Heather O'Neill is a renaissance woman. She started her career as a mathematician, and then developed a strong interest in fitness after becoming a mother. She made a complete career change, racking up certifications and innumerable hours of exercise experience, before becoming the owner of South Pointe Fitness Club. Today, Heather oversees a variety of fitness services ranging from personal training to group fitness classes such as yoga, kickboxing, cycling, Pilates, and just lying on your back and staring at the ceiling fan sessions.
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, running 2,180 miles over mountains, rocky slopes, and deep valleys. Since it was established in 1925, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has cared for the trail, maintaining 250,000 acres of public land. The organization educates hikers on Leave No Trace camping and why it's not a good idea to challenge a bear to a hugging contest.
Volunteers and trail crews build and repair shelters along the footpath and engage youth and community members in outdoor activities. In addition to these human-oriented services, the ATC works to protect endangered species living along the trail and to preserve the land's watershed streams and migratory corridor.
Ron Layman's decorative indoor-painting instruction harks back to thousands of years of artisans' decorative and faux-finishing techniques. Drawing from the colorful traditions of neoclassical plaster finishes and trompe l’oeil techniques, his methods build on the past while incorporating modern styles of glazing and color washing. His commissioned work can be seen in private homes and commercial locales, and when he's not imbuing work and living spaces with his talents, Ron teaches multiple-day workshops in The Faux School studio nestled in Frederick's historical district.
Drawing on 20 years of experience as a master painter with the North American Decorative Artist Association and boasting the ability to spell Michelangelo, Ron guides artists of all levels through basic and advanced home-design techniques, incorporating paint, textured finishes, and lime-based Venetian plasters, which add depth to plain walls and floors. Ron also helps his students to explore new approaches to home decoration, with lessons that help students to take control of their environments or take steps toward forming their own home-decorating businesses, regardless of prior artistic experience.
CEO Peter Harvey believes that a quality gym staff must demonstrate more than technical expertise. "Service doesn't only mean showing someone how to do an arm curl," he says. Certified personal trainers develop workouts that zero in on each person’s specific goals, giving clients the skills to pole-vault over impassable plateaus. By steadfastly refusing to hand out fish in favor of putting on master classes in fishing, they help clients become self-sufficient, educating them on fundamentals.
During these one-on-one sessions, and in solo workouts, guests set calories ablaze atop rows of continually updated equipment. Treadmills, recumbent bikes, and strength-training tools line the walls.
Members can also drop in for as many group classes as they can muster. Inside a separate studio, stationary cycles whir in time with galvanizing music, kickboxing strikes arc through the air, and barbells rise with each BodyPump rep. For more meditative practices, Pilates sessions and several types of yoga enhance flexibility and focus.
Pump It Up's indoor inflatable arena rockets socked striplings high above a pair of inflatable party arenas chock-full of kid-friendly bounce pads. For a quintet of fun-filled visits, young whippersnappers can skip down air-filled slides and defy gravity in gargantuan bounce houses with five pop-in play passes. Enjoying free entry, parents can observe their young's playtime—taking thorough notes on techniques that can use improvement—or opt for a Parents Night Out evening, relinquishing children 5 and older to Pump It Up’s dedicated supervision 6 p.m.–9 p.m. on select evenings.
Liberty Road Golf Center's multifaceted facilities help golfers fine-tune swings with every club in their bag. Piercing drives, pinpoint approaches, and remote-controlled flop shots take flight from the Center's 20-stall driving range before touching down in a field peppered with yardage-marked flags and realistic faux bunkers to simulate on-course targets. A stint at the short-game practice area preps clubbers for a round at the nine-hole, par 3 course, where players launch tee shots onto slick, artificial greens and punish egotistical drivers by making them sit out for the round. While practice areas sharpen swings, master club tinkerer Mark J. Diley re-grips, re-shafts, and repairs clubs, and the center offers rental drivers and 6-irons for those without their own set. The Center also encompasses outdoor batting cages, where mechanical hurlers sling softballs and baseballs at eight different speed settings.