Though skydiving is often billed as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for the staff at Jump Florida Skydiving, it's a job. As they climb above the scenic landscape of Lake Country in a Cessna 205 aircraft, they stay calm as excitement radiates off customers—as young as 18 and as old as 79—about to make their first leap. At the ideal altitude, the plane levels off, and jumpers get into position. The sky is amazingly clear around the plane, which takes off from a private airport, so there are no commercial jets or flocks of migrating geese obstructing the airspace. Tandem or solo divers step to the edge, take a deep breath, and experience the thrill of accelerating at 9.81 meters per second per second.
While participants revel in their adrenaline-fueled thrills, the staff keeps them safe by adhering to the strict standards of the United States Parachute Association. These protocols enforce rigorous regulations, safety guidelines, and eminently cool member handshakes. On the ground, the team prioritizes hospitality, offering guest rooms, a restaurant, spectator fields, and a nerve-diffusing bar.
Curves trades in competitive rows of workout equipment for a circle of hydraulic resistance machines designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. During 30-minute circuit classes, trainees form a convivial circle as they rotate from machine to machine, timed by a soundtrack of fun, upbeat music. Health-minded toe-tappers can attend eight classes of the new Curves Circuit with Zumba Fitness, which mixes Zumba dance moves with resistance exercises to create a muscle-toning combo that's almost as fun as your Jane Fonda salsercise tapes.
Most 5Ks follow a familiar script: runners wind their way through simple, temporary courses designed out of necessity rather than creativity. Fortunately, The Mud Titan isn't most races, and its course isn't something to simply be endured. More than 30 obstacles await intrepid runners, incorporating climbs, slides, and crawls through mud that pit racers against the very ground they tread on. After challenging their endurance, strength, and threshold for dirty socks, winners of the Elite Waves are awarded with a custom engraved trophy, while those who participated in costumes are judged and awarded accordingly by audience members. Though the run rewards racers with exercise and bragging rights, those aren't the only things at stake; a portion of the proceeds help support The Youth Alliance, a non-profit organization that works with local communities to empower young people.
Safety comes first at Plant City Gun Range-Shop, where the staff enforces house rules to maintain a secured environment. NRA-compliant instructors from VIP Security Training organize the facility's classes, from beginner safety courses to advanced tactical shooting. Beyond the range, the facility extends into a pro shop, where two gunsmiths with decades of experience repair, restore, and customize firearms with add-ons such as mounting scopes.
Despite what folklore says, most pirates didn't bury their treasure. The act of digging a deep hole, tossing a heavy chest into it, and then making a map to find it at a later time would have been difficult, to say the least. Though it's not much easier at the Pirate Booty Hunt, the fun run infused with a scavenger hunt leaves treasure at ground level. To find the prizes hidden along the 4-mile course, you have to best obstacles, mud, water, the other racers, and the space-time continuum—all while clad in your best pirate costume. Capping off the festive day, participants receive a medal, a T-shirt, and the reassurance of knowing the event benefits local charities.
With Skydiving Orlando Florida, divers leap from planes from heights of up to 10,000 feet before soaking up atmospheric views during exhilarating freefalls and leisurely canopy rides. For first-time divers, the company offers tandem rides that pair clients with certified instructors instead of two-person bicycles. Those instructors combine years of knowhow with the industry's latest equipment to ensure every dive ends with a comfortable landing.