The Chicago White Sox have some truly dedicated fans. In 1994, the team decided to reach out to the youngsters who worshipped their footwear. They sought to provide kids with the same conditioning and training they honed their skills with, so they started a sports-training summer camp. In a mere seven years, demand for the trainers' services necessitated that the program conduct year-round sessions in all types of sports, and the Bulls/Sox Academy was born.
Taught by the trainers who spend their life making sure that the Sox and Bulls are ready to hit the field or court, Bulls/Sox Academy's lessons bring professional techniques to aspiring athletes. Baseball programs teach functional speed movements for high-speed base stealing and help kids build the upper-body strength to knock balls out of the park and through the windshield of their least favorite neighbor's minivan. The basketball course divvies up training between shooting, skills, and defensive play. The fast-pitch softball teachers—both former professional players and longtime coaches—arm students to beat back high-velocity pitches without hurting the ball's feelings.
With an indoor lap pool, full basketball court, strength equipment, and 90 cardio stations filling its 40,000-square-foot facility, LifeStart at Central Park aims to be a one-stop fitness haven for the community. Cardio Theater equipment entertains brains as members run on treadmills, scale stair steppers, and tone legs on elliptical machines. Lifters can supplement their reps on the facility's arsenal of strength-training equipment with more than two-tons worth of free weights. After workouts, they can wipe away sweat with the complimentary towel service before relaxing in the whirlpool or deciphering the original US Constitution on Jefferson's antique mirror in the sauna and steam room.
When they're not leading personal-training sessions, instructors cartwheel over to LifeStart at Central Park's two spacious group exercise studios to helm fitness classes. In addition to leading cycling sessions, instructors demonstrate Zumba's easy-to-follow moves to the backdrop of global music and fortify core muscles in Pilates.
Pump It Up's two indoor inflatable arenas bounce socked striplings high off the ground with a plethora of kid-friendly bounce pads. Trained, amiable staffers supervise fun-filled visits where parents can leap around with their kids through gargantuan, air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Attendees can also focus their free play for special events, such as custom birthday parties and themed, private team parties. These themed soirees immerse children in a schedule of interactive activities befitting a pirate or a superhero while melting off youthful energy faster than ice cubes thrown into a running DVD player. Both giant arenas are climate controlled and maintained according to rigorous guidelines enforced by the well-trained staff and local police. Supplementing its thorough rule enforcement with expert installation and anchoring, Pump It Up holds itself to strict safety standards.
Each season, more than 222,000 plants change color at The Morton Arboretum?an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois. However, key to this arboretum's success is allowing its 4,300 taxa from around the world to bloom in environments conducive to their natural growth. With plants originating from 40 countries in the northern hemisphere, a trip through 1,700 acres is like a trip across America, China, and Europe. Throughout the year, scores of tree-focused events, activities, and services for adults, children, and professionals keep nature enthusiasts engaged and educated. In addition to 16 miles of walking trails and nine miles of roads, guests can also seek new info at the Visitor's Center, relax for a bite to eat at the Ginkgo Restaurant and Caf?, take the little ones to the four-acre Children?s Garden, get lost in the one-acre maze, or walk around the paved trail at Meadow Lake.
Since 1976, Riedy's Tee Time Golf Range's PGA professional instructors have helped people shave strokes from their games on an outdoor driving range. Ultramodern mats anchor golfers as they grace Riedy’s well-manicured grass tees with golf balls plucked from a bucket or the throat pouch of a pelican. Always onsite, Reidy’s instructors can aid players in achieving the ideal arch for their swing or understanding the basics of swing mechanics during personalized lessons.
Anchored by owner and certified personal trainer Damon Burrell, Heaven and Hell Bootcamp's staff of workout wonks help clients conquer fitness goals in group boot-camp classes and private training sessions. With a regimen of 15 boot-camp classes lasting 40–45 minutes and held every weekday—as well as three Saturday morning sessions—Heaven and Hell keeps chests heaving, heart rates thumping, and sequined leotards shimmering at a rate that suits almost any schedule. The high-octane group workouts change each day, but typically feature agility training, calisthenics, cardio exercise, and core strengthening achieved by hoisting dumbbells, jumping rope, and stealing medicine balls from the nests of predatory birds of flight. For more individualized attention, the gym plumbs the murky depths of clients' fitness capacities to craft custom training regimens for use in private personal-training sessions.