Reflecting on this childhood, Chris Keating sometimes feels as if he didn't exist. His parents' divorce left him with very little tangible evidence of his formative years, so he's spent his adult life as a photographer making sure children can look back fondly at warm family memories. Chris Keating and his Calgary staff have made this a reality for more than 3,000 families since opening the doors to Towne Photography in 2006. There, the professional photographic crew shoots posed and candid shots of families, children, couples, and babies at picturesque parks or against their studio backdrops, and they also snap triumphant graduate portraits, intimate prenatal shots, and provocative passport pics that make border crossing a breeze. Their ironclad guarantee allows unsatisfied clients to request reshoots, reprints, or resizing on all photographs, and they vow to remake or recapture any artwork that sustains damage over the years. Chris also takes his photographic knowledge on the road to conduct Betterphoto Workshops across the United States and Canada, teaching novice photographers how to artistically preserve their most precious memories.
The two-time NCAA Division I champion Portland Pilots women's soccer team has kicked off its 2010 season on a high note, winning the first two matches. The female Pilots are ranked fifth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, and they once again have their eyes on the soccer-ball-shaped prize after dribbling their way to the quarterfinals in 2009. On the docket for this season is a crop of hard-kicking teams, including bouts with two Pac-10 rivals in early October.
Pitxi, pronounced "pea-chee," is as green as the food on its tables, having just opened this past April. The sapling hotspot serves up a petite, specialized variety of robust regional flavors, with each dish prepared with locally sourced and organic ingredients. Turn the closing-day ritual of counting sheep on its head by starting your meal off with some lamb pillows ($9), and then freshen your mouth's crimson hues by adding a bowl of cold beet soup ($9) to your belly. Meat-centered main dishes, such as quail ($18) served with asparagus, potatoes, and quail egg and beer-marinated pork ($18) with broccoli and quinoa, satisfy acute carnivorous palates, while the earthy flavors of Pitxi's mushroom patty ($18) with fresh noodles, stinging nettles, and Oregon truffles happify even the hardest-to-please herbivores. For dessert, treat sweet chompers to a slice of fresh strawberry cheesecake ($7) or a more savory serving of saffron ice cream with olive-oil cookies ($7).
When they weren't busy winning Ironman triathlons and coaching athletes to national success, the trainers behind Multisports.com spent their time like many Americans: hanging out with their favorite pooches. Eventually, the team found a way to incorporate their four-legged friends into their runs, as well. Thus, the Petco 5K9 Walk Run was born. Now a national series of 1-mile and 5K runs, the dog-friendly events promote outdoor activity while raising funds for local animal welfare groups with the help of the Petco Foundation. In addition to hitting the course with their pets, participants can also discover the latest exercise innovations during a visit to the event's health and fitness expo.
Change your mind. Change your body. Change your LIFE! Adult Recess Bootcamp sponsored by Will You Change? Wellness Coaching is for those of you who need a jumpstart to your health. For the non-athlete to the superheroes that can leap tall buildings, this designed for every body and will burn calories long after the workout!
From her days in the Navy to a love for yoga, Terri Chadney has always been into fitness. In 1994, she and her husband, Jay, opened West Coast Fitness to share that passion with her old neighborhood, which until then did not have a gym. "She wanted to reinvest in the neighborhood," Jay says. Here, the duo leads a staff of experienced trainers, who do everything from one-on-one training to group fitness classes such as yoga and spinning. As the yoga director, Terri requires that each yoga instructor have at least five years of teaching experience, thorough training, and a perfect letter B imitation. The rest of the staff boasts similar credentials, such as the Zumba instructor who has been dancing professionally for most of her life. And because they're not contractors, the trainers care about every aspect of the gym, not just making a sale. "They really invest themselves with the members," says Jay, "Our [trainers] come in, hang out, take classes, bring their dog."
For Jay and Terri, the most rewarding part of owning West Coast Fitness has been "seeing changes in the members," says Jay. He sees members who are in better shape than when they first joined 15 years ago—and Terri loves to see the seniors in her yoga classes up on their feet and doing strength-training exercises after coming in with crutches or walkers.
The St. John's location's spinning studio includes a 6-foot screen, sending riders on virtual trips via instructive DVDs even when a class isn't in session. Members can also log in to ActivTrax online or at the clubs' kiosks for custom workouts based on their goals and experience, as well as meal planning and progress tracking. The staff members engage parents' little ones with baby-sitting services in a colorful playroom. They have also stocked the gyms with tanning booths, and massage therapists help soothe stress and exercise-induced aches; the saunas and HydroMassage beds also help members unwind.