The recipe: take 5 miles of mud trails, fill them with more than 25 obstacles, add snow, and serve. The Badass Bash obstacle course is more than a race—it's a battle where competitors learn what they are made of. Across the 5-mile course, participants dash, clamber, and crawl through and over a series of obstacles inspired by firefighter, police, and military training. The favorites are back (Target Practice, Submarine Mines, and Check the Attic, among others), but there's also The Badass Bash's take on holiday cheer: Santa's Sack, Chimney Sweep, Don't Drop the Ornament, and more. But the real kicker is the snow. The event's organizers haul in a bunch of the cold white stuff, adding a chilly but festive note to the high-octane event. While adults are getting their hands dirty, kids 12 and younger can do the same on their own 0.5-mile course, the Kick Butt Kids Elf Bash. After the race, guests can mingle at the after party, which is livened up by free beer and live entertainment.
A portion of the proceeds of The Badass Bash benefits three fire, police, and veterans’ charities. All of the proceeds from the Kick Butt Kids Bash go to Caleb's Crusade, which helps children and families who are battling pediatric cancer.
Soni Anderson has been a yoga enthusiast since infancy. As a baby in the Fiji islands, she received yoga massage from her grandmother while her grandfather danced and performed stories from ancient Hindu texts. Today, as a teacher and co-founder of SoniYoga, she strives to combine her grandfather's playful mindset with the therapeutic customs of her homeland, working with her husband and co-founder David, a fellow Yoga Alliance instructor.
Though SoniYoga's focus is on Hatha yoga, certain classes also incorporate restorative, Kundalini, and yin and yang postures. A serene atmosphere of acceptance welcomes students to challenge themselves each time they visit, whether they wish to push the boundaries of their flexibility with a more advanced pose or by practicing in a restrictive suit of armor. Soni also channels her holistic upbringing by offering ayurvedic counseling, products, and massage services which can help customize a wellness plan for clients based on their body type.
After seeing herself in photos from her sister's wedding, Amber Tiernan felt it was time to make a change. In a flurry of crumpled notebook papers, she began to draw up the very program that would help her lose 58 pounds, using her extra energy to become a Zumba instructor. As the founder and first client of Nu Image Wellness, Tiernan combines straightforward eating and exercise plans, a one-on-one support system, and supplies including protein supplements to help other people on the road to their weight-loss goals. The plan is based on the latest weight-management research, designed to promote healthy, sustainable results, and comes with a personal nutrition coach. The weight-loss guides tailor each program to a client's needs, and incorporate tips and strategies for dining out and grocery shopping, such as avoiding empty calories or challenges to eat your own weight in gummy bears.
Owner Jeremy Barnett and his trainers don’t sit back idly and simply recommend getting in shape with CrossFit exercise but also sweat alongside their patrons, furthering their own journeys to fitness. Phil Roberts—now one of Jeremy’s CrossFit¬-certified trainers—shed more than 100 pounds working his body with CrossFit and now inspires students to meet their own weight-loss goals. CrossFit Thoroughbreds’ staff believes that dull routines inhibit progress, changing the nature of the exercises they direct daily and always posting the current date’s workout online. Small groups battle calories and fat within the facility's stripped-down warehouse-like facility, which houses climbing ropes, free weights, and gymnastics equipment, building camaraderie as participants motivate one another while blasting through reps or levitating to the ceiling with only the strength of their minds.
Crossing the finish line of the Fort Myers Marathon brings ample rewards. Beyond medals?which go to the top finishers by age and gender?runners get the satisfaction of knowing that they've helped a good cause. Or in this case, several good causes. Proceeds from the race go to non-profit organizations including Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers and the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
The organizers of Fort Myers Marathon want as many people as possible to get in on the altruism, regardless of how much horsepower their sneakers have. To that end, they let runners register for a full marathon, a half-marathon, and a separate 5K race. Whatever route they choose, racers find ample support along the way. Hydration stations, photographers, and fans line the course.
Cheryl L. Sington's interdisciplinary dance and fitness training has led her to study with, and sometimes even work with, famed figures such as John Landis, Michael Jackson, and Natalie Cole. As the owner of The Dance Warehouse, she passes on her experience in a setting that's professional, yet noncompetitive and fun-focused. Programs for children and adults span nearly every dance genre, including beginner through advanced training in jazz, tap, hip-hop, and ballet. The studio also branches out to include instruction in areas such as musical theater and acrobatics. To supplement these courses, The Dance Warehouse hosts special workshops and master classes, many led by guest choreographers.