Deep within the Appalachian Mountains, the forest's leaves flutter as a blurry figure speeds by. But the creature high above the treetops isn't a bird, a plane, or a sports mascot recently released back into the wild. It's a person strapped into one of Black Mountain Thunder Zipline’s 11 ziplines, which take customers some 400 feet above the ground and at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. Spread over 1.5 miles, the ziplines wind through canopies and down mountain slopes on trips that last roughly two hours. Expert guides tag along on every tour to ensure safety and instruct adventurers on equipment.
Permanent-cosmetics specialist Kim Seals wants women to look and feel beautiful from the moment they wake up. Having been in the business for over 12 years, the beauty specialist helms The Permanent Cosmetics Center—with locations sprawled across Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia—where she enhances visages with everlasting makeup. After working with clients to design the perfect look, the expert marks skin with natural pigments to create subtle or dramatic eyeliner, fill in sparse brows, or give lips a voluminous pout. Aside from enhancing natural beauty, Kim can also mask imperfections, such as scars and third nostrils, with her expert services.
YMCA of East Tennessee holds fast to its three-fold mission: to encourage healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility. Each of their five locations brims with cardio and weight equipment, as well as digital ActivTrax kiosks, which print out customized workout plans based on each guests' information. Instructors lead group fitness classes for adults and stacks of trench-coat-clad babies disguised as adults, offering sessions that range from kickboxing to water aerobics. In addition to specialized sessions for seniors, they also lead sports programs for kids, such as swimming, basketball, and karate, as well as host a youth-based leader's club.
The folks at YMCA of East Tennessee offer memberships to military families and host programs for kids who have dropped out of school or who have been suspended. Their scholarship program helps families send their kids to the YMCA's fun, safe, character-developing programs no matter their financial circumstances.
With locales dappled throughout the Southeast and Midwest, the brains behind Workout Anytime funnel more than three decades of fitness-industry expertise into filling their gyms with positive vibes and state-of-the-art equipment. The fitness gurus spread Magnum-brand strength-training machines and cutting-edge treadmills—whose frames can support up to 500 pounds—throughout their hygienic antimicrobial floors. They also provide certified personal trainers, nutritional guidance, and weight-loss plans.
Workout Anytime's doors are open to members 24 hours a day every day of the year, permitting access to public exercise zones and areas that offer tanning and massage sessions. Each gym also strives to cultivate a familial atmosphere with staffers who memorize each guest's name and carve each one's Thanksgiving turkey.
The coaching staff at D1—which is co-owned by professional athletes such as NFL player Peyton Manning, MLB player Chipper Jones, and NFL player Philip Rivers—refuses to discriminate between professional athletes and everyday exercisers. They scale the strength-and-cardio workouts of their group boot-camp classes and one-on-one intensive courses to individual abilities, bringing out the best in each student regardless of his or her workout history.
The typical D1 gym houses modern indoor turf fields with adjoining weight rooms, giving instructors the space to invent expansive obstacle courses that may require students to lift tires or tug 747s. In the boot-camp program, coaches meet with students one-on-one to discuss progress and find ways to improve. Each facility also houses a sports-therapy clinic, where expert therapists ease muscle injuries through rehabilitation programs and strength-restoring exercises.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.