Karen Mones's passion for fitness began at a young age, exercising to Jane Fonda videos with her mother. She went on to play softball, earn her bachelor's in exercise and sports science, and obtain six instructor certifications in everything from yoga to strength training. She founded Houston Adventure Boot Camp to share her knowledge and passion for fitness with as many people as possible.
She and her trainers create different regimens each day, taking advantage of the city's natural spaces and natural forces to enhance their workouts. They challenge gravity by having students lift their own bodyweight or free weights. Students plow through the heaviest friction the air can throw at them in sprints, and they hold up under constant pressure from the sun to nap in the middle of a field.
At Leadership Fit, ISSA-certified personal trainer Eric Banks rules with an encouraging fist. During boot camp and personal-training sessions, he motivates exercisers through an assortment of football, weightlifting, and track and field drills. To complement the workouts, he also offers wellness coaching. In addition to providing a fitness plan, wellness coaching provides a meal plan that shows exercisers how many calories and grams of protein, fat, and carbohydrates they need to eat each day and how many they need to throw at the ice-cream man.
Visitors to the Dionsio Winery Wine Festival sample the award-winning rich reds, crisp whites, and sweet fruit wines from a selection of local wineries. Local restaurants and vendors whip up delectable dinners and food pairings, while merchants peddle memorable keepsakes and handmade jewelry. Energetic classic rock outfit Thermal Fusion fills the air with a catchy live soundtrack, as staff fill commemorative wine glasses with endless samples of Dionisio's delicious wines. With food, wine, and tunes provided by Houston-based bands and businesses, the fest is a better way to celebrate the local culture than nibbling sandwichs into the shape of the Astro's stadium.
Travis Tooke's passion for mixed martial arts fueled his decorated competitive grappling and Brazilian-jujitsu careers, which instinctively led him to form Team Tooke Mixed Martial Arts and share his expertise with others. He proudly wears a Gracie Barra black belt and has been a Brazilian-jujitsu and submission-wrestling trainer for more than 12 years, during which he’s mentored renowned UFC fighter Yves Edwards. He and his team of instructors lead students in an array of mixed-martial-arts fitness classes, including kickboxing, Brazilian jujitsu, and wrestling. They offer kids' classes, women's classes, and classes for combat buffs looking to break into the professional mixed-martial-arts world, which used to require locking your resume in a chokehold until it got you a job.
Some believe that you must leave home before you can truly find yourself. The teachers at Yoga House Houston didn't just leave their homes to find themselves—they left their native country, traveling across the globe to India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Jamaica to learn, practice, and master the ancient art of yoga. They impart the wisdom they've gleaned from their journeys within a building whose exterior resembles the clay walls of a Spanish mission. Atop dark hardwood floors, they lead students through Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, hot yoga, and spine-aligning Kemetic yoga, aiming to help yogis sculpt long, lean muscles, improve endurance, and calm fidgety spirit animals.
Houston Caribbean RumFest brings revelers together to learn about the history of rum—but just sipping will do just as well. At this party, rum samples abound, and so do many hallmarks of Caribbean culture. Traditional jerks, curries, and rum-infused bites and cocktails bring added spice to the festivities, while live Caribbean music provides an island soundtrack. Other activities include cocktail classes and painting. Giving rum some more time in the spotlight, the flair bartending contest has drink mixers delighting onlookers with dazzling tricks that delight far better than just gluing a coaster to the bottom of each glass.