Professional anger and guide Mike Davis picked up his first fishing pole in his hometown of Orlando, Florida, where the swampy surroundings provided ample opportunities for reeling in scaly specimens. After high school, Mike fulfilled his childhood dream of being a meteorologist before serving a combat tour in the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm, and once back in the States, he was selected as a member of the National Weather Service. While his head was in the clouds, his heart remained by the water, and he ultimately decided to make his passion for fishing his life's pursuit. Today, Mike resides in Nashville where he leads guided fishing tours on Old Hickory Lake, helping anglers of all ages and abilities catch bass, crappie, catfish, and the rare yet inedible rubber fish.
Across Xtreme Paintball's two outdoor fields, colorful salvos paint the sky as opposing gunsmiths duke it out during simulated battles. Red-and-black inflatable cover peppers the speedball field, guarding teams from enemy fire. The warzone field sets the stage for intense scenarios such as capture the flag and team elimination, during which players attempt to mark each opposing paintballer or stick a Kick Me sign to their back. Both open-air arenas play host to casual paintball outings, special events, and league play.
Xtreme Paintball's safety-focused experts monitor each 3–10 minute skirmish. The staff also checks over equipment between each game, whether players rent their gear or airdrop it in from home.
A U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association–rated master pilot, Matt Taber has been soaring through the skies since 1978, during which time he's managed to design several of his own gliders. He's also devised and constructed other contraptions, such as glider-towing equipment and lightweight tow planes—both of which his company, Lookout Mountain Flight Park, uses to teach new recruits how to surf the skies. Matt leads a team of USHPA-certified pilots and instructors that coaches students of all levels in basics and advanced maneuvers through on-the-ground training and hands-on tandem flights, during which pilots safely guide their charges over the scenic mountains and blurry bushes of Lookout Valley at altitudes of up to 4,000 feet. Conducted on a 55-acre private training facility, lessons can include the overnight use of amenities such as a pool, volleyball court, bathhouse, and cabins.
Four years after he first stepped onto a skeet field, Terry Hetrick joined the All American Team and All State Team at age 17. Two years later he won the Pennsylvania State High Over All championship, one of many state, regional, national, and world titles he’d collect before being inducted into the Pennsylvania Skeet Shooting Hall of Fame in 1996.
Though he continued amassing accolades after relocating to Nashville in 2000 – including eight Tennessee state championships and another hall of fame induction – he decide to chase his lifelong dream of teaching. At Terry Hetrick Shooting School, he’s mentored national and world champions alongside celebs such as Nicole Kidman, who learned how to shoot looks that melt hearts. Along with future champs and famous faces, Terry works with all levels of shooters to impart shotgun and clay target fundamentals, instill safe gun-handling technique, and help his students dispose of of bad habits.
Tennessee Skydiving, LLC, which is one of the closest skydiving schools to Nashville, boats a squadron of crack skydiving instructors that are more daring than most. Riding alongside clients in their spacious and speedy turbo-charged plane, the instructors strap themselves to jumpers for tandem jumps at the standard height of 10,500 feet, which provides 45 seconds of free fall. Sometimes, though, they urge the pilot to climb higher—up to 18,000 feet—for jumps they call “extreme tandem”. At this height, divers need oxygen tanks to breathe, but the risks are well worth the reward—a lengthier, 90-second free fall at face-stretching speeds of up to 120 mph. Even at such intense speeds, adventurers have no need to fear because Tennessee Skydiving is Department of Defense certified with most of their instructors being ex-military.