive music manuscripts during one of Kidville’s music and dance classes, or enlist in one of the art classes to create a piece that captures their inner rage toward broccoli. Fun and fit gym classes let tots run, roll, and hover through gauntlets of plush blocks and spongy play mats. Clasping hands and scampering legs can also roam freely through Kidville’s sprightly indoor playspace, though all munchkins must be supervised by a parent, guardian, or trustworthy primate.