A group of 10 grown men sprawled out on the hangar floor, each one grasping the calves of his neighbor. It's a puzzling sight, until you realize they're skydivers practicing a group jump formation. The licensed instructors at Skydive Carolina! have organized such aerial adventures for more than for 25 years, leading everyone from first-timers to experienced skydivers into the firmament within a Cessna 182, Beechcraft Super King Air, or Cessna Grand Caravan. They can memorialize free falls—which reach speeds that exceed 120 miles per hour—with photography and DVD recordings from cameras mounted onto clouds. Once parachutes deploy, groups glide down the drop zone into a triangular landing area bordered by evergreens and wildflowers.
Dr. Gregory Abrams, DMD, and Dr. Ron Cohen, DDS, go to great lengths to help patients maintain their healthy smiles. When not seating implants, filling cavities, or fitting teeth with braces, Dr. Cohen spends his time engaging in hundreds of hours of classes practicing new dentistry innovations. Dr. Abrams journeys from the Friendly Dental offices to underserved areas in a mobile dentistry van, giving patients access to dental care right in their own neighborhoods. Both professionals ensure their patients stay entertained during treatments by seating them in plush chairs, turning on the in-room televisions, and explaining the show’s finer plot points to teeth.
Rock Hill Bike Shop’s team of cycling enthusiasts helps new and experienced bicyclists adjust to their new modes of wheeled transportation. Inside, you’ll find bicycles by Giant, QuintanaRoo, and other top brands, as well as scooters by MGP and skateboards by Alien Workshop—all more reliable ways to travel than hooking a shopping cart to a passing ice cream truck. Complement your new ride by picking out sunglasses, lights and reflectors, pumps, and other accessories in Rock Hill’s inventory.
Inside Body Synergy’s lofted, sun-lit space, a collection of wood-paneled Pilates machines stand over a carpeted area—each with a unique purpose in strengthening students’ core. Instructors provide small groups with individualized instruction here, or lead larger classes that focus on mat and release work. Elsewhere in the wellness studio, slate-colored rooms create a tranquil environment for undergoing customized, organic facials.
At Curves, exercisers of all fitness levels move around a circuit of hydraulic-resistance machines that have been designed to work with women's bodies and promote weight loss, protect against osteoporosis, and deal with arthritis. An experienced trainer is always nearby to help manage machine-maneuvering and muscle making. Instead of fiddling with weight stacks, filling medicine balls with medicine, and losing your momentum, the hydraulic machines account for different body weights and fitness levels to create resistance that matches one's abilities, which thereby decreases the risk of soreness or injury. Because traditional lift-and-lower motions create bulky muscles, each machine uses push-and-pull motions to create toned, lean muscles perfect for crushing a grapefruit without looking like you can.
Shannon "The Cannon" Hudson is an International Kickboxing Federation world champion, a fifth-degree black belt in Japanese shotokan karate, and a survivor of more than 70 bouts in the ring—yet, one of his most influential titles is "father." With two kids clinging around his waist like a squirmy fanny pack, Shannon started brainstorming a way to channel his boxing and kickboxing training into a quick, effective workout that even those who are busy or out of shape could tackle. The result was 9Round, a 30-minute routine of aerobic, anaerobic, and resistance moves divided into a circuit of nine stations. The ever-changing series of workouts maximizes morale and results while minimizing boredom.
His trainers launch the workouts every three minutes, motivating exercisers through each station—which might include jumping rope or pummeling speed bags. Online nutritional counseling supplements the workouts, teaching patrons how to construct and eat healthy meals instead of falling back on old habits, such as snacking on cheese sculptures.