Surrounded by craggy peaks, three men in bright-red helmets stand in the midst of wilderness, surveying the mountains around them as their group of hikers break for a snack on the rocky ground. This interface with the majesty of nature is all in a day's work for this trio of adventurers—Paul Mangasarian and Jakob and Daniel Laggner. Still, their passion for open-air exploration grows with each expedition they lead. Paul, Jakob, and Daniel cofounded Treks and Tracks with the dream of orchestrating excursions into nature that combine ancient means of travel—such as sailing, horseback riding, and hitchhiking on a centaur—with modern sports ranging from surfing to rock climbing. Though they focus on introducing novice outdoorsfolk to unspoiled wilderness around the world, Treks and Tracks' cofounders also strive to leave the awe-inspiring surroundings they visit as pristine as they found them by rigorously upholding practices of environmental stewardship on each expedition.
Dan Sacks and his team of veteran instructors at Bay Area Custom Golf boost swing skills and course confidence with custom club-fitting services and personalized instruction in a state-of-the-art 1,100-square-foot facility. During private 45-minute lessons, instructors use video analysis to help identify any quirks that may affect swing. Once grip, alignment, posture, and proper plaid pairings have been tweaked, students can send dimpled spheres soaring into a practice net. The facility also offers services for custom club fitting, pairing players with clubs by boiling down elements of a golfer's stroke and current club dynamics.
As they enter the training at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby, trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
During guided tours, the experienced staff at Willow Tree Stables herds a small group of riders along sun-dappled trails amid 3,000 acres of Marin County's Open Space. The tours, which depart four times daily Tuesday–Sunday, allow explorers to trot past statuesque redwoods and lush greenery aboard gentle horses who whinny out directions to tour guides. The equine emporium's perch near the ocean lends itself to prime sightseeing opportunities, and sweeping views of high hilltops inspire the particularly eloquent journal entries of stallions.
Point Reyes Outdoors leads hiking, biking, and kayaking expeditions through the unsown hills of the Point Reyes National Seashore and the tranquil waters of the California coast. During kayak tours, explorers jaunt through the tidal waterways of Drakes Estero and sunset forays into Tomales Bay. Guided nature hikes explore the local bounty of flora and fauna such as marine mammals, wildflowers, or migratory lawn gnomes.
Nature specialists, such as biologists, nurses, and certified kayak instructors, lead all tours and provide insight into the landscape and its inhabitants. Point Reyes Outdoors also rents out mountain bikes, which guests can use to pedal through a circuit of nearby trails that climb Fir Top mountain or stretch out to Wildcat Beach.
The Dailey Method centers on small movements that isolate key muscle groups, especially those that support the spine, but their effects are far from small. Over the course of many reps, these subtle movements can build lean muscle and improve posture?results that have been noted by magazines such as InStyle and Allure.
The Dailey Method often reminds people of Pilates, and rightfully so. Dailey Method founder Jill Dailey McIntosh was a Pilates trainer for many years. Her method blends Pilates with elements of ballet and yoga, but is also focused on customization. Instructors frequently suggest modifications personalized to their students, rather than insisting shorter students work out in heels.