The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.
While all good doctors are thorough, Dr. Babar Rao takes the detection of skin cancer a bit further than most. As a pioneer and international authority on dermoscopy and confocal microscopy—two techniques that afford him highly magnified 3-D views of skin-borne lesions—Dr. Rao is able to discern with great accuracy whether epidermal aberrations require biopsy. His 20 years of experience as a pathologist and surgeon, as well his numerous publications and research projects, provides him with a deep understanding of advanced treatment methods, including MOHS micrographic surgery.
This knack for high precision also extends to his clinics' cosmetic offerings, carried out by his cadre of physicians across three state-of-the-art facilities. The team minimizes wrinkles and discoloration through a range of minimally invasive treatments that includes Botox and chemical peels, and also banishes unwelcome stubble or glued-on sideburns with laser hair removal.
Dr. Rao and his staff's expertise also reach abroad in their effort to give back to communities. Dr. Rao spearheaded an effort to open a burn center in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, which has significantly reduced the mortality rate for major burns, and his staff holds free cancer screenings both locally and in the Dominican Republic.
After being diagnosed with juvenile arthritis at the age of 6, Kettlebells of Fresno's Dina Juve spent more than 15 years in a sedentary lifestyle. At 21, she decided to take charge of her health and began to educate herself on the principles of a healthy lifestyle. Today, this mother of three, certified Russian-kettlebell instructor, and personal trainer stays in shape using the same exercises that she teaches in her fitness classes and private group training sessions. Her kettlebell workouts have even been featured on the KSEE 24 News.
During training sessions, Dina uses weighted cast-iron kettlebells and the TRX suspension-training system to help clients of all fitness levels increase strength, endurance, and muscle tone throughout their entire bodies. Using the knowledge she gained to turn her life around, Dine also helps her clients reach their fitness goals with nutritional guidance, giving them the know-how to steer clear of tempting chocolate-covered barbells.
Certified dance instructors Pete Swingle and Carmen Ahmen relish the challenge of curing extra left feet. They welcome total beginners to their salsa classes, where their patience and supportive attitudes help students feel comfortable enough to pull off the hip-swaying steps. In the interest of steadily progressing students to intermediate and advanced moves, they set up specific goals for each level, ranging from "step in time" to "twirl your partner without having to rely on shoes made of roombas.” They teach disciplines apart from salsa as well, including cha-cha, cumbia, and merengue.
Though learning show-stopping techniques is one of the core benefits of their lessons, Pete and Carmen also hope to reward protégés with the additional perks of dancing, including stress relief, improved muscle tone, and new friendships. Sunday dance socials focus on the latter ambition by gathering dancers for practice in a party setting, which sometimes features live percussion shows and music giveaways.
This expansive and elegant fitness facility boasts a well-rounded offering of equipment and group classes to ensure each and every part of your body is worked out equally. Zumba, Pilates, pole fitness, and cycling classes, among others, are taught in gleaming and spotless studio spaces, while the equipment rooms, packed full of high-quality workout apparatuses, buzz with human-powered energy. Your Groupon is good for 29 whole days of unlimited use of the facilities, so suit up for a month-long treadmill race against yourself on the specialized cardio equipment, ensure your biceps are bulging sufficiently for your upcoming cotillion by pumping iron in the machine and free-weight area, or drop into a dozen or so group sweat-sessions for new friends and tandem exercise encouragement. The gym also offers daycare and a junior fitness program for kids aged 8–12.
To give her students a well-rounded workout, Brandy Daugherty isn't content with teaching one style of Pilates. Instead, she blends the regimen's mat and reformer styles so her students can reap the benefits both of their bodies' own resistance and that of the reformer's series of cables, straps, and pulleys. Backed by a dozen certifications—including in Zumba, personal training, and turbo kickboxing—Brandy leads her students through sessions that blend core-stability work with plyometric moves and resistance training. She also switches up the workouts so that the body can’t adapt, because, like baby Hulks, confused muscles grow more quickly. Brandy holds class as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as 6:30 p.m. to accommodate every schedule, with personal training available on an appointment basis.
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