After Randy Woody lost his aunt and grandmother to diabetes and obesity, he became increasingly distressed about his own 320-pound frame. He began researching weight loss and strength training and set to work creating a healthier lifestyle for himself—all at the age of 13. Over the years he was able to whittle away 145 pounds, and eventually became a personal trainer, competitive bodybuilder, and member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He teamed up with Brenda Woody, a fitness trainer and motivational speaker, to start Michigan Women Boot Camp, a weight-loss program that has transformed the lives and bodies of more than 10,000 clients.
Six days a week, the indoor boot-camp sessions challenge students with a rotating lineup of light running, resistance training, obstacle courses, and core exercises. Like scaffolding that reads only transcendentalist literature, the environment is supportive, yet serious. The Woodys only expect campers to perform to their individual ability level, but they ask students to show up as often as five times a week to get real results. The approach must be working; the Woodys boast that approximately 85% of their members are repeat visitors.
Rich crimson and jet-black poles punctuate the lustrous hardwood floors paving Fantasy Fitness Studio, where certified dance and fitness instructors aim to enhance both women's self-esteem and fitness through sensual, muscle-toning pole dancing. They bolster their full roster of pole-dancing classes with tutorials on diverse techniques such as hip-hop dance, boot-camp-style workouts, and Zumba, fostering a motivating environment for students of all skill levels during each session. They also host group parties within the elegant studio and can even organize mobile festivities at offsite locations, such as homes or moon colonies.
At The Painted Glass, a wine glass isn't just a vessel for sipping?it's a canvas for exploring creativity. During two-hour classes, students learn techniques for brushing images on long-stem glassware of peacock feathers, twisting branches, or anything else the imagination comes up with. But its mission goes even deeper than that. The studio started as a supportive art class for women with mesothelioma, and has since expanded to offer classes to anyone with a desire to paint. Today the of services go even farther, with classes also accommodating larger groups, such as bachelorette parties and seniors groups.
The independently owned Community Bowling Centers accommodate bowlers of all ages and abilities, featuring bumper-equipped lanes and lightweight balls designed for the hands of pintsize players. At 10 smoke-free locations throughout the region, guests enjoy open hours in addition to league opportunities and special events. The onsite bar serves ice-cold cups of soda or beer, which guests may raise in toasts to friendship and man's ability to hydrate himself. On select evenings, the alley lights turn down and the ethereal illumination of Glow N Bowl takes over with laser-light shows and fog machines. As balls roll down phosphorescent lanes, a sound track of thumping beats and alien distress calls saturates the space.
Phoenix Theatres transports its audiences to exotic lands, forbidden romances, and CGI-animal kingdoms of the 100% digital silver screen. With some films shown in RealD XL 3-D, crowds can immerse themselves even further into the suspended belief of film. Phoenix Theatres' Ensemble offers a rotating selection specialty programs such as plays, operas, and ballets. Concessions provide free refills on sodas and large popcorns, fueling imaginations for sprints toward stories' thrilling or heartwarming resolutions.
When designing the play areas and picking out the toys for Tiny Town Play Lounge, founder Jennifer Assaf turned to her four-year-old son for help. The two of them put their minds together and dreamed up a toddler-friendly wonderland with climbing structures, a puppet theater, and a magical bubble tree. They also built a make-believe grocery store, pet hospital, and beauty parlor, putting Jennifer's belief that playtime should stimulate imagination and cognitive development into action. As a mother herself, Jennifer also understands that parents care deeply about the health and safety of their little ones. With this in mind, she added germ-killing ultraviolet lights, antibacterial cleaning stations for the toys, and a special gated crawl section to protect younger babies from their stumbling older playmates. Jennifer also spearheads art-centric classes where children can craft, read books, make music, or confer about Sesame Street's postmodern narrative structure.
She didn't forget about the grown-ups, though—she also included a special parents lounge with TVs, WiFi, and laptop tables, a touch that delighted writers from Oakland County Moms. To keep these parents and their youngsters from getting peckish, Jennifer decided to feature a healthy cafe brimming with freshly baked muffins, coffee, and kid-friendly eats.