When Cliff Hodges, the founder and CEO of Adventure Out, graduated from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering, he knew a traditional desk job wasn't for him. According to Technology Review, he quickly gave up his engineering career for the wireless world of the great outdoors, where he began to hike, climb, and surf his way around the world, always staying true to his philosophy of environmental respect and protection.
His travels and business accomplishments have gained some measure of notoriety; he's coached on MTV's Made, consulted for ABC News, and was selected as one of four winners of the 2011 Santa Cruz County Civic Service Award: The Nextie. Adventure Out was also identified for meeting survival skills training standards by The New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Chef.
Today, he and his program consultant Tom McElroy lead excursions into the California wilderness to teach backpacking and survival skills, including the tracking of animals and wild ice-cream trucks, and they also guide novices through surfing, rock-climbing, and mountain-biking sojourns. Through fundraising, Adventure Out has helped save Castle Rock State Park from closure and a portion of their proceeds is put directly back into the park.
In 2001, Carrie Rezabek Dorr’s only venue for her Pure Barre workouts—a blend of dance, Pilates, and strengthening stretches—was the basement of an office building. Crowds drawn by Carrie's choreographing expertise and the infectious music of her routines necessitated expansion, however, and Pure Barre soon spread its franchises across the country, spurred by mentions in Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and Health magazines.
Pure Barre guides students through precise isometric movements that craft lean, not bulky, muscles. By flowing through scalable maneuvers that balance limbs against a ballet barre, participants can lift and tighten traditional problem areas such as the thighs, abs, seat, and arms. The workout is accessible to all fitness levels, and can help new mothers get back in shape. Intimate classes with a limit of 15 attendees ensure personalized adjustments and tips, allowing each guest to get the most from the workout's alternating strength and stretch drills.
The instructors at YogaSource strive to make yoga accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability. To meet that goal, they offer eleven types of classes split between two studios, which are kept at different temperatures to accommodate those who prefer to stay calm and cool during practice, as well as those who like to sweat as they stretch. Yoga basics and intro to Hatha classes lead newcomers from pose to pose to build a foundation for future practice, and may incorporate props such as straps, blocks, and donuts that dangle just out of reach. Advanced options include power Vinyasa, where students flow through rigorous poses in 90-degree temperatures believed to help increase flexibility and promote detoxification, as well as the open-level class—known as The Practice—in which instructors and students attempt handstands and other challenging feats.
Created by former personal trainer and kinesiology degree-holder Jill Dailey McIntosh, The Dailey Method unites elements of muscle strengthening, core conditioning, yoga, and orthopedic exercise to work major muscle groups and improve alignment. Participants perform active stretches and controlled exercises that may enlist such equipment as ballet bars and saltwater taffy. An emphasis on neutral spine positions helps further home in on proper alignment and tone musculature. The Saratoga and Los Gatos locations' founder, experienced fitness guru Macey Kalin, and her team of instructors trained under The Dailey Method for three to four months, refining their understanding of the hybrid technique. Trainers aim to provide one-on-one attention to all students, helping ensure effectiveness and a personalized workout more easily than fingerprinting a pair of gym shorts.
Whether meant to scale mountains or drift down street shoulders, the mounts and cycling gear at Summit Bicycles ease any odyssey atop two wheels. The extensive selection ranges from Trek bikes for road and mountain to hybrid and commuter bikes that trump getting to work by hiding overnight in a coworker's trunk. Well aware of the importance of finding the ideal frame, the store lends out high-end bikes for test runs via its demo program, allowing riders to get a feel for the saddle's political bent before taking it home to meet their parents. For current owners, Summit's technicians repair and tune up already-owned bikes and help browsers find accessories such as tire-patching kits, electronic heart-rate monitors, and apparel from Bontrager and Pearl Izumi.
Like many success stories, the Core Fitness tale begins when a business executive quit her job to pursue her true dream. For Nanci Mora, her dream was to become a fitness instructor. After 10 years of training and working as a trainer, she began conducting her own Pilates classes for three friends in her home. As word of Nanci's replenishing and invigorating Pilates workouts spread, her class size continued to expand in an inverse relationship to her students’ waistlines.
Today, Nanci continues to teach Pilates at her own professional studio, Core Fitness, where she and a staff of dancers, Pilates instructors, and fitness professionals teach workout classes throughout the week. Amidst the studio's earth-toned walls and towering mirrors, professional Pilates reformer machines help clients tone bodies.
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