At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
The manmade, 12-acre lake at Wake Nation Houston was designed for wakeboarding, but there's not a single boat on it. Instead, a system of cables and pulleys whisks wakeboarders along the placid surface in much the same way towropes pull astronauts to the moon. Aided by supportive instructors, beginners learn the fundamentals of the sport with the use of a practice cable on a smaller practice pond before taking to the main lake. More advanced aquatic acrobats, meanwhile, soar off floating jumps and slalom around obstacles.
Despite its name, the park isn't exclusively for wakeboarders. Its cables can just as easily haul visitors on kneeboards, water skis, and wake-skates. Water-shy guests can watch their friends from an observation deck, browse the pro shop, or nosh on snacks from the concession stand.
Trainer and fitness guru Justin Bradshaw modeled SGT. H20's CombatSwim after the rigorous training he received as an Army diver. His challenging exercises encourage full-body fitness, using workouts that build stamina, boost metabolism, improve swimming skills, and promote weight loss. Incorporating the best of land-based cross-training systems, CombatSwim includes plenty of high-intensity interval training and pulse-hiking calisthenics. In the pool, water adds extra resistance that amplifies the effects of the exercises, which include swimming sprints, endurance swimming, and treading water with weights. Designed to sharpen the mind as well as the body, CombatSwim leaves exercisers with the same confidence and conditioning as some of the world's elite military warriors.
Appearances on ESPN?s Redfish Cup and the Gulf Coast Troutmaster circuit are only a sample of the multifarious accolades that dot Captain Steve Auld?s resum?. A paramedic, licensed US Coast Guard captain, and professional angler, Steve is also the owner of Bay Adventures Sportfishing, where he leads as many as 200 fishing trips per year. Armed with included gear, fishing groups set out on Galveston Bay?s salty waters in search of catches such as speckled trout, redfish, and flounder. Groups are also privy to Steve?s special instruction and secrets garnered from years of professional experience, ensuring they don?t make newbie mistakes such as getting too attached to a fish and eloping with it. In addition to his Galveston Bay jaunts, Steve also leads specialty trips such as flounder gigging and guided duck and dove hunts in Mexico.
Pearland Swim Academy’s pool is equipped with a saltwater chlorine generator, which helps cut down on any eye and skin irritation students may experience. In addition, because the generator attempts to match the pH level of human tears, it allows swimmers to think about Old Yeller without anyone noticing. Heated to 90 degrees in an indoor, air-conditioned facility, the pool hosts lessons year-round in the form of two-week camps on a perpetual loop. Coaches are trained in the Pearland Swim Academy curriculum, first aid, and CPR, so they are well equipped to supervise students as they splash around during 30-minute lessons. Kids as young as 6 months can attend classes, and the academy also offers lessons for adults.