Eschewing traditional race rules and methods, Dirty Dashers must overcome a slew of mud-slicked obstacles, including mucky climbing hills, crawling pipes, slip 'n slides, and bear hugs from Pigpen. Organizers encourage runners to sign up with friends to foster a fun-loving environment, and along the way, racers fuel up at optional beer- or root-beer-chugging stations. Further demonstrating its commitment to outdoor high jinks, each event's registration fees, donations, water-balloon sales, and shoe donations benefit local charities, such as NM[X]—an arts and athletics youth organization—and the Seattle-based Redeeming Soles charity, which dispenses gently used footwear to those in need.
Marie-Aude Preau began her passionate relationship with yoga in 1996, a relationship that dramatically altered her life. Her yoga practice is a fluid one—she teaches at different locations and leads students of all fitness levels. Her classes mainly follow basic Vinyasa flow, linking movement to breath to create a dance-like 60- to 75-minute session. By spilling from one pose to another, the classes help students build strength while increasing flexibility and muscle tone.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing With the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
With machines set up in rows to encourage competition, many ordinary gyms cater to men's bodies and psychology, right down to the urinals that were accidentally installed in the women's locker room. At Curves, you'll move around a circle of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks and losing momentum, the hydraulic machines use body weight and fitness levels to create resistance that matches abilities, decreasing the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Open since 1983, Tinkertown Museum is artist Ross Ward’s shrine to the sublimely kooky world of folk, found, and recycled art. Membership to Tinkertown is like a secret handshake because it comes with unlimited entry during the year and 10% off in the gift shop. The smile-inducing exhibits are one-of-a-kind spectacles made or found by Ward over four decades. One sure-fire track-stopper is the collection of animated miniature wooden carvings, including a Wild West town and a three-ring circus. The museum’s 35-foot antique sailboat, which has traveled around the globe, is also on display to welcome chantey choirs of all vocal ranges. Esmerelda, the coin-operated fortune teller, and Otto, a one-man band, offer an old-timey dollop of entertainment and a safe hiding place for gold doubloons.
The strong, flexible backbone of Total Body Wellness is its team of nationally certified instructors that ensures a supportive, unintimidating atmosphere. The Gyrokinesis classes works the entire body through natural spinal movements, while the Yoga classes focus on flexibility and balance. Total Body Wellness also provides 60-minute Pilates matwork classes for practitioners of all skill levels, ranging from timid tenderfoots to professional Joseph Pilates impersonators. Pupils are strongly encouraged to bring their own mats, but a limited amount of loaners are available for new students. Check the schedule for upcoming classes.