Sharon Owens lowers the bulb of an ornament into the sharp blue flame of her workstation’s torch, heating the glass until it glows a vibrant yellow. Applying the skills she learned in her schooling at Purdue University, her three-year apprenticeship, and her studies with a host of artisan glassworkers, she presses her mouth to the piece’s hollow stem. Whatever shape it will take, only she knows.
This scene has been a regular occurrence at Inspired Fire since 2002, when Sharon founded her studio in her hometown of Lafayette. The workshop is equipped for all manners of projects, including 4 kilns, 12 torches, and, most importantly, air conditioning. The shop’s staff oversees classes for beginners and advanced glassworkers, as well as offering the space for crafters unable to find the “glass” setting on their microwaves.
After four years spent playing football at the University of Illinois, and three years in the Canadian league, Morris Virgil circled back around to become a fitness coach. ?Each client is a direct reflection of me,? he says. ?Not in their physique, but in form, effort level, and dedication.?
He springboards off that philosophy during his 45-minute sports-inspired workouts, challenging patrons through functional training methods designed to improve overall health rather than just build washboard vanity abs or butter-churn biceps. Each workout divides time equally between cardiovascular routines, strength-training that leverages body weight, and muscle-sculpting exercises with free weights. The focus of each session alternates by the day of the week, so students can arrive daily for an all-around fit-?em-up routine or drop in on specified slots to focus on slimming down, toning muscles, or building strength.
Before 1958, the only audible sounds on the grounds of Lucas Oil Raceway were rattling tractors and mooing cows. Nowadays, the 267-acre farm-turned-auto-racing-center roars with thunderous racecar engines on three different racetracks: a 0.686-mile oval track, a quarter-mile drag strip, and a 2.5-mile road course littered with 15 turns. Using this abundance of pavement, the staff stages an array of events and races, including the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals and Wild Wednesdays, where drivers can drag race their own street-legal cars, provided they have a driver's license and their cars have a clean pair of running shorts.
Midwesterners itching to snap on a mask and breathe through a mouthpiece have had few options ever since cruel Mr. Shabberham next door filled his poorly guarded swimming pool with earwigs and paste. Today's deal scratches that itch while sparing you the respiratory distress of cornfield snorkeling: for $20, you get a one-hour class for either Discover Snorkeling or Discover Scuba (a $50 value) at Midwest Scuba Center, an educational dive center that's been serving the area since 1976, that unfortunate year when the shores of the Atlantic permanently receded from the coast of Indiana. Anyone can take the snorkeling class, but scuba divers must be at least 15 years old (or as young as 10 years if a parent or guardian takes the class, as well). Call Midwest Scuba Center to schedule your discovery session.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fit seekers challenge themselves on cardio and strength machines and hoist free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or bop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.