In 2005, The Funplex of Gulf Breeze opened its doors to kids looking for competitive and recreational coaching in cheerleading and gymnastics. Over time, the demand grew so much that the facility expanded to its current 30,000-squre-foot venue, which serves the community with an even bigger variety of activities. Guests of honor have several options for birthday parties, including bounce-house sessions, princess-themed blowouts, private time on the gymnastics equipment, or instruction from a stuntman coach. Even adults can get in on the facility’s fun by taking Zumba dance fitness classes.
With 20 years of teaching experience and more than 10,500 logged dives, Steve DeNeef instructs students in various SSI-affiliated classes including open-water certification, master-diver instruction, and stress and rescue diving. Steve and his son Jake run USA Scuba together and stock their dive shop with high-end equipment and offer gear repair services. Steve also captains a 26-foot Sea Ray that divers can charter for private, local Gulf dives, fishing trips, or blind dates with starfish.
As a kid, Jeff Bell went for a ride in his neighbor's ultralight aircraft. From that moment, Jeff was hooked. Years later, Jeff moved from North Carolina to Florida so he could fly his own ultralights above the Emerald Coast. He earned his pilot's license, and has since logged more than 3,000 hours of flight time.
Today, Jeff shares the rush of flight with others aboard an FAA-certified, amphibious, weight-shift-controlled trike?or, in other words, a water aircraft. Often referred to simply as a "trike," the vessel has a 912 Rotax engine and features aluminum pontoons with wheels for taxing from beach to water and a super hang glider wing. But, instead of depending on the wind or a Medieval trebuchet to get moving, Jeff's trike comes equipped with a power unit that propels it to up to 45 miles-per-hour. It can also reach heights of up to 14,000 feet, though Jeff usually keeps it under 2,000 feet for discovery flights.
What do active-duty military members, high-school athletes, brides-to-be, and senior citizens all have in common? Not much, except that each of these kinds of people has gotten fit with M—or, Marketa Hutchison.
Hailing from the Czech Republic, Marketa arrived in the U.S. in 2006 and began collecting certifications as a group exercise fitness instructor. She also became a certified personal trainer in order to work more closely with clients. Today, Marketa provides both private and group instruction during Pilates classes and boot camps at Navarre Beach. No matter the setting, Marketa emphasizes body-weight exercises and the use of free weights, never using fancy fitness machines to get clients in shape or hold her spot in line at the bank.
As a wife and mom, certified trainer Victoria McCullough helps women of all fitness levels kick-start sputtering metabolisms through 30- and 45-minute workouts. In spite of her military background, she motivates her students with encouragement rather than intimidation. Victoria augments the fat-burning effects of boot camps with nutritional advice and by teaching workout-at-home routines.