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.
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.
With a mission to instill respect for healthy eating at an early age, Healthy Little Chef hosts children?s cooking lessons that focus on nutritious ingredients. Hosted by a cooking instructor with more than 20 years of experience, the classes teach basic cooking skills by guiding students through recipes that utilize gluten-free organic ingredients.
Former professional driver and expert instructor Randy Baker and his team have been guiding drivers toward greatness for more than 20 years; past pupils include Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Jeff and Ward Burton, and the shadowy pit mechanic known only as Racer X. At SpeedTech Auto Racing School, Randy combines a fleet of super-speedy rides—authentic, metal-bodied vehicles boasting 650-horsepower V-8 engines—with a serious emphasis on safety to prepare drivers for any mishap on the track. Gearheads, speed junkies, and people who still sleep in a racecar bed despite their adult children's protestations soak up Randy's knowledge during one of SpeedTech's many race programs, varying in length from 3 laps to more than 100. With the school's built-in HD video feeds, drivers can commemorate their laps or prove to the family car it's been cheating on them with the hotel's valet.
The NASCAR Racing Experience's team of driving instructors specializes in NASCAR-themed Cinderella stories: at whichever world-famous speedway they're visiting, they give civilians the chance to drive real NASCAR race cars that have actually been raced by NASCAR superstars for a few hours. That means getting behind the wheel of a real NASCAR race car that's been driven by Dale Jr, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and other NASCAR favorites and putting the pedal to the medal. Unlike other racing experiences, there?s no lead car to follow here, you're driving by yourself and yes, passing is allowed! The instructors still offer guidance though, coaching those driving solo over a two-way car radio, and speed-chauffeuring racing enthusiasts around the track on ride-alongs.
ComedySportz Improv Theater's best known for its resident troupe of comedians, called The Playerz. They comprise two teams?the Richmond Legends and the Virginia Hams?who duke it out onstage in improv battles for audience laughs and official points. Their duels, though colorful, remain all-ages friendly, and the wide range of appeal has consistently landed them on Style Weekly's Best of Richmond lists.
Aside from performances, however, they also hold camps and workshops to help new improvisers discover a love for made-up scenes and silly songs. They generally start kids off with one-week camps that meet Tuesday - Friday and culminate in a performance for family and friends. Students who are interested can then pursue a more in-depth education in the Intro to Improv Training Series, which teaches techniques for finding a story, developing characters, and disabling your ability to memorize things. Ultimately, improvisers enter the ComedySportz leagues, where they engage in casual, supportive ComedySportz shows with friends and bring smiles to faces.