Alexander C. Nnabue knows that caring for eyes is really about caring for people. After earning doctor of optometry degrees from both Imo State University in Nigeria and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, Dr. Nnabue found his own company to help restore patients' ocular health. What began in 1994 as a single storefront has blossomed into six Visual Eyes locations throughout the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Today, the caring doctor leads biannual medical mission trips to Africa, including one trip that, according to a 2006 Nigeria World article, put thousands of eyeglasses and medications in the hands of those in need.
At Visual Eyes, he and his fellow optometrists use advanced technology to diagnose and treat various conditions. A trained technician manufactures lenses at an in-house lab, and Dr. Nnabue specializes in orthokeratology, a vision-correcting process that eliminates the need to wear glasses, contacts, or a sign that says, "Sorry for walking into you; I forgot my contacts or glasses." The team also prides itself on showcasing the latest designer frames, including Marc by Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, and Guess.
Founder Bertha Cross brings industry expertise to Fitness Heights International from several angles: she is a seasoned marathon runner, a sports nutritionist, a business consultant, and an exercise instructor, among other titles. Her drive to inspire long-term lifestyle changes in clients led her to enlist trainers for multiple programs, all of which are accessible to students of every fitness level. Boot camps drill muscles with a variety of strength and agility routines, and running groups take jogs past DC landmarks, pausing to try to get the Lincoln Memorial in on games of duck duck goose. Innovative dance classes mix Zumba steps with reggae beats and lead feet through Bollywood choreography.
Ultimately, each regimen strives to forge a sense of community and support, a goal that also permeates the business's tropical fitness retreats and annual race events. The majority of meet ups takes place outdoors, facilitating breaths of fresh air and fitness tips from friendly squirrels.
At Eyeland Eyecare Center and Luxoptics, friendly optical experts sharpen fields of vision and protect precious eye parts with thorough examinations and an arsenal of contacts, sunglasses, and traditional frames. Frames from labels such as Prada and Burberry add a touch of stylish class to pupils, and the store?s sophisticated software precalculates benefits from nearly all available insurance plans. After working alongside his brother at Eyeland for more than three decades, Robert Bojarski founded Luxoptics, a newly christened sister store built around the concept of outfitting clientele with modern, high-end eyewear and making the monocle popular again. Frames from Bulgari and Ray Ban grace faces with fresh designs, and selections from Persol complement patients? heads with styles that blend old and new. Luxoptic?s sunny, high-ceilinged studio welcomes visitors with pristine white decor, and the in-house lab grinds lenses to computer-calculated specifications.
The Adventure Park at Sandy Spring's 13 courses are color-coded by difficulty level, from yellow for beginners to double black diamonds for experts. They aren't ski trails, though?they're climbing challenges. More than 150 platforms adorn 5 acres of trees, which participants trek among by way of cable, wood, and rope bridges, as well as ziplines. A short safety briefing precedes all excursions, covering how to use the included gear and harnesses.
The park's main courses aren't the only place to test climbing skills. Over in the Monkey Grove, visitors can scale 10 trees fastened with the footholds and grips of a classic rock wall. Younger climbers, meanwhile, can explore The Labyrinth, a small, contained structure featuring more than 40 junior-sized versions of the park's other challenges. The courses illuminate on select Glow-in-the-Park evenings, when food, live music, and hoot-owl choruses await climbers upon their return to terra firma.
High-energy beats from artists such as Flo Rida, B.o.B., and the Black Eyed Peas bounce forth from the spinning studio at Rock Creek Sports Club, where nationally certified trainers lead stationary cyclists through challenging routes. In addition to these pop-powered workouts, the studio hosts more than 50 other fitness classes, an array of options that prompted the editors of Bethesda Magazine to name the studio 2012’s Best Neighborhood Gym. Zumba classes encourage students to boogie away calories to latin beats, and boxing clinics incorporate one-on-one attention from Golden Glove winner Russell Davis. The team of trainers can also coach visitors through the weight-loss process, or helm small group workout sessions capped at eight participants. The gym also welcomes independent workouts, with equipment such as treadmills, benches, and weights awaiting a few breathless reps of their own.
The trainers at Push Fitness are single-minded in their goal to help students trim inches, tone muscle, and feel confident in whatever they wear. During each session, students undergo high-intensity routines combining cardio training with strength and resistance exercises. Each routine is designed to burn the maximum amount of fat and targets common trouble zones, including the waist, hips, back, and thighs. Further inspiring patrons to develop healthful habits, the trainers treat them to optional bi-weekly weigh ins and body-fat measurements, along with encouraging them to follow nutritional advice and adhere to comprehensive custom meal plans. Their approach focuses on meals made up of lean meats, vegetables, and fruits, eschewing excessive sugar, salt, and bacon-wrapped donuts deep fried in bacon-wrapped-donut fat.