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.
Everybody knows how much kids love playing in the mud, and the organizers behind the Muddy Cheer Challenge have created a fun run that encourages adults to run, splash, and craw across a course sprinkled with obstacles and lots and lots of mud.
Of course, runners can always skip certain obstacles, but in return, they must be prepared to do a dance or get sprayed with a water gun. While participants conquer the sloppy course, volunteers, families, and friends show their support on the sidelines by cheering wildly and collectively blowing to push runners forward.
Once everyone has crossed the finish line, an after party celebrates the day with music, games, contests, and food. A portion of the profits from each run goes to benefit a local charity.
Of the 58 acres that make up River Bend Golf Course, nearly 10% lie within federally protected wetlands, which course architect William J. Spears incorporated into eight of the course's nine holes. When water isn't a concern, the par 36 course and its bent-grass tees, greens, and fairways challenge players to make decisions involving course management, club selection, and which divot to bring in to the office for show-and-tell.
Working with junior-high and high-school athletes in the Lisle and Naperville area, ESP Athletics teaches the fundamental tools and skills necessary to catch the eyes of coaches, college recruiters, and pro scouts. Working with the notion that athletes can be trained to become quicker, faster, and more explosive, ESP runs programs aimed to help them outperform their competitors and outrun their evil shadows.
In the summer, most people flock to Meadows Swim & Tennis Club to enjoy the heated pools. The club has three of them?a six-lane lap pool, a junior pool, and a baby pool?as well as trained lifeguards on staff. But there's no shortage of activities out of the water. Guests can make rivals on one of two tennis courts or fuel festivities around the firepit and pig roaster.
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.