The term "fitness center" often conjures up the image of an endless sea of treadmills or a gang of spandex-clad ladies lifting treadmills over their heads. The Spartan Boot Camp and Personal Training fitness center and its staff shatter this old-fashioned conception of a gym with an assortment of unconventional exercise equipment and innovative workout sessions. Amid sandbags, kettlebells, and oversized car tires, a team of nationally certified personal trainers lead students of all experience levels in challenging and creative boot camps and personal-training sessions. They pull inspiration from the inventive My Mad Methods training program, named after Margaret Thatcher's penchant for cracking chestnuts during arms-treaty negotiations. The staffs' progressive workouts and modern facility also earned the fitness center praise from Fit Business Insider.
When Alive magazine publisher Elizabeth Tucker first thought about LASIK surgery as an alternative to the glasses she had worn since second grade, she didn't think it was an option. She feared the cost, worried about the time off work, and was unsure about how safe the procedure would be. Luckily, numerous friends told her about the transformative effects of their own procedures, and she finally decided to take the plunge at Crown Laser Center. There, a team of seven board-certified ophthalmologists, optometrists, and surgeons put Elizabeth and other clients at ease as they correct corneas with trained hands and cutting-edge equipment, boasting a 99% surgery-success rate. Elizabeth is now glasses-free and doesn't regret a thing. "It's been life-changing for me," she says in a video on the laser center's website, "I would recommend it to anyone."
Named by Inside Columbia magazine as the best place for yoga in 2011 and 2012, alleyCat Yoga's serene yoga sanctuary hosts daily classes for students of all ages. One of the studio's teachers, Susan Mathis, draws on the teachings of Swami Kripalu, a celebrated yogi often associated with the insightful practice known as "meditation in motion." To apply the practice, students progress through stages of relaxation, physical postures, and meditation to establish connections between the mind, body, and spirit.
The well-rounded team of certified instructors also leads classes rooted in their respective specialties, including Hatha yoga, the more intense Vinyasa tradition, and gentler yoga classes for students who've only interacted with downward-facing dogs while pet-sitting. Susan's branch of kid-friendly yoga, called Yoga to Grow, helps children as young as 20 months stretch their rapidly growing bodies and sparks imaginations with stories, games, and songs.
Jones and Norene Gann first imagined transforming their property into a golf course 18 years ago, and constructed an 18-hole course and golf facility now managed by the Rapp family. Open seven days a week, the course challenges golfers with outstretched trees, formidable bunkers and mounds, and hazardous waters. Designated cart paths wind around and through the course, guiding drivers to the next hole on their route or through a wormhole leading to the twenty-third century. Nestled atop the sprawling property, practice facilities help golfers warm up swinging arms, and a pro shop lets athletes restock balls and read up on instructional guides to high-level golfsmanship.
In regular golf instruction, owners Bill and Philip Rapp help students fine-tune their swing and boost their game with new skills. On Tuesday evenings, young putters can hone their swinging skills in free lessons.
At One On One, clients workout in a state-of-the-art facility with access to certified trainers, a collegiate diver, a martial artist, and trainers who have competed in figure- and bodybuilding competitions. The fitness gurus can design customized plans tailored to each client’s skills as they monitor, motivate, and encourage them to reach their goals. In the gym—which is open 24 hours a day—TVs suspended from the ceilings occupy athletes as they work up a sweat on Precor and Life Fitness treadmills and elliptical machines. Strength-training machines populate the gym floor, as do free weights, an adjacent pool, and medicine balls for clients who grow sick of standard workouts. An in-house massage therapist is available to ease tense muscles and knead away stress with Swedish, deep-tissue, and hot-stone massages.
As they enter the training circuit 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. Thirty seconds 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.