Motivating, highly trained staff and spacious facilities complement Charter Fitness's battalion of cardio machines and strength-training equipment. Huge flat-screen TVs motivate gym-goers as they lift weights, stationary bikes, and their reflections in large mirrors. Seasoned personal trainers who all hold certifications or four-year degrees in their specialty guide members through an initial personal-training session, introducing clients to the best equipment for their fitness goals. After workouts, private showers or public water fountains sluice away sweat.
Over the past two centuries, the historic town of Hobbard has stayed current without losing any of its small town charms. The Professional Edge salon is no exception. Through the classic hair studio's period storefront, wood accents and cabinetry offer an old-time feel, while skilled stylists maintain hair modernity with Redken brand products. Clients may also retreat to a private room for the Swedish strokes and deep-tissue pressure of licensed massage therapist Jennifer Ivezic.
At Yoga by Gretchen, students from all walks of life find inspiration to foster their personal growth, physical fitness, and mental clarity. Gretchen and her team of instructors lead up to 25 students in yoga classes based in the Hatha and Vinyasa traditions, accommodating a variety of needs and goals. Beginner classes introduce students to yoga basics, Booty Ab yoga provides a more traditional fitness-class routine to tone bodies, and vigorous Vinyasa flow classes strengthen and stretch muscles with a series of challenging postures connected by focused breaths. In addition to yoga, the instructors also lead Pilates, Zumba, and kickboxing/boxing classes, in which ladies learn self-defense techniques to protect themselves from punching-bag assailants. Kids are welcome in the studio as well, laying the foundation for a lifetime of wellness with kids Zumba, hip-hop, and teen yoga.
Board certified in family medicine, Dr. Faiz Shareef believes good health requires a multidisciplinary approach that addresses physical and emotional needs. To create an environment that caters to all aspects of holistic well-being, he assembled staff members who specialize in everything from aesthetics and massage to fitness and weight loss. The technicians refine skin tone and texture with laser treatments, and the fitness instructors bolster confidence while leading core-toning and limb-lengthening yoga, Pilates, and Zumba classes. Bodywork services, such as therapeutic massage and acupuncture, target the chronic aches and pains caused by daily stress or nightly caber-toss competitions, and the center’s weight-loss plans motivate patients to live healthier lifestyles.
During the Gary SouthShore RailCats' inaugural season in 2002, the players spent an estimated 200 hours on buses—traveling approximately 12,000 miles without their own ballpark to call home. Indeed, the diamond at U.S. Steel Yard was still under construction, forcing the team to play its entire first season on the road. But while the trip could have been a rocky way for an organization to start out, it instead forecasted a wild ride ahead in which the RailCats never stopped moving. After just four years, the RailCats captured their first Northern League title, marking the first of five straight appearances in the championship series—a Northern League record.
Despite that first year away from home, the RailCats seem to have settled in well at U.S. Steel Yard. Within the park, views of the South Shore commuter train remind fans of the team's origins, and a 55-foot scoreboard towers over left-centerfield in much the same way early pitchers once towered over batters from atop a stack of milk crates.