The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
At Muddy Rose Pottery, the staff strives to highlight the therapeutic nature of hand-thrown pottery. Though the studio is open to artists of all ages and abilities, the instructors focus most of their energy on intellectually and developmentally disabled students, who use the pottery wheel to create works of art and develop self-esteem and confidence. The studio welcomes all visitors to try their hand at the wheel during a variety of classes, which range from simple one-hour sessions to longer, more advanced 10-hour courses spread out over several weeks.
Tobin Studios was founded in January of 2002 by Debra and James Tobin in the hopes of sharing their skills to help people explore their creativity and to help rejuvenate the Ambridge business district. Ambridge is a former steel town in the process of being reborn.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were "accidentally" installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circuit of hydraulic resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines use your body weight and fitness level to create resistance that matches your abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Colorful renditions of a Pittsburgh incline, one of the city's storied bridges, or another local sight materialize on canvases at Studio Ochre. The city where three rivers collide serves as the muse for each Pittsburgh-themed painting class. They're open to beginners and seasoned artists alike, and guests can buy snacks and libations to enjoy as they paint.
Urmi Batavia began teaching private piano and violin lessons out of her home in 2002. As demand for her classes grew, so did her need for room, and two years later she opened her own space dedicated to music instruction: Batavia Studios. There, she shares her teaching responsibilities with a team of instructors well versed in percussion, strings, woodwinds, and voice. Though they still provide private lessons for adults and children, they also helm weeklong children’s summer camps and oversee a store filled with musical instruments, song books, and music accessories, such as jars filled with Al Green’s voice.