The YMCA Adventure Warrior Race gives kids and adults a chance to prove themselves against ropes courses, mud, water obstacles, and other unexpected mental and physical challenges—all while supporting a good cause. Amid the breathtaking views and tranquil waters of Lake Tris, runners maneuver around trees and carry heavy objects up the sometimes snow-covered Laurel Highlands mountains, climbing up to 1,000 feet as they go. Warriors aged 16 and older make a 4-mile circuit, whereas younger participants run age-appropriate distances of a half mile or a full mile. Trophies and the respect of all the woodland creatures are awarded to the top male and female runners, top male and female teams, and top co-ed team. According to the Daily American, funds raised from the race provide camp scholarships that allow kids to attend residential and day programs at the 263-acre YMCA Camp T. Frank Soles.
At Masterpiece Center for the Arts, instructors rekindle artistic creativity and help students find the medium that best inspires and challenges them. The center’s curriculum spans subjects as diverse as nature photography, henna tattoos, creative writing, and edible arrangements. Along with baseline classes in painting, drawing, and sculpture, students can delve into creating cartoons or glass mosaics, or they can take a 10-week class in cinema-style special-effects makeup.
More than a 24-hour gym, Fitness 247 is as a full-service health club that's open at all hours. The facility has plenty of exercise gear, from its strength-training equipment to its more than 50 cardio machines, which feature personal viewing screens and iPod docking stations. In addition, the aerobics room provides guests with everything from jump ropes and kettlebells to medicine balls and neoprene dumbbells. The gym's trainers are also on-hand to offer one-on-one guidance, although they also lead yoga lessons, Zumba workouts, and other group fitness classes.
Fitness 247 also offers various health-club amenities. Locker rooms feature relaxing saunas and individual showers. Five tanning beds and a UV-free Mystic Tan system help skin maintain its summer glow year-round. At select times, Fitness 247 even offers complimentary daycare.
Despite its name, Fonzi’s Synergy Fitness isn’t a place where members learn to ride motorcycles while keeping their slicked-back coiffures in place. It’s a locally owned gym helmed by Jim Fonzi and Denice Normandy-Fonzi, who cultivate a welcoming feel inside the fitness haven. High-quality workout equipment, such as the BodyMasters System—a 30-minute circuit workout similar to Curves, as well as free weights fill the space, and a fitness room hosts an array of heart-pumping, calorie-burning classes.
Colors & Bottles' founder Jessica Burley and her band of talented local artists are dedicated to supporting local emerging talent and businesses through art instruction held at nearby venues. Their resident artists travel to local eateries and art galleries, where they teach students of all skill levels to fashion dimensional masterpieces through step-by-step instruction. They also kindle creativity during private parties held at the location of your choice, asking only that the destination be outfitted with enough tables, chairs, and paint-by-numbers templates of the Sistine Chapel ceiling for all invitees. Colors & Bottles has received a nod for their engagingly creative events on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and within the pages of the Columbus Dispatch.