Each of YMCA of Western North Carolina's five branches and 19 childcare sites remains true to its lasting mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, caring, responsibility, and respect as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, basketball courts, and personal-training sessions. They’ve also filled their fitness centers with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during cardio-dance and aerobics classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead more than 200 programs, including children’s day camps, after-school programs, and dance classes.
At Curves, exercisers of all fitness levels move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine-maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks, filling medicine balls with medicine, and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines account for different body weights and fitness levels to create resistance that matches one's abilities, which thereby decreases the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
The PCIA-certified climbing instructors at Rock Dimensions lead guests through a variety of vertical activities that range from the in-air discovery course to half-day or full-day rock-climbing excursions. Using their years of rock-climbing experience and local expertise, they teach all levels and ages, and equip guests with harnesses and helmets for all vertical activities.
Laurie Bostian founded Personal Artist Studio as a way to combine her two greatest passions: teaching and art. For more than 25 years, she has specialized in creating custom portraiture and paintings, and her work has traveled to private collections in countries from the United States to Canada to Great Britain to Australia. When Laurie isn't transforming personal pictures into graphite, acrylic, or watercolor keepsakes, she leads weekly art lessons in Lincolnton and Charlotte. Students of all skill levels gather for relaxing, therapeutic creation sessions. Burgeoning artists learn to wield graphite, acrylics, pastels, and watercolors to craft their own masterpieces or awe-inspiring grocery lists.
Race City Raceway houses an arena for hobbyists of all ages and abilities to compete in fun, high-intensity slot-car racing. Visitors can bring their own tiny-scale speedmobile—or borrow a loaner from the raceway’s collection—and slip it into the groove of one of five racetracks for a casual jaunt or a competitive relay. Warm up on the drag strip, a trackway designed to test the true speed and potential time-traveling abilities of each car. Racers can whip around the 155-foot Thunder Road or traverse the 110-foot Beast, a track laden with hairpin turns and ant-size streakers haphazardly darting into the middle of the street. Speedsters who are new to the thrill of slot-car racing can challenge drivers of similar skill on Fridays at 7 p.m.