When rock-climbing couple Christy and Scott Thrift got engaged, Christy was dangling off the side of Stone Mountain. The same adventurous spirit that elevated their engagement informs their married life, which they spend running their wilderness guiding service, Thrifty Adventures. While some of the duo’s trips require previous outdoor experience, most welcome all participants, and range from ice climbing adventures to rock climbing and backpacking trips. Along the way, Scott and Christy teach safety basics, climbing techniques, and strategies for preserving natural surroundings, such as refraining from nibbling on the mountain.
Seven extreme athletes and one Royal Marine banded together to design Spartan Races' intense miles-long courses, each strewn with obstacles to test resilience, stamina, and strength. Clad in event T-shirts, runners collect smudges and stains as they clamber across mud pits, slide unscathed under barbed wire, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as three miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.
Some people are born with a misplaced overabundance of self-confidence, as the popularity of karaoke bars can attest, but most develop the trait by accomplishing feats they never believed they were capable of. The black-belt-wearing, championship-winning instructors that helm ATA Karate’s 6 locations seek to foster that self-confidence by teaching students the art of self-defense in its many forms, including tae kwon do and Krav Maga. With a client base ranging from toddlers to adults, the ATA staff keeps people empowered and fit by demonstrating effective ways to properly punch, kick, and look cool in slow motion. In addition to teaching martial arts, instructors host leadership programs that show kids how to avoid the perils of peer pressure and adults how to maintain order in their lives. They also cover topics such as dealing with bullies and eliminating child abductions in a series of regular workshops.
As a comprehensive gymnastics training center and a USA Gymnastics club member, Carolina Stars Gymnastics takes its tumbling seriously. Kids as young as 18 months can start on the path toward somersaults, roundabouts, and backflips in fun and engaging parent-and-tot classes. Meanwhile, boys and girls of all ages and abilities can find a class perfectly suited for them. In addition to gymnastics, the training center offers karate classes, aerial dance lessons, and birthday parties.
A full-service golf-practice facility, Leatherman Golf Learning Center provides club-wielding cadets a fun venue to hone all facets of their game. Perfect your putter stroke with a round on the complex’s 18-hole mini-golf course, a circuit of slick, boldly contoured surfaces that will test break-reading acumen and depth perception. Assembled around a central stream and waterfall, each hole unveils another fun opportunity to out-putt friends or swindle children out of their candy stash.