A longtime tennis player, Mark Platt began teaching the sport as soon as he graduated from high school. However, after a brief period of instructing at local country clubs, he realized that his heart wasn’t in the work. The country clubs catered to intermediate and advanced players, and Mark wanted to teach beginners. In the absence of a satisfactory beginning tennis program in the area, he founded Mark Platt’s Beginner’s World Tennis in 1984.
As a tennis instructor, Mark has won numerous awards from such prestigious publications as Tennis Pro and Tennis Industry, according to the St. Louis Business Journal. Specifically geared toward beginners, his program combines lessons with special events including camps, leagues, and parties designed to encourage socializing—so far, his program has spawned 53 marriages. He and his small staff have big plans for the beginning tennis world; this year alone, they expect to introduce 10,000 adults, children, and marionettes to the sport.
Pairs cruise around The Ridge Golf Course's scenic tree-lined fairways in a four-wheeled conveyance, trying their hand at the par 3 through par 5 holes while carefully avoiding hazards. Located on the site of an old farm, the 18-hole playground provides a vintage, homey backdrop to four hours of meandering play. After finishing tee-projectile sessions, duos can refuel stomach supplies with a $10 credit at the Log Cabin Restaurant. Set inside a 240-year-old wooden dwelling, the eatery serves up homestyle cooking to links-rambling souls in need of a good meal to celebrate accidentally hitting that defunct Soviet satellite.
Founded by certified yoga instructor Jami Marsoun, Yoga in Columbia is a light-filled yoga studio dedicated to bringing the health benefits of yoga to the community. Offering yoga classes for all levels of yogis, from first-timers to kids to advanced students, the instructors demonstrate the strength- and flexibility-boosting moves of Vinyasa-style yoga. With its wood floors and exposed brick walls, Yoga in Columbia is a calming spot to begin or continue along an intentional yoga journey.
As they enter the training circuit 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 by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds 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.