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.
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.
For rookie puffers, the hookah is a glass water pipe originally from India that is popular for smoking syrup-soaked tobacco. Filtering the smoke through cool water results in a smooth, mellow experience that is on par with the Sultan Hookah Lounge's relaxed atmosphere. While sipping the house Turkish coffee with friends, enjoy more than 100 different flavors of tobacco, including double apple, orange crush, mango, strawberry daiquiri, vanilla, honeydew melon, lemon, mint, rose, apricot, and cappuccino. Tobaccos can be mixed to create custom candy-flavored goodness, such as orange crush daiquiri, vanilla cappuccino, or immortality-bestowing ambrosial nectar. Sultan's also offers outdoor seating for mixing the flavors of hookah with the scent of the open air.
Fresh off a hit debut album—which saw airplay in the US and 11 other countries—and a recent sophomore album, Ryan Meagher (pronounced “Marr”) is making serious waves in the jazz community. Lauded by publications such as JazzTimes and Cadence Magazine, Meagher fills his compositions with traditionally jazzy melodies and contemporary rock influences. He honed his chops with a music scholarship to San Diego State University, as well as by playing with legendary jazz musicians such as Wynton Marsalis. He proceeded to earn a Master of Music from the University of Nevada–Reno, and now splits his time between the East and West Coasts where he teaches and focuses on creating what he describes as “jazz music for the indie rocker.”
As they enter the training circle 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. One minute 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.