It didn't take long for the first professional hockey team in Evansville to make their mark; in just their second year in the All American Hockey League, in 2010, the fledgling IceMen won the Davidson Cup in seven games. Though that first clan of IceMen has since gone extinct, the team soon resurrected as part of the ECHL, where they serve as the minor-league affiliate of both the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Saint Louis Blues. During games, fans fill the 9,400-seat Ford Center arena as the polar-bear mascot, Blizzard, entertains crowds and teaches children of the dangers of costume warming.
Strength and conditioning specialist Tony Maslan—who is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist as well as a 1998 Junior American Deadlift Record holder—knows the importance of safe and well-rounded fitness practices. The former Marine Corps Reserves sergeant and overseas infantry squad leader leads a team of more than 15 certified trainers in their mission to help individual fitness-seekers, children, and corporate clients break unhealthy habits. This goal-oriented staff emphasizes accountability and measurable results during one-on-one and group training sessions as they reshape clients’ waistlines with kettlebells and deadlifts, as well as intense challenges such as sparring and pulling a truck using only their pinky finger. The on-staff nutrition counselor bolsters these results with comprehensive nutrition guidance, and posts diverse recipes online as well. Of this, Maslan stated that he "knew we needed to help clients go beyond the microwave." To help keep their clients from returning to their previous lifestyles, these trainers also host online, in-home, and sport-specific training.
Maslan and his team believe in giving back to the community, so they occasionally host charity events to benefit the missions of the Wounded Warrior Project, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and 911 Gives Hope.
Nitro Fitness's juxtaposition of silvery fitness machinery and inviting atmosphere displays the center's dedication to maintaining an ultra-modern fitness facility while curating a chummy exercise community. A three-month pass unlocks 24-hour access to the facility, with 12 staffed hours to further ensure assistance and oversight by friendly trainers accommodating guests across the athleticism spectrum. Patrons can oust unwanted calories with cardio equipment such as treadmills and steppers, or chisel muscles by playing patty cake with a fleet of TuffStuff resistance machines and free weights. Along with solo workouts, exercisers can enlist in group classes, including yoga, BoxFit, Tri-Fit, and Zumba. After fitness classes, students can venture to the gym’s locker rooms, which house large, walk-in showers for freshening up post-workout or testing the efficacy of a recently purchased umbrella.
Safety-certified guides lead their human-powered flotillas on tours down meandering paths of natural wonder, educating paddlers about the local wildlife and riparian ecology of the Evansville area. Pleasure-seeking pairs can escape the stresses of the city without traveling far, as the tour’s waterways pump aquatic lifeblood straight through the heart of Evansville and serve as a wildlife oasis. Intimate groups of six or Troy-bound armies of up to 28 can take to the gentle currents on a daytime tour highlighting Pigeon Creek’s wildlife, from its majestic birds and waterfowl to its feral psychic Pokémon. Moonlight paddles highlight the area’s active nocturnal ecology, with tours at Hovey Lake weaving through a half-submerged forest of bald cypress trees and trips through the Blue Grass Fish and Wildlife Area offering a glimpse into Loon Pit, a designated nesting area and asylum for deranged waterfowl.
The trainers and technicians at Body Makeover eschew fitness fads for nutritional advice, aesthetic treatments, and workouts. Spray tans prepare newly chiseled bodies for games of hide-and-seek in bronze sculpture gardens, and skin-tightening body wraps employ a detoxifying slimming formula to flatten stomachs and add firmness to skin. Alternating sounds echo throughout the gym, where personal trainers plot individualized routines for their clients and oversee the safe execution of each weight lift or lunge. Depending on the customer’s personal fitness plan, the trainer may suggest the gym’s signature 30-minute super-circuit workout, which positions strength-training exercises against an aural backdrop of motivational music.
Since joining the Frontier League in 1996, the Otters have shattered several of the league's records while sending dozens of signees to the MLB. In 2005, the club became the first in the league to record a million total fans in attendance—a vote of confidence that led the Otters, in the the subsequent season, to repay Evansville with its first Frontier League championship. The team passed another milestone in 2012, becoming the first FL team to rack up 700 wins, still a far cry from matching some local 7-year-olds' kickball record of infinity wins. Opened in 1915, the Otters' home turf, Bosse Field, enjoys its own legacy of storied moments, most notably its use during the filming of A League of Their Own.