Sharon Owens lowers the bulb of an ornament into the sharp blue flame of her workstation’s torch, heating the glass until it glows a vibrant yellow. Applying the skills she learned in her schooling at Purdue University, her three-year apprenticeship, and her studies with a host of artisan glassworkers, she presses her mouth to the piece’s hollow stem. Whatever shape it will take, only she knows.
This scene has been a regular occurrence at Inspired Fire since 2002, when Sharon founded her studio in her hometown of Lafayette. The workshop is equipped for all manners of projects, including 4 kilns, 12 torches, and, most importantly, air conditioning. The shop’s staff oversees classes for beginners and advanced glassworkers, as well as offering the space for crafters unable to find the “glass” setting on their microwaves.
Opening doors for 24 hours a day, seven days a week is an exhausting proposition for any doorman, unless he's a robot. That's why Anytime Fitness?having redirected its robot budget into tanning beds, and cardio equipment with built-in TVs?installed a keycard-activated security system instead. The electronic guardian keeps gym members secure while admitting them at any time of day or night for their workouts.
During daylight hours, certified instructors incinerate calories with group fitness classes or Latin-inspired Zumba dancercise. Personal trainers coach clients in one-on-one sessions, tailoring regimens to each individual's level of fitness, past injuries, or number of tentacles. To relax after workouts, staffed tanning beds stand by to bronze bodies.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students? inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio?s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters?many of them local artists?provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio?s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
It’s hard to imagine a trainer more dedicated to fitness than Josh Kuklak, the owner of Survival Fitness Gym. An ACE-certified personal trainer, Josh holds state records in powerlifting on the bench-press and deadlift platforms, and has also competed in hockey, tennis, karate, and weight training. Along with Diana Fisbeck, also an ACE-certified trainer, he leads boot camp-style workouts that call upon muscle confusion—through constantly varied routines—to promote building strength and melting fat.
Their boot camps fuse cardio, resistance training, and plyometrics into workouts that change every day to prevent workout burnout. Leaving treadmills and weight machines behind, the sessions incorporate a slew of nontraditional fitness equipment. Students might flip oversize tires and hang from gymnastics rings one day, and then heave sledgehammers and box heavy bags until they cry uncle the next. Their basic-training class focuses on core work and endurance, and strength training blends elements of powerlifting, bodybuilding, and functional training to pack on muscle and annihilate fat. The fitness duo also leads personal-training sessions, motivating clients to reach their goals and harmonizing with them during workout songs.
At Carmel Total Fitness? 20,000-square-foot facility rows of cardio machines, strength-training equipment, and free weights stretch as far as the eye can see. The enthused staff of certified personal trainers eagerly await clients to design one-on-one training sessions or to answer questions from members as they fly through their own self-devised regimes. The center offers more than 40 fitness classes, such as Pilates mat, power core, yoga, heart race cycle, and Zumba are held in the wood-floored fitness studio, while pickup games of dodgeball, racquetball, or Red Rover take place on one of the onsite courts. After a tough workout, members can relax and rest in the sauna, or enhance their sculpted physique in the tanning booth.
Though Bang Fitness Project stands by traditional gym staples?a welcoming setting, programs suitable for families or singles, and affable trainers?it also embraces high-tech advancements. With DotFit Nutrition, guests plan their meals by accessing a gigantic database of food statistics and advice from NASM professionals. The gym's Visual Fitness Planner pulls 3-D images from potential futures, showing users how an exercise or diet regimen could affect their physiques and ability to make carry-on luggage fit. Visitors armed with this knowledge can then jog aboard television-facing treadmills, heft free weights, and test their muscles on strength machinery from Precor and Life Fitness.