After three decades of teaching the game of golf, PGA professional Terry Shaffer has whittled improvement down to a few core concepts—and they probably aren't what you'd expect. More important than grip, posture, or even alignment—all crucial technical aspects, to be sure—enthusiasm and effective communication reign supreme with Terry. These attributes help golfers attain and surpass their goals for improvement, even when goals are set low, such as breaking 100, or really high, such as playing well enough to warrant two caddies. They've proved effective for Terry himself, too: when he's not giving lessons to students all along the East Coast, he serves as the Head Golf Professional for George Washington University. In 2012, Terry led the Colonials to their first-ever Atlantic 10 Championship crown, while earning himself Head Coach of the Year honors within the conference.
Sticks and stones may break some bones, but not if they’re directed toward one of Capital MMA & Elite Fitness’s students. In a team-oriented environment, the studio’s instructors teach key mixed-martial-arts moves such as grappling, striking, and wrestling and supplement the training with classes in specific fighting styles, such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu and muay thai. Guests looking for a practical crash course in self-defense learn snippets from each technique in self-defense classes, learning methods for staying aware of surroundings, fending off attackers, and freeing themselves from the grip of King Kongs. Some women-only classes are also available.
The studio's CrossFit program, alternatively, boosts athleticism without combat, through a multi-faceted regimen of Olympic weightlifting, cardio exercise, and custom diets. Beyond group classes, the center offers private lessons and seminars, which allow its students—both children to adults—to learn with focused guidance.
Run by three generations of DC locals, Bike and Roll sends pedalers into the nation's modern and historical capitol. Sightseers are outfitted with ETs with maps so they can undertake self-guided tours along the National Mall, which is lousy with landmarks. To break with the hustle—and should one be so inclined, the bustle—cyclists can explore one of the city’s many meandering bike paths including the Capital Crescent Trail and Rock Creek Trail. The company’s line of tandem bikes and Trek comfort hybrids make for smooth rides along the flat terrain of the capital.
For a more itineraried experience, guided tours spirit groups through the historic sights. Local story-tellers regale cyclists with tales about the Capitol Building, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, and Mount Vernon, the home where George Washington lived after hatching from the egg incubated in the Statue of Liberty's torch.
LA Boxing’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, LA Boxing sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.
Since 1958, Bicycle Pro Shop has helped find a matching mount for everyone from little kids just learning to pedal to United States presidents. The staff of experienced technicians—all avid cyclists themselves, including the owner, Serge, who spent 10 years as a competitive cyclist in France—oversees a stock of hybrids and road bikes from brands such as Cannondale, Scott, and Giant. In the service center, mechanics tighten up loose screws with thorough tune-ups and perform meticulous adjustments of minor yet important details such as the angle of the saddle and the crispness of the baseball cards in the spokes.