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.
The Five Seasons Family Sports Club houses tennis courts, a dining area, fitness facilities, swimming pools, and a full-service spa under one roof. Within air-conditioned indoor courts or on outdoor hard or clay courts, racquet slingers compete in friendly bouts to sharpen swings, refine backhands, and showcase grunting abilities. Members can also break a sweat in exercise areas speckled with modern cardio equipment and weights or cool off in an Olympic-sized pool with diving wells and wading areas. Before meeting others for a postgame beverage at the lively caf?, clients can wander to the spa for a relaxing massage or partake in a sports workshop to gain a firm grasp on game mechanics.
From its central location between the Canadian and American mainland, Lake Erie's Pelee Island invites visitors to navigate the watery underworld of the Great Lakes. Experienced guides instruct visitors in the proper use of scuba gear and snorkels, opening up new worlds and underwater landscapes ripe for exploration.
Fairview Park Recreation Department at the Gemini Center hosts an impressive array of classes—20 each week. They take advantage of the brand new facility's amenities, holding spinning classes in dedicated cycling rooms or teaching aquatic skills in the aerobic studio. They also hold outdoor classes during summer months, taking advantage of the sunshine and green lawns. "It's great to see members push themselves and have fun while doing it," reports the Center's group-exercise coordinator.
Beyond fitness instruction, they also use the facility to host summer camps, athletic leagues, and families looking for a day at the pool. They even built a second pool, exclusively for leisure, with waterslides, a lazy river, and submerged beauty parlors.
Designed in stages?just like the little ones they teach?the program at Little Aquanauts gets kids started early. Starting off in infancy, children first learn life-saving safety techniques, as simple as rolling on their backs and floating to breathe more easily or calling out to parents for help. Later on, they'll learn the more advanced mechanics of swimming and foundation-building exercises such as hoisting themselves out of the pool to make them feel confident in the water and assured they can quickly escape pool sharks.
Although Laurel Hill Swim & Tennis Club has amassed a high concentration of USPTA-certified instructors, they share their expertise with more than just professional players. Tennis 101 classes taught on both indoor and outdoor courts, impart beginners with the fundamentals of forehands, backhands, and net play and cardio tennis develops proper footwork while vanquishing calories. Serious competitors and novice players alike benefit from the Club’s variety of surface types. Four synthetic grass courts simulate the grassy grounds at the Wimbledon and har-tru courts replicate courts used during the French Open and hard surfaces replicate courts used at the U.S. and Australian Opens.