Mankind was never meant to breathe underwater, but the instructors at Columbia Scuba defy such limitations, helping students of all sorts—from small children to disabled adults—explore the forbidden depths. As young as 8, kids can start training with PADI Bubblemaker classes, using equipment suited to their smaller size, and swimmers of all ages can join Discover Scuba sessions to learn the basics of diving in the safety of a pool. For students looking to become certified divers, open-water diving and specialty diving courses test practical skills in unique environments, such as submerged shipwrecks filled with sunken coupons, whereas trips to the Florida springs or Cozumel convey the majestic experience of communing up close with marine wildlife.
Certified professional photographer Gene Taylor has fine-tuned his artistic vision while working in photojournalism and portrait photography for more than 30 years. During classes at Your Photo Safari, Gene introduces students to the photographic arts and the workings of DSLR cameras. Sessions begin in classroom settings, allowing students to get acquainted with camera basics as well as advanced features such as setting white balance and reducing blur. After learning how to navigate the multiple settings and buttons on their digital cameras, students traipse to area gardens to explore the natural world through their lenses. The hands-on experience allows students to take home artfully composed shots of plants bathed in natural light or trees planking over riverbanks in a bid for Internet fame.
As visitors walk through Brickhouse Gym's 12,000-square-foot facility, they see something different happening in every room. One door opens to reveal a forest of professional cardio equipment, and another uncovers a flurry of spinning stationary cycles. Further into the expansive gym, specialized practice rooms host circuit training, agility equipment, and free weights, as well as innovative turf-floor and open-air workout rooms. In private training rooms, spirited instructors help students cultivate flexibility, increase endurance, or prepare for cage matches with stubborn garden weeds with a variety of fitness classes in disciplines such as yoga and mixed martial arts.
Stronghold Gym, a full-service climbing and training facility, helps budding rock-scalers hone their abilities on a 45-foot climbing tower and two onsite bouldering caves. Climbers can scamper up the walls like a man with incredibly long legs and rubber-cement hands with the help of friends or opt to drop by from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 5 p.m. on weekends when staff members are present to help with belaying. After ascending to the rocky heights, individuals can hit Stronghold's cardio and weight training equipment to continue their workouts post-climb. Yoga and fitness classes are also offered onsite in its two fitness studios.
At Snap Fitness’ 24-hour gym, guests come and go armed with their access keys and are able to work out at their convenience. Around the gym, rows of cardio machines and stacks of free weights stand by as personal trainers show guests the most efficient ways to pump iron and bench-press their old refrigerators.
The Harbison Community Association provides a venue for community members to work out and form bonds with their neighbors. The center maintains an indoor heated pool, a jacuzzi, and a baby pool. Members can build strength in the weight room and challenge their friends to a game on the racquetball court.