Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains in 2010, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln-workers help glaze, fire, and de-genie it for them, and they may retrieve the finished piece after a few days.
While teaching jazz dance in the 1960s, Judi Sheppard Missett decided to step away from tradition by offering an experimental class that allowed her students to simply dance without the judgment of mirrors or the constraints of rigid technique. In these sessions, she began infusing popular dance moves with specific fitness workouts to forge a distinctive blend of cardio exercise, strength training, and dance instruction. Little did she know that this “just for fun” class was the prototype for what would become the national fitness sensation known as Jazzercise.
Today, Jazzercise takes its aerobic techniques from a variety of sources that include jazz dance, hip-hop, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. The class formats, which vary according to different toning goals, are just as diverse as the program's move set. Two-time Dancing with the Stars champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of the improvisational routines, although her advanced skills aren't needed to get the most out of classes. Instructors cultivate a noncompetitive atmosphere where all exercisers—with the exception of those marked as cursed by jazz-hand palm readers—are welcome regardless of age, build, or fitness background.
Snap Fitness's around-the-clock gyms enable fitness-focused members to improve their physical well-being with a cornucopia of equipment, no matter the hours they keep. Prospective perspirers don't have to let The Man or a random street man tell them when to participate in their five F.I.T. sessions, which are spread throughout the week. Each one-hour session caters to the fitness goals of its 8–12 participants, focusing on circuit and interval training and incorporating a variety of exercises such as TRX Suspension, which works several muscle groups, and kickboxing, which helps improve tone and endurance. Practice balance on a BOSU ball or agile sidewalk-crack avoidance with an agility ladder. The cardio chieftains at Snap Fitness may then walk you through plyometric exercises. Results from Snap's F.I.T. sessions can include weight loss, increased stamina, flexibility, and lean-muscle mass. Participants can bask in Snap Fitness's friendly, unintimidating atmosphere that provides a refreshing change of pace from meat-market gyms and tough elementary-school weight rooms.
The mission of Body and Brain Yoga—alongside its affiliate yoga centers—is to make yoga accessible to everyone, everywhere. To this end, each team of instructors modulate movements based on Korean sun do to match each students’ needs. Classes emphasize aligning the body and mind equally through stretches, breathing exercises, and meditation, and each session is capped off by a 10-minute tea time, during which students and instructors can socialize or reenact Alice in Wonderland's interview with the Easter Bunny.
Sneakers pound the grass during shriek-filled games of tag. But this isn’t recess, it’s Portland Fit Camp, and the jubilant players aren’t children but women sculpting muscles during the intense, outdoor adult version of the classic game. With a max of 24 campers, the sessions have an intimate feel, and their participants are fueled by their collective energy and the motivational training of a certified instructor. For five days a week for four-week sessions, the groups meet in the park for muscle-shocking routines that change daily to avoid plateaus. Core-based, functional exercises such as agility ladder drills, air squats, and hill sprints are all taught to students, who break the traditional workout routine with games of tag or games of capture the flag taped to the squirrel’s back.
Stoneworks Climbing Gym's climbers while away their days on the gym's vast top-rope, lead, and bouldering walls. The walls soar to the ceiling and bear holds with multicolored tape to delineate each climbing route, which start at 5.6 and vary in difficulty. The diverse set of routes and climbing difficulties have made Stoneworks an ideal gym for climbing the past 20 years and for competitions, such as the annual Boulder Joust.
Avid climbers themselves, the route setters and staff at Stoneworks are also guides, leading teams of beginner and skilled climbers into the mountains of Oregon for outdoor climbing. They also equip members with the skills needed to scale their routes in both group and private lessons that focus on technique, sport climbing, and vertical Twister. Kids are welcome to join the junior climbing team or summer camps.
A star offensive lineman for Stanford University, 315-pound Brian Cassidy—his team up by five touchdowns against Washington State—set up for a routine extra point. Suddenly, a player leaped across the line of scrimmage and landed on Brian’s knee, tearing both his ACL and MCL in one life-changing second. His hopes for an NFL career nearly dashed, Brian moved on to his rehabilitation, but instead he suffered one more debilitation: a herniated disc. Nearly paralyzed, Brian had a breakthrough: as a muscular-training specialist pointed out, his body wasn’t aligned properly, making his recovery nearly impossible. Brian started training with a new focus, emerging months later faster and stronger than ever before—and dedicated to a new multilevel training philosophy that he continues to develop at ADAPT Training.
There, trainers help clients recover from their injuries or simply enhance their personal fitness level by ensuring that four key structural joints—the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles—work in balance with one another and maintain their proper alignment, thereby strengthening the durability and gas mileage of the entire body. Clients participate in everything from classes focused on physical therapy to strength-training regimens to boot camps, all personalized to meet the individual needs of each student.