When Daniel and Tirzah Hawkins tied the knot, they bore more than typical wedding-day jitters—combined, the couple carried more than 100 pounds of extra weight. Today, the pair of certified personal trainers have shed the extra pounds, but they remember their deeply personal struggles on the road to fitness. That’s why they established Where to Start, a haven for the out of shape and overwhelmed. Personal training, group fitness classes, and gym memberships jump-start workout routines and get clients moving, boosting health and overall wellness.
For 60 years, Wooden Nickel Pub & Eatery has served up hearty eats in a wood-paneled bar with games, live music, and the familiar ambience of a hometown hangout. The pub's cooks smoke, cure, and brine meats in-house, sandwiching them within breads baked on-site. In addition to slow-smoked prime rib, German sausages, and sizzling fried chicken, they simmer pots of jambalaya or shrimp and grits. Diners can find the same savory, homestyle food at a second location in Sublimity.
Each year since 1973, on the weekend after Labor Day, engines rumble the very foundation of Sublimity. The Harvest Festival began as a simple tractor pull, and while that event remains a highlight, some of its wheels have gotten considerably bigger and more monstery. And that's not the only thing about the festival that's grown. Now a three-day affair, the schedule bursts at the mid-section with events such as a Fun Run, a parade, a KidZone with bounce houses and rides, and bands and magicians on the Coors Light stage. Yet all the fun and engine flexing is for a good cause. More than 25 community organizations, including the Sublimity Fire Department and Relay for Life, benefit from the festival's proceeds.
At Courthouse Athletic Club’s six locations throughout the Salem area, the cheering of children and the warm pop of tennis balls against rackets fill the air. Stationary cycles, treadmills, basketball courts, and swimming pools help visitors to work toward fitness, train for triathlons, or teach a basketball to swim. Indoor and outdoor courts span the tennis center’s grounds, hosting matches and instruction sessions in both sunny and snow-laden months. Training opportunities are available for children and adults, with private lessons and group sessions covering yoga, Zumba, Pilates, cardio, tennis, basketball, and swimming. Courthouse Athletic Club also hosts children’s movie nights and a dance academy.
Built on a former dairy farm in 1969, the executive course at Meadowlawn incorporates a compact game of nine holes into residential Arcadia. Four par 3 holes help players develop their short game amid hazards such as a creek, lake, and sand bunkers newly renovated with tiny camels and to-scale mirages. The course also features five par 4s for diverse play while still maintaining a scaled-down layout that ensures a quick round, allowing players to get in enough play. After rounds, the onsite Upper Deck Grill refuels and rejuvenates golfers with a menu of salads, sandwiches, and grill fare.
The Inferno's designers don't consider mud much of a challenge, even if it's in a pit. So instead of wet dirt, they fill their 6- and 13.1-mile courses with obstacles, each designed to push the human body to its limits. Racers on their paths to victory might encounter monkey bars, crawls under barbed wire, or a quarter-mile swim. Perhaps even "hurdles" made of fire. A celebration kicks off as soon as each runner reaches the finish line. Live musicians score The Inferno's after party, where organizers hand out competitive awards and more playful accolades, such as biggest beard and best costume. They also hand each participant a cool beer, provided they're old enough.
The team's races require participants to be in shape and train in advance. Luckily, The Inferno's organizers supply a work-out plan to help participants prep, combining elements of Crossfit, Insanity, P90X, and other workouts.