Though dogs tend to lovingly follow their owners' lead, that's not where the name Me & My Shadow came from. The owners had a dog named Shadow, an american eskimo that began suffering from health problems, including blindness, at an early age. When Shadow became too skittish to take walks around the neighborhood, his owners decided to put a pool in the backyard. Shadow was delighted to swim in it, and for years afterward, it seemed he was happiest during the summer swimming season.
This inspired Me & My Shadow, an indoor pool and recreation center where dogs can exercise and learn to socialize throughout the year. By-appointment swimming sessions are kept private to ensure dogs and owners—who can take a dip, too—feel comfortable. Pet parents can also sign their dogs up for training sessions, which are led by Judy Hales, an experienced trainer who takes a gentle, positive approach to instruction, as opposed to just rolling her eyes at dogs that can't complete their given task.
A community staple for more than 70 years, Ann Arbor Country Club's 18-hole course roams undulating, tree-speckled terrain for a 6,420-yard, par 72 course. Rolling fairways give way to small greens, making it critical for golfers to approach the putting surface from advantageous angles. Mature trees and streams loom throughout the course, eager to ensnare errant balls or runaway golf carts.
To the trained staff at Wakeboard Clinic, every watery medium is worth a ride. These acrobatic instructors wakeboard, wakesurf, wakeskate, and waterski across the warm, shallow waters of Silver Lake in summer, and they skim the snow once the temperature drops. With an indefatigable passion for riding, the expert crew imparts their athletic know-how to pupils during clinics at the private Silver Spray Sports Marina on Silver Lake and at Boyne Mountain Resort during overnight camp stints. At these scenic locales, students young and old master wakesurfing basics before graduating to more advanced maneuvers such as jumps, grabs, and spins.
Snooker's Pool & Pub's two locations pair the excitement of a billiard game with a menu of pub food and a fully stocked bar of liquors and beers. From pizza to sandwich platters, the menu nourishes billiard spectacles, and bartenders stir drinks such as rum and cokes or long island iced teas.
Fitness-minded visitors sweat their way through The Sports Club’s more than 100,000 square feet of equipment, group exercise classes, and workout-enhancing amenities. Patrons who thrive on camaraderie can get energized during group classes in one of five practice rooms, and lone wolves can try their hands, limbs, and cores at weight machines by Cybex, Hammer Strength, and Life Fitness. Seventy cardiovascular machines fill the rest of the floor space, each equipped with a personal television that can play any home-brought DVDs, CDs, or flip books. During the warmer seasons, staff members uncover 2 of the 3 pools and 5 of the 14 indoor tennis courts, creating open-air recreational opportunities that earned the facility Hour Detroit magazine's award for Best Outdoor Tennis Court in 2008 and 2009. Employees can keep an eye on guests' youngsters in the childcare room, which brims with age-appropriate activities for toddlers and stuffed-animal focus groups.
Some running stores brag about their huge selection. For Running Fit, it isn’t about quantity, but quality. Their selection, which typically spans about 200 options, never includes poorly made shoes, even if they’re hot brand names. The shop's buyers focus on three core principles: fit, construction, and price. If a shoe doesn’t fit their high expectations, it simply doesn’t make the cut. The staff is trained to help you find a shoe that fits your unique specifications, from foot and gait type to preferences in in-shoe rocket boosters.
Those who are getting into running for the first time should try Running Fit's Running 101 class, which prepares students for the trials of a 5K through group runs and info sessions that focus on apparel and shoes, stretching, nutrition, and how to prepare for a race. More experienced runners can raise their game up by having their form analyzed or signing up for the half- and full-marathon class, which takes participants through the training process from start to finish. The running obsessed, meanwhile, should check out The FIT, a weekly running newsletter that doubles as an arch support.