A new graduate of Martin van Breems' Basic Keelboat course out on his first sail was pounded by driving rain and battered by winds raging at almost 35 miles per hour, but he kept his cool. When his fellow sailors found him, his jib was rolled, his main was reefed, and Breems recalls that it, "felt pretty darn good to see him doing exactly what he should have done in difficult conditions, instead of panicking."
Founded in 1986, Sound Sailing Center’s expert sailors introduce students to the Sound during their professional-quality classes. Their instruction philosophy ensures the proper learning environment for each student with classes that span several days with fewer students per class and a fleet equipped for single-handed sailing. The center also offers a variety of membership options.
At Kids U, upbeat instructors camouflage learning as playtime. They invite youngsters and parents into a kid-size gym that jump starts imagination with vibrant colors and a multitiered PlayQuad. The 17-foot playground spans 2,000 square feet of indoor space, where children explore tunnels and soar in swings. At classes, teachers inject freestyle play with structure while still allowing for creativity. The small, laid-back sessions cover subjects that range from gymnastics to cooking and building with LEGOs, all while interweaving themes such as teamwork and motor skills. The instructors pioneer similar subjects in three-hour day camps, molded around the Summer Olympics. Kids U's parties combine the fun center's two signature styles of recreation—freestyle fun in the PlayQuad and ordered activities—according to chosen themes, which, like concepts kicked around for the White House Correspondents' dinner, include Rock Star and Pajama Party.
A joint venture between a professional boxer and a team of successful kickboxing-equipment tycoons, TITLE Boxing Club maintains a network of more than 100 fitness clubs spread across 19 different states, winning over a devoted clientele with its invigorating and engaging boxing- and kickboxing-themed classes. Each workout uses the heart-healthy exercise of cardio training to satisfy people’s innate desire to punch and kick something other than a broken jukebox. Participants build lithe, strong muscle tissue by delivering powerful blows to punching bags, and build flexibility and agility by practicing roundhouse kicks and hooks. Students can build their core strength and endurance with medicine balls and burpees, enlist a qualified personal trainer to practice their newfound skills in the ring, or just torch calories during intense full-body Power Hour workouts.
At Steve DeMasco's Shaolin Studios, Grandmaster DeMasco and his staff of instructors illuminate students of all ages in the nuances of Martial Arts. Himself a vastly experienced practitioner of Martial Arts, DeMasco specializes in kung fu and teaches his pupils not only the fundamentals of the sport, but also the importance of self-respect, discipline, and not just learning from old kung fu movies. Each instructor here also brings their own high level of cred to their classes. As practitioners of Shaolin martial arts—the ancient predecessor of all martial arts—they're all internationally certified by the Shaolin Temple in China.
Equipment: Kettlebells, battle ropes, rowers, med balls, sleds, boxing equipment, weights, treadmills, bikes
Students should bring: A positive attitude and excitement
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of Staff: 1 person
Class location: Mix of indoor and outdoor classes
Registration required: Yes
Good for beginners: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Without a proper plan you're sure to fail
Although the sessions at Kong CrossFit change every day, there's a method behind the madness. Each group-fitness class is designed to provide a well-rounded workout scalable to each individual's capabilities. To encourage accessibility, the gym's seasoned trainers sit down with newcomers for a fitness assessment before imparting the required workout wisdom to join group CrossFit sessions.