In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in?Parents Magazine.
More than 10 years ago, a young couple dreamed up Titans Gym—a 24-hour facility that would house exercise equipment, tanning services, and a cafe teeming with nutritious snacks. Since then, Geoff and Niki DelGrosso have laid the bricks of that ambition, packing their two gyms with row upon row of advanced Strive, Precor, and Magnum equipment and three levels of professional tanning beds. The duo hired a team of fitness instructors to lead an abundance of group exercise classes, personal-training sessions, and surprise games of Red Rover in their private studios. To refuel exercisers, the onsite Titan Up café serves up a dietician-designed menu of wholesome smoothies, pizzas, and desserts. In the end, the couple's efforts have earned accolades from numerous fitness media publications, and their studios have won the title of Best Urban Gym from Cleveland Scene magazine.
When Jason Reser isn't pouring his energy into competitive mountain-bike racing and trail improvement, he's tending to his business?Reser Bicycle Outfitters, which was named one of America's best bike shops for 2013 by the National Bicycle Dealer Association. At two stores, one of which earned a Best Bike Shop recognition from Northern Kentucky Magazine in 2012, he leads a team of competitive cyclists, technicians, and fitting specialists certified by the Serotta International Cycling Institute. At the Over-the-Rhine location, staffers match customers to city-friendly bikes and accessories; at the Newport, Kentucky store, they instead oversee a stock specializing in sports-focused bikes. Their inventory encompasses brands such as BMC, Civia, Orbea, and Ridley. The technicians service all makes and models in onsite repair shops, treating bicycles with everything from basic tune-ups to major overhauls to unproductive psychotherapy sessions. They also measure customers and frames at more than 30 points and swap out parts to complete custom fittings.
Mountain Man Sports’ original mountain man Jim Wenberg started his business by selling skis, and later expanded his wares and services to include inline skates, snowboards, bikes, and sports accessories. Today, the walls of his shop are nearly unrecognizable behind rows of equipment, guarded by the shop’s faithful dog, Cooper. In addition to matching customers with any necessary equipment, Jim can rent out eager skiers a condo at Boyne Mountain’s Disciples Ridge, a scenic hideaway within walking distance of slopes, restaurants, shops, and a replica of the world’s first icicle.
People who have played golf now that it's a notoriously challenging game, but for many living with disabilities, even getting to the first tee is a challenge and accomplishment. Edwin Shaw Challenge Golf Course was built in 1999 as part of the Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute to provide golf programs for people with disabilities, so it's designed with ease-of-access in mind. Features such as wheelchair-accessible paths and handrails on the tees make it accessible for everyone, including those recovering from strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and amputations. While there are only three holes, each has three sets of tees so a full nine-hole round can be played. The facility is designed both disabled and able-bodied golfers of all ages with a 12-acre driving range, a practice green, and indoor hitting range.
There's seldom a silent moment at Dayton Center Courts and Tennis Academy. Ten indoor courts and four outdoor clay courts reverberate with the metronomic sound of baseline rallies and shuffling feet. On these courts, players of all abilities?ranging from "casual" to "serious" to "advanced"?take advantage of instructional clinics and lessons or they can join a league to get more match play. Kids as young as 4 begin their path to aces and winners in the junior program, which uses modern training techniques such as custom balls that make it easier for youngsters to learn proper mechanics. Ball machines facilitate independent practice sessions, and a pro shop equips players with new rackets, shoes, and strings, which make air-guitar sessions look more realistic.