Amid the influx of adult-oriented mud runs, obstacle races, and challenges in recent years, Mighty Titan emerged with the novel idea to let kids get in on the action. Mighty Titan events, which are geared toward children aged 4?14, aim to get kids and families moving and spark a passion for fitness in the process.
At these events, youngsters push themselves to run faster and jump higher while overcoming obstacles, including zip lines, walls, and, of course, mud. Kids who complete the challenges exhibit what it takes to be a titan, and they head to the postrace kid-friendly party feeling more accomplished than if they just sat around all day trying to get taller.
Mark's Hallmark hosts unique gifts and Hallmark greeting cards that creatively accent any holiday or special occasion. In the absence of sufficient stashes of construction paper for homemade coupon books, offspring can bestow a Mommy & Me or Grandma & Me keepsake journal upon hard-working matriarchs, both of which include a recording feature where gifters can personalize a message with their own dulcet tones ($24.99 each). Decorative keepsakes such as the Willow Tree Angel of the Heart figurine gift set bequeath knick-knack lovers with a heavenly mantelpiece accent ($14.99), and a trio of candles from Yankee Candle Company greets Mother's Day with aromas of sun and sand, pineapple and cilantro, and lilac blossom ($19.99). New mothers can outfit fresh progeny in a Mud Pie baby outfit ($27.99+).
Personal trainer Nicole Williams founded Allure Dance & Fitness Studio to bring clients closer to their health goals through fitness classes, personal-training sessions, and intense, empowering pole-dancing lessons. Having dubbed the pole "the new dumbbell," Nicole now draws on more than 10 years of experience training everyone from housewives to celebrities as she brings full-body pole workouts to the masses. Nicole and her coterie of instructors specialize in pole dancing, but also lead personal-training sessions and classes that incorporate kickboxing, plyometric, and cardio techniques. Along with classes, Allure hosts private pole parties to sprinkle some spice into birthdays, bachelorette parties, and routine training for streetlight cleaners.
While the fraternity brethren milled about parties discussing Jack Kerouac and sipping cheap lagers, Jack Counts was busy working. In the late 60s, the entrepreneurial college student carved out a niche snapping his shutter during fraternity parties and selling prints dubbed Party Pics to members. Over time, Counts spread his business across multiple campuses, photographing graduation ceremonies and special events and processing the prints in his own lab, Candid Color Systems. With Glamour Shots, Counts’ business yet again expanded from special-events photography to include portrait shoots with an emphasis on flattering female subjects.
At each Glamour Shots shoot, a brigade of expert shutterbugs and cosmetologists gets subjects ready for their close-ups with style-enhancing makeovers and photo shoots that result in high-quality pictures and prints. After a personal consultation with the styling team, clients undergo an airbrushing treatment and hair sculpting. Depending on their package, models strike up to 30 poses, quick-changing into different outfits to capture a spectrum of looks, from professional career woman to professional career woman in a bear costume.
Clients pour over proofs immediately after their session, and a professional lab generates each print on quality Kodak paper within 10 to 12 days after the session, with touchup services available to display pristine complexions. Shots are available in a variety of product forms, including prints, calendars, photo books, and canvas wraps. To ensure that none of the photos evaporates from living memory, a slideshow presentation houses the proofs of the entire day's shoot and sets it to music or field recordings of yaks performing Beethoven.
Before he studied fitness at Purdue, Chris Tedesco learned the subtle art of inspiring others during a trek through the dessert. As a Marine squad leader, he needed to keep up morale while getting his troops to march across 36 miles of arid wilderness with him. This same determination saw him straight through to three Ironman Platoon championships. Today, as owner and founder of BodyQuest Personal Training, he brings those heat-honed lessons with him to each session, just as he did when he helped a snowboarder recover from near total-lower-body paralysis.
He and his team of four dedicated trainers partner up with clients, getting to know them, their eating habits, and their fitness goals to help them lead healthier lives. They constantly vary exercises via a circuit designed to keep bodies burning fat long after the workout and even tailor training-session soundtracks to suit clients' whims, so long as those whims don't include whale songs as covered by an eccentric theremin player. The exposed brick walls of his gym feature wooden sculpture and wall hangings that capture the feeling of motion, perhaps subliminally inspiring patrons to push themselves.
Owner Holly Elswick combines her experience as a personal trainer and her extensive knowledge of yoga and Pilates to put together Fierce Fitness By Design's eclectic schedule of fitness classes. Patrons can opt to gracefully increase strength and flexibility in barre and Pilates classes. After each sweat session, patrons may retire to the onsite spa, where massage therapists soothe soreness acquired from the day’s activity. Specialists go even further in one-hour Escape sessions, which aim to pacify the body and spirit with a mix of guided imagery, meditation, and naps on piles of freshly laundered socks.