As a busy student at the University of Kentucky, Nathan Spitz needed a quick and effective workout that he could squeeze into his demanding schedule of classes. That was how he discovered CrossFit?an innovative fitness program that involves an ever-changing tapestry of high-intensity workouts consisting of functional movements. Nathan Spitz became so enamored with the exercise form, he went on to pursue a CrossFit instructor certification. Today, he's a coach at CrossFit Maximus.
With three locations in Lexington, a 9,800-square-foot facility on Palumbo Drive, a 7,000-square-foot facility at National and North Ashland Avenues, and the new location at East Vine and Rose Street, CrossFit Maximus boasts onsite massage centers, a childcare center (not available at the National Avenue location), CrossFit classes, ZONE classes, and nutrition classes. During sessions, they draw from the gym?s arsenal of functional strength-training equipment, including free weights, medicine balls, and slack lines. Through group training and support, the team strives to create a communal atmosphere where everyone knows your name and a supportive space where everyone refrains from menacingly whispering it in unison.
Now in its third year, the Kentucky Reining Cup gallops back into Alltech Arena for two days of equine competition. Riders from across the globe descend upon Lexington, each vying for more than $100,000 in total prize money and a taste of the golden salt lick during Friday's three-star reining contest and Saturday's freestyle championship. Grammy-winning country-music legend and horse breeder Lyle Lovett is set to compete for the third straight year, and rider Tim McQuay hopes to add another first-place finish to his iconic career. A judged event designed to showcase the athletic abilities of horses on a larger stage, reining calls for riders and their steeds to perform in a series of patterns, from small, slow circles and 360-degree spins to the elusive galloping moonwalk. In freestyle riding, man-and-beast duos trot in choreographed moves set to music. Meanwhile, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. each day, a large gathering of merchants sells goods, clothing, jewelry and art at the Sponsor Village and Trade Fair.
As the sounds of stuck landings echo off gym walls, owner and former University of Kentucky cheerleader John Ireland and Lexington Gymnastics and Cheerleading’s seasoned instructors share show-stopping routines and techniques with aspiring athletes ages 5–14 years old. One-hour daytime or evening classes fill kids with body-moving know-how, from beginning cheer’s introductory rah-rah routines to gymnastics classes’ balance-improving bar and beam work. Beginning tumbling lessons prepare bodies for the turbulent world of floor exercises. The trained staffers at Lexington Gymnastics and Cheerleading can accommodate special-needs children, ensuring a welcoming environment for a diverse crowd.
Day camp sessions focus on gymnastics, cheerleading, all sports, or circus activities. Summer camp instructors supply lunch every Friday, and take kids on field trips every week. During field trips, students may play laser tag, hike through scenic areas, or mount horses and gallop into the sunset and back.
The Art Museum at the University of Kentucky showcases more than 4,500 masterpieces including American and European paintings, photographs, and sculpture. Oil and watercolors grace canvases by artists from around the world, including the American impressionist painting Bucks County Winter by Edward Willis Redfield and the Italian Baroque painting Madonna and Child with St. John by Agostino Carracci. The collection’s three-dimensional art forms also span the centuries, with examples of Native American ceremonial robes and a variety of outdoor sculptures that call upon contemporary amalgamations of steel, bronze, and stone. Traveling exhibitions, lecture series, and annual events aim to inspire as well as to create opportunities for patrons to gain new perspectives on how to best arrange a bowl of fruit.
The Kentucky Arts Council, in conjunction with state of Kentucky, packs 30 years’ worth of experience and excitement into Kentucky Crafted: The Market, and it shows. The weekend festival collects more than 200 exhibitors from all walks of self-expression, be they artists, musicians, artisanal food products, or writers. They populate the expansive halls of the Lexington Convention Center with their handmade artwork, giving the public a chance to interact with them, order custom artworks, or just see and sample some goods. After navigating aisles full of artful sights, sounds, and smells, guests can relax and catch a concert at the Kentucky Stage music festival, a simultaneous event that collects beloved musicians from across the state. With all of this activity, its no wonder that the Southeast Tourism Society has named the festival one of the top 20 events in the region for each of the past 15 years.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.