While Trail of Fear is now Oklahoma's largest haunted attraction, Hauntworld.com reveals that the original format was a small, roadside hay maze operated by a father and son in 1998. Today, a three-story pyramid looms above the theme park's frightful environs and prowling actors. Creators Bob Wright Sr. and Bob Wright Jr. supervise a staff of more than 100?a vast increase from their first crew of approximately 15 people and a few rusty table fans?as they guide visitors through four nightmarish worlds. Though the majority of these helpers return to the job each season with fiendish devotion, their strategies for harvesting screams evolve every year to surprise even the most loyal fans.
Between the two locations there are five haunted attractions, including a maniacal ringmaster overseeing the disorienting maze and murderous clowns of Cirque de Morte, malformed test subjects rising from The Experiment's excavation and lab sites, and performers injecting dark humor into their classic sideshow acts at the Thunderbird Trail of Fear.
On the Halloween Midway, Boo House BBQ supplies fuel for brave souls in the form of burgers and brisket. Fairground games embrace macabre twists; past activities include a severed-head toss and live-zombie target practice. For younger children, Pumpkin Junction entertains with scary stories and magic tricks on select nights. A portion of Trail of Fear's proceeds go to benefit a specific charity every year, contributing thousands of dollars to community causes.
Ever since she was a child, Yulia Zhmutski had envisioned herself leaping and pirouetting across a grand stage before the adoring eyes of thousands. But, growing up in a struggling, single-parent household in the former Soviet Union, she never entertained the possibility of it actually happening. That changed when she was accepted into Uzbekistan’s National School of Dance and Choreography, a rigorous eight-year program that teaches ballet as well as traditional Slavic, Uzbek, and Russian dances.
Like her classmates, Yulia entered the program shortly after completing the fourth grade, leaving behind family, friends, and imaginary friends. Although the transition was difficult, the tiny ballerina was determined to be a successful dancer. She overcame her homesickness, went on to become a Russian prima ballerina, performing with several prestigious troupes, including the elite National Theatre, and was the first person to spin fast enough to reverse the earth's rotation.
Yulia eventually relocated to Oklahoma, and in 2009, she started her own dance studio: Julia’s Academy of International Dance. The academy’s staff teaches kids’ and adult classes in 35 disciplines, including ballet, jazz, belly dancing, and dance fitness. They hold weekly dance and film classes for students with special needs—proud to be one of the only studios in the region to offer such classes.
In all of weight loss, there may be no concept less aptly named than the “low-calorie” diet. That’s because the calorie unit we associate with food actually refers to kilo calories—meaning when we say, “2,000 calories a day,” we actually mean 2,000,000. A calorie is a unit of heat, or energy—specifically, the energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius. And if the number of calories we ingest is bad news, the upside is that we are burning them all the time.
A certain amount of calories—about 60–75% of the calories you burn each day—are needed to sustain the body's unconscious functions, such as breathing and circulation. Known as basal metabolic rate, the specific percentage depends on factors such as size and body composition, gender, and age (typically, as people get older, fat makes up a larger portion of body weight, causing calories to burn more slowly). Digestion makes up about another 10 percent of the calories burned, leaving physical activity to account for the rest.
During exercise, the muscles contract, causing the body's adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules to break down as the heart continues to pump faster and faster—increasing the body’s demand for more energy. Once the muscles have depleted the day’s caloric intake, they turn to other calorie sources to fuel the fire—making weight loss possible as the body begins to sacrifice fat cells to the god of the treadmill.
Travis Garza became a fitness operative at the same time that he officially became an adult, commencing his personal-training career at age 18. As the now-48-year-old progressed to earn his NASM certification and direct multiple training centers, he was constantly mounting a counteroffensive to "fitness fraud" and common gym stressors. Eventually, he created his own workout plans to help to reshape his clients' physiques, taking on the title of "The Master of Body Transformation." His methods have since been featured on KOCO, FOX 25, and KTOK talk radio for their slimming, confidence-building results.
Whether he is leading a fat-loss boot camp or personal-training session, Travis strives to be a steadfast source of support to his students?he always responds to email, telephone, or post-its stuck to lobbed medicine balls. His programs take the holistic route to health by emphasizing nutrition in addition to exercise, providing consultations and take-home resources for clients.
At TG Farms Pumpkin Patch, autumn’s shifting breezes not only herald a fresh crop of gourds, but also the start of the farm’s annual festivities. From morning until nightfall, families traipse through the patch in search of a pumpkin that will transform into their dream jack-o’-lantern or a car for their children to take to college, and navigate the twists and turns of a massive corn maze. On a calm pond, ducks await generous handfuls of feed, and a petting zoo lets wee ones commune with calves and goats. Back under a roof, the gift shop hosts decorative gourds, straw bales, and other fall decor.
Although autumn is the season when activity reaches a fever pitch, TG Farms is open to outdoor enthusiasts year-round. In spring, visitors learn how crops grow in the fields and flowers bloom in greenhouses. When the sun strengthens into summer, farmers peddle homegrown tomatoes and juicy watermelon. And in winter, when the last leaves have frozen over, families can pick out a fresh-cut Christmas tree or collect a jar of fresh snowman tears.
There on the wall inside Conan's Academy, next to four World Kickboxing Championship belts, hangs a photograph of founder Scott ?Conan? Mincey donning a mustache and shaking hands with one of his numerous mentors, Chuck Norris. In fact, during his 34-year career, Scott has worked with a constellation of martial-arts stars and, since 1996, has brought that experience to his self-titled academy.
Scott teaches recreational and competitive fighting styles to a diverse student base which includes men, women, teens, and children. His classes blend equal doses of self-defense techniques with workouts designed to build lean muscle strength, speed, and endurance. Students can throw jabs in the pursuit of a leaner self, or train for all manners of blood-sporting competition in the gym's boxing ring, octagonal cage, or shark tank.