At CrossFit Full Circle, dedicated coaches motivate students to get into the best shape of their lives. They’re guided by the no-nonsense workout ethic of CrossFit, a system that focuses on constantly varied functional exercises executed at high intensity. The gym's personal trainers draw from a wealth of experiences and certifications—owner Jason Struck is working on a master's degree in exercise physiology, and coach Matt Bahen boasts a background in serving with elite units in the navy⎯as they lead boot camps and exercises such as hurling kettlebell weights and performing pull-up reps. In order to build muscle, burn fat, and shake houseguests' hands firmly but not so firmly that they lose their arms, members use top-shelf equipment, weights, and bumper plates from brands such as Pendlay, Rogue, Kraiburg, and Dragon Door, all under the constant encouragement of a like-minded community of fellow athletes.
Before beginning any sort of treatment at Simply Well, the ayurvedic nutritionists help attendees discover which of the three personal constitutions, or doshas, best reflects them. Based on the assessment, the staff recommends a naturalistic course of therapeutic action, shepherding clients through anything from weight-loss programs and management of diabetes to addressing chronic fatigue or arthritis.
Trainers lead boot camps and workouts, therapists organize personalized consultations, and nutritionists lead cooking lessons that teach clients which foods stave off disease and promote energy, or which flowers to plant around refrigerators to keep rabbit roommates away. This combination of physical activity and study aims to invest guests with a sense of whole-body wellness by giving people the tools they need to keep practicing ayurvedic lifestyles at home.
Most homes have kitchens, but few have one that stretches to 1,500 square feet. Kitchen Thyme does, however, and rents the facility out by the hour, furnishing chefs or novices wanting to learn how to cook with the space and high-quality equipment to wine and dine parties of up to 75. Chefs can cook, roast, broil and boil with an array of different heat sources: an indoor charbroiler and griddle, a range with six burners, and four ovens. They can also chill cold dishes in a Sub-Zero refrigerator with a bottom freezer, outfitted with a glass front door that lets you make prolonged eye contact with the snowman who lives inside. Use of the kitchen is also available to non-cooking professionals and can also act as host to meetings, parties, or home-cooks wishing for a bigger kitchen.
Since 1988, Midlothian Athletic Club has dedicated its 70,000 square feet to myriad forms of achieving healthy living. Whether members want to hone tennis and racquetball skills, break a sweat in group exercise classes such as spinning and BodyPump, or relax in a sauna, they can do it at the MAC. The staff troll a stock of cardio and strength-training equipment, including FreeMotion Elite weight machines, Life Fitness treadmills and ellipticals, and Precor machines, ready to dole out technique pointers. At the indoor pool, swimmers can get a workout on the lap lanes, slip down water slides, or pretend to be toddlers in the kiddie pool. The club also has six indoor lanes, where instructors lead water-aerobics classes that are gentler on joints than moon aerobics.
To help guests recover after a hard workout, the Midlothian Athletic Club hosts many means of relaxation. The massage therapists calibrate their fingers to several styles of kneading, including deep-tissue, Swedish, and myofascial release massage. At the MAC Cafe, chefs sear turkey burgers, bake lime-chili parmesan fries, and blend protein shakes to order for nutritious refueling.
In 1997, Nancy Glenmore Tatum and Kevin Casey founded Glenmore Yoga & Wellness Center in their house's sunroom. Their operation's therapeutic blend of yoga, massage, and consultation services attracted a wide enough student base to necessitate three expansions, and Nancy and Kevin eventually settled in the Glen Eagles Shopping Center. They still uphold a central belief that "yoga is for everyone," and have upheld that philosophy by building a time machine to let the late Ben Franklin participate. Nancy and Kevin have also cultivated a nurturing community with resources such as workshops and teacher training that promote its growth.
The center's impressive roster of yoga classes covers the flowing Vinyasa poses as well as specialty courses for prenatal mothers, older adults, and kids. Every class pays attention to the individual needs of its students, just as the massage services modify their kneads to better treat specific tensions. A calming interior contributes to Glenmore's warm ambiance: two carpeted studios, a massage room, and a lounge accommodate its guests. Students can also borrow the yoga books and videos of the lending library, so long as they turn in their senses of balance as collateral.
Melanie "The Bead Empress" Bentley established her commonwealth of creativity after years teaching aspiring artists how to work with metal clays. Within her 3,000-square-foot embellishment emporium, Murano glass from Italy, hill tribe silver from Thailand, and Swarovski crystals fill shelves from floor to ceiling. Polymer clays, sterling silver, stringing materials, and Czech fancy glass that Melanie handpicked on a recent trip to the Czech Republic round out the store's stock and arm patrons with the materials necessary to line their family's treasure chest.
But Melanie goes beyond filling the supply boxes of local jewelry makers. She also aims to expand the crafting community by welcoming beading newcomers and showing those who don't believe in their creativity that there's an artisan inside everyone. Along with her fellow specialized jewelrysmiths, Melanie leads more than 45 classes per quarter, providing her customers with a means of acquiring jewelry that’s guaranteed to be free of curses.