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. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage your machine maneuvering and your muscle making. 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.
Alabama-born Cynthia Massey Parsons, who will be featured in the 32nd anniversary edition of Who’s Who in American Art, has built her artistic reputation on works in watercolor, acrylic, and graphite. During Paint-A-Long sessions, she leads budding artists through the brushwork of a single painting, helping students pick up sound technique without worrying about inventing a subject or baiting a muse. Her original designs range from modified classics—such as the sky in Van Gogh’s Starry Night transposed over a local skyline—to classic floral still lifes.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines.
Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
Though Darla Williamson grew up in a family that gravitated toward art and other hands-on trades?her mother is an artist, and her father is a woodworker and automobile restorer?she still found herself in the corporate world. Until, of course, she found a medium that spoke uniquely to her. She became very taken with Zentangle, a style of drawing that relaxes the mind by focusing on repetitive patterns, eventually becoming a certified instructor of the unique art form. Today, at Tangled Stones, she leads Zentangle classes of all levels and teaches students to add their designs to custom cards, clothing, and other items.
Chef and instructor Kelly Viall returned to her hometown of Birmingham after 15 years of whipping up fresh-fish dishes in Seattle and along the Gulf Coast. Now hundreds of miles from a coast, she still clings to her passion for ocean-fresh seafood and teaches students to master a variety of culinary techniques. She also offers catering options, giving food art lovers a chance to have a marine Louvre brought to them.