After Randy Woody lost his aunt and grandmother to diabetes and obesity, he became increasingly distressed about his own 320-pound frame. He began researching weight loss and strength training and set to work creating a healthier lifestyle for himself—all at the age of 13. Over the years he was able to whittle away 145 pounds, and eventually became a personal trainer, competitive bodybuilder, and member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He teamed up with Brenda Woody, a fitness trainer and motivational speaker, to start Michigan Women Boot Camp, a weight-loss program that has transformed the lives and bodies of more than 10,000 clients.
Six days a week, the indoor boot-camp sessions challenge students with a rotating lineup of light running, resistance training, obstacle courses, and core exercises. Like scaffolding that reads only transcendentalist literature, the environment is supportive, yet serious. The Woodys only expect campers to perform to their individual ability level, but they ask students to show up as often as five times a week to get real results. The approach must be working; the Woodys boast that approximately 85% of their members are repeat visitors.
Feet dance up and down the six electric strips that run across a 4,200-square-foot raised floor amid shouts of “En garde!” and blunted foils whipping through the air, meeting each other with the piercing ring of steel on steel or glancing off of padded vests. This scene takes place each weeknight at Salle d'Etroit Fencing Academy, where coaches Ben Schleis, Rebecca Keeling, and Jon Zelkowski teach the finer points of fencing, a sport originally developed by the French as an excuse to wear white after Bastille Day. The experts preside over classes for adults and youths, teaching them to wield foils, épées, and sabers.
In addition to organizing classes, the United States Fencing Association–sanctioned club hosts tournaments and matches pupils with new and used equipment at the pro shop. Should their weapons have issues after being used to clean whales' teeth, students can drop by the armory, where technicians take care of rewiring blades and other fixes.
In 1955, the world saw many famous firsts: President Eisenhower hosted the first televised presidential news conference, Gunsmoke began its legendary run, and Fortney Eyecare Associates opened its first practice. Today, a quintet of locations hosts board-certified doctors of optometry ready to keep Detroit peepers healthy and focused. After thorough exams, patients can decamp to Fortney’s frame shops, which house designer eyewear from labels including Ray-Ban, Prada, Nike, and Versace.
In addition to general eyewear, the practice also specializes in safety eyewear, working with businesses to supply and repair the type of industrial eyewear that's best for each workplace or astigmatic traffic cones. The national administrator of General Motors' prescription safety eyewear program since 1992, Fortney was hailed GM’s Supplier of the Year for its no-nonsense professional chops.
The therapists at wellness center First Oriental Therapy Center help bodies and minds heal with professional and relaxing massage and acupuncture services. While they?re versed in traditional massage techniques?such as Swedish, deep tissue, and hot stone?therapists also reduce headaches with cranio-sacral therapy and release bad energy by caressing acupressure points. All treatments are designed to help steer clients toward healthy living and balance in the body, often alongside relaxation and pain-management. Likewise, their acupuncture treatments correct imbalanced pathways with thin needles placed at the body?s energy hotspot.
The mechanics at Town N Country Bikes work on a steady stream of two wheelers, maintaining old rides, fixing flats, and helping customers find the perfect new bike for their body and lifestyle. Across their two locations, the showrooms are stocked with brand-new road, hybrid, and mountain bikes from brands that include Specialized, Fuji, and KHS, as well as a host of components to upgrade or alter existing cycles. Clients can drop in for tune-ups that range from basic fixes such as truing wheels and brake adjustments to more thorough tunes where cable housing is replaced with cable mansions.
HealthQuest's nonsurgical treatments have raised many eyebrows in the sports world, especially around the locker rooms at Ford Field. The center often finds itself the temporary home to some of Detroit's gridiron greats, who take advantage of the staff's non-invasive chiropractic treatments—which combine the power of pulsed laser light and traditional chiropractic care to alleviate knots and aches—to stay in Sunday shape. Non-football clients also find relief, consulting with HealthQuest's doctors on treatments to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, and promote soft tissue healing.