With a lineage that traces back more than 30 years to its founders' respective schools, Tiger Rock Martial Arts has grown to more than 200 locations nationwide. Tiger Rock's primary focus is tae kwon do, through which certified trainers teach youngsters the skills to defend themselves, as well as confidence and discipline. Adults can learn tae kwon do as well or encounter martial-arts moves in a calorie-torching aerobic workout. Tiger Rock also partners with sports teams to bolster their training or with corporations to get their employees up, moving, and healthy.
Sculpted in the lush scenery of George T. Bagby State Park by golf architect Willard Byrd, Meadow Links’ 18-hole, 7,007-yard course unfurls a tapestry of emerald fairways, golden-brown rough, and cerulean waters. Club-toting twosomes can loosen up for the round with a stint at the driving range, where a stash of obedient practice spheres launch themselves into the stratosphere and withhold judgment of players clashing argyle with plaid. The course’s bucolic hills crest behind the tenth green, where players can recapitulate their conquest of the 402-yard par-4 hole in the shade of two pecan trees, a pear tree, and a bush that blooms with divot-repair tools. The relatively difficult links-style course challenges golfers with an omnipresent array of round sand traps and water hazards in play on five holes, though four generous tee options make the course surmountable for duffers of all abilities.
It's difficult to tell whether Master Thomas Gordon or Master Gregory Bledsoe would win in a fight. That's because the two martial-arts instructors have worked on the same team for more than a decade. In that time, they've developed a teaching style that has caught the attention of the local and national press.
All the attention is warranted, because Masters Gordon and Bledsoe aren't just effective instructors—they're avid students of their craft. Gordon, for example, has attended countless tae kwon do seminars and camps, and he can articulately speak about the discipline's history as well as flawlessly demonstrate its self-defense techniques. Both instructors are also acutely aware of the real-life applications of tae kwon do and hapkido. Plenty of police officers have attended their classes looking to get a leg up on the next criminal, and kids and teens use their newly acquired moves to defend against bullies or rip up impossible math tests.
Dr. Nicki Hill enjoys sharing her optometric skills with those in need, whether that entails working with patients at U.S. Veterans Affairs Hospitals or performing free eye exams for tornado victims in Tuscaloosa and Pratt City. Shoppers can find the same level of care inside Bell Road Eyewear's airy emporium. There, staff members guide visitors through a large inventory of designer eyewear and illuminate the distinctions between single-vision plastic and polycarbonate lenses. Frames by Danish brand ProDesign and chic styles from Vogue, DKNY, and Jai Kudo rest atop antique-style wood tables. Shoppers can also peruse selections of children's glasses, sunglasses, and monocles fitted with stained glass. Although Dr. Hill can diagnose visual capabilities in-house, Bell Road Eyewear will also fill lens prescriptions from outside optometrists.
Led by board-certified Dr. Stuart May, the skilled staff at A.G.A. Skin Care & Laser Center specializes in advanced medical treatments that improve aesthetic and internal health in a complete primary-care center for women. Dr. May’s aesthetic services include treatments for spider veins and acne as well as advanced procedures that employ the versatile Palomar pulsed light and laser system. Among its many uses, this powerful laser can swiftly remove excess body hair and eliminate planets suspected of galactic rebellion. Photofacials similarly harness the power of light to treat sunspots, rosacea, and broken capillaries. To erase evidence of old age, Dr. May injects Botox into various areas on the face and can tear your birth certificate into little pieces for no extra charge.
With more than 60 group fitness classes every week, a fleet of high-tech cardio and weight machines, and a litany of gym amenities and perks, MetroFitness takes the drudgery out of lifting weights and getting fit, infusing workouts with fun and teamwork. Members track their progress and blow past personal goals with Fitlinxx monitoring devices, or sweat alongside fellow athletes in Pilates, stretch yoga, and Zumba dance courses. Seasoned personal trainers help clients maximize their workout efficiency during calorie-crunching exercise sessions, or introduce members to new workout techniques, such as high-intensity Power 45/15 or calming qigong.