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.
In founding BluFlex Fitness, couples Mike and Chris and Jimmy and Kristina help clients lead healthier lives through nontraditional workouts that engage the entire body. Here, recreational gear becomes workout equipment in SurfSet classes. Patrons balance on stationary, but wobbly, surf boards, forging chiseled core muscles with every minute movement, much like a hummingbird that never sleeps. TRX training sessions pit exercisers against their own body weight as they suspend from systems of straps and pulleys, and yoga classes help guests achieve lean, stretchy physiques while also lowering stress levels. For those who prefer a more one-on-one experience, the team of instructors also lead personal-training sessions.
Alfonso Ayala, who's been snapping photos for more than a decade and has professional graphic-design experience, loves to capture life's happiest moments, which is why he specializes in wedding and family photography. He also loves the technical aspect of photography and spends his free time experimenting with lights, equipment, and accessories, such as lens toupees, to figure out what steps he needs to take to capture the best image. Artful close-ups, classic portraits, and candid kisses pepper his portfolio, which represents a range of wedding vignettes.