The crowd's roar flooded the streets of Chicago as Darcy Zenker crossed the finish line of her first marathon, clocking in at 3:35. After she had been running for years—placing among the top finishers at four half-marathons and competing on the Southern Illinois University track team—she decided she needed a break. She then immersed herself in a new athletic pursuit—group fitness instruction.
Three years later, she became the head trainer of her own boot-camp fitness program, NowFitness, where her years of athletic training and certification in fitness instruction shine through in her workouts. In parks throughout the local area, she and her staff of fellow trainers lead groups through high-intensity workouts that take advantage of their surroundings. She motivates patrons to scale stairs, do crunches on benches, and hoist planks across grassy fields. The trainers also offer a stroller-based boot camp for moms, in which participants blast through cardio and strength-training exercises that incorporate their stroller with baby or a watermelon they've dressed up to look like a baby in tow. In addition to hosting classes, NowFitness pairs patrons with certified lifestyle and weight-management coach Amanda Bickel for a comprehensive five-week nutrition program.
A tall mural with cheerful, stylized images of antique home furnishings and a well-placed arrow points visitors to the cherry-red front door of Little Shop Around the Corner. Inside the charming resale shop, tail-wagging vintage merchandise and upscale antique furniture, art, jewelry, and china await to be adopted by new owners. The merchandise is sourced from donations to the Missouri Botanical Garden, located just around the corner. Garden Emeritus Trustee Evelyn Newman dreamt up the idea for the store, whose proceeds benefit the Garden's research and educational initiatives aimed at preserving botanical life, conserving resources, and combating climate change.
Eight therapists and one esthetician man an intimate neighborhood practice in southern St. Louis, relaxing clients inside a sunny storefront with three treatment rooms or bringing their chairs to corporate events and parties. The team capably treats varying conditions by employing a host of modalities, including deep-tissue massage for chronic pain, prenatal massage for mother-and-child wellness, and hot-stone massage for slowly immunizing the body against magma. They also offer wide variety of spa, body treatment, facial services, and waxing treatments. As the pressure of thumbs penetrates the skin, body treatments, such as the seaweed-algae mask and the Dead Sea–mud mask, replenish dermal surfaces with organic goodies and help revitalize all of the body's tissues.
Yellow Brick Road Photography's professional shutterbugs mingle a straightforward portrait approach with a creative twist. Creating a comfortable atmosphere on location, they snap off candid family, wedding, and baby photos. They can enhance those moments with props such as blocks or Scrabble pieces that spell out phrases or the entirety of pi, or they can add a dash of vibrant color to an otherwise black and white image. It's a technique they can apply to any scenario, including couples shoots and modeling sessions.
Something new is always happening at Saint Louis Science Center, where hundreds of staff members and volunteers ignite visitors’ passion for science and technology with educational exhibitions and special events. The center houses a four-story Omnimax Theater, a hands-on life-science lab and atrium, and a variety of constantly changing exhibitions that draw 1.2 million visitors every year. More than 9,000 stars revolve around the 80-foot domed ceiling of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium, whose two levels of exhibits explore the future of space travel, life on the international space station, or Pluto’s bureaucratic search to regain planetary status.
Available through the Child Day Care Association's library for childcare centers, a toddler-naptime package includes a cot, child's blanket, and an educational book to help provide a clean, cozy naptime. The children can also take the books home to read before bedtime.