Camp Gladiator founder Ally Davidson’s childhood obsession with the outdoors and sports led her to pursue a degree in exercise physiology. After her 2008 win on the TV show American Gladiators, Ally decided to share her love of fitness with the world at large. Camp Gladiator reflects Ally's passion for fitness in its mission, which espouses their desire "to positively impact the physical fitness and ultimately the lives of as many people as possible." Her boot camps have since expanded to 13 U.S. cities, with each hosting multiple training locales. The upbeat staff of certified trainers lead patrons of all ages and fitness levels through four-week outdoor boot camps, earning Camp Gladiator a Hot Spot title from Women's Health magazine's Fitness Awards in 2013, Best Boot Camp from Rare magazine in 2010, Best of Big D 2010–2013 from D magazine, and Best Outdoor Boot Camp 2012 from Austin Fit magazine.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
While some runners run for glory, self-discovery, or a personal best, participants in the Walking Dead Run 5k Adventure Race run for their lives. Guests surmount obstacles and duck and weave down dirt paths as they try to protect an affixed flag from two types of zombies: Stumblers and Chasers. The former ambles menacingly, and the latter sprints; both types sport grotesque makeup and drip fake blood as they hunt racers, trying to tear the flags from their flag-football belts. At the untimed race’s finish line, participants dust themselves off before a post-race party, complete with beer, food, and live music. Proceeds from the race go toward supporting the North Texas Food Bank.
Bodies vault, twist, and somersault at Olympia Hills Gymnastics, defying gravity with solid technique and strength of will. The Gymnastics team provides training for kids of all ages and fitness goals ranging from fun tumbling classes to programs that prepare students for competition. Classes include cheer clinics, parent and me classes for kids ages 10 months to three years, and power tumbling classes for ages eight and up. In these classes, students learn how to throw their bodies in the air and maintain control and balance, with a focus on safety. After learning the basics, students can progress to advanced levels by invitation or whenever they show up with newly-sprouted wings.
Golf Etc. features a bevy of bogey-friendly products from brands such as Titleist, Ping, Bridgestone Golf, Adidas, Callaway, TaylorMade, and more. In addition to its armory of traditional fairway artillery, Golf Etc. also builds, repairs, re-grips, and re-shafts trusty clubs at its on-site workshop. Re-gripping is $3 per club, plus the price of grip, and can be completed the day the clubs are brought in. If your club handle is already gripped for success, you can opt for a one-hour video golf lesson ($80), which uses a digital coaching system known only as V-1 to give golfers a clearer understanding of their swing and teach them how to harness its inherent energy to jump-start a dead golf-cart battery. Golfers can also get their drivers fitted ($75) and find out which long-distance clubber is best for their game using the Swing Labs Digital Fitting System. Short-gamers can practice putts on a 280-square-foot indoor green that features authentic challenging breaks. Prices provided are from the Pearland store and may vary by location.
The roughly 5-kilometer Survivor Mud Run challenges athletes from around the country with 20 mud-soaked obstacles, including monkey bars, tire courses, giant slip 'n' slides, and net climbs. A team of licensed contractors builds all the obstacles, ensuring stability throughout. The dirt-drenched course allows participants to put their stamina, physical fitness, and mental determination to the test in a much more fun and safer way than challenging a Central African chimpanzee to a staring contest. Adrenaline and sheer force of will boost runners over walls and beneath low-slung wires in the mud-filled trenches, leading them to the finish line where a post-competition party awaits with beer, music, and food. After each race, announcers honor the top three male and female participants in each age division, bestowing a special distinction upon the runner who was brave enough to don the wackiest costume.