At the Columbia Association, visitors find not only a place to work out, swim, or enjoy the great outdoors, but a place to connect with the local community and get to know their neighbors. Families take in live music by the lakefront during summer festivals, or glide across the ice at the public rink. Meanwhile, aspiring athletes build muscle, flexibility, and form with practice at indoor and outdoor tennis courts, or regular trips to the high-tech Columbia Gym. Columbia Association also helps its members maintain a healthy lifestyle with a wide variety of facilities, including nearby golf courses, 23 swimming pools, and even an attached horse center, where humans can learn to ride and horses can get in shape for swimsuit season.
Since 1973, each of Sport&Health's 24 clubs has aimed for full fitness coverage with programs for every taste and family member. Guests can spark positive lifestyle changes with gym workouts and wellness services, or engage in a variety of sports. Each facility houses different athletic amenities for games and laps, from pristine swimming pools to squash and racquetball courts lathered in a fresh coat of peanut butter every morning. The camaraderie of group classes such as Zumba and Les Mills BodyPump barbell routines complement scores of gym equipment meant for exercising solo—or with the guidance of a certified personal trainer. The clubs also emphasize kid-friendly activities with arts and crafts, Kidz Klub childcare, and youth certification courses that teach teens the ins and outs of training. Depending on the location, spa treatments can knead tension from muscles and paint one's favorite kettlebell with a layer of Shellac.
On the shade-speckled hard courts of Carderock Springs Swim and Tennis Club, Seven Locks Swim and Tennis Club, and Old Georgetown Swim and Tennis Club—tennis director Nitin Deodhar and his team of professionals certified by the United States Professional Tennis Association work with adults and children during specially designed tennis classes and clinics. Nitin and his team lead students as young as four years old, and many of their racket-swinging scholars have achieved collegiate scholarships, national rankings, and sectional league championships.
In addition to helping young students fine-tune their motor skills while developing a love of tennis balls rivaled only by golden retrievers, Deodhar Tennis Academy works with adult students. Specialized clinics and classes include cardio-tennis sessions filled with drills that attempt to keep heart rates up and early-bird clinics—which blend drills and point play to provide a more invigorating start to the day than swimming in a pool of iced espresso.:m]]
Chesapeake Bay is home to legendary beautiful waters, diverse flora and fauna, and Paddlefest, an annual paddle-sports event organized by the team at Ultimate Watersports. Held on the Gunpowder River, which flows into the bay, the festival shows off the industry's latest toys, allowing attendees to try out brand-new kayaks and paddleboards on the sparkling fresh water. For the rest of the season, Ultimate Watersports brings its know-how to the shores with kayak tours, paddleboard lessons, and sailing trips that have remained a bay fixture for more than 26 years. Waterfront enthusiasts seek out the company's reliably well-maintained and up-to-date watercraft to do everything from gain a windsurfing certification to practice heckling standup paddleboard comics. Additionally, seasonal kids' camps help youngsters to stay active while gaining an appreciation for watersports and the splendor of the outdoors.
Chesapeake Underwater Sports founder Mike Nieman has spent the majority of his life in or around water. As a child, many of his relatives worked Chesapeake Bay as watermen. In 1972, Mike began diving for the U.S. Air Force, and after his service, became a merchant seaman. During those years, and through all those experiences, Mike kept his eye on one dream: opening a dive shop of his own.
Mike did just that in 1987. Today, having been involved in the training of more than 2,000 divers, he continues to promote the sport–or, in his case, lifestyle–of diving through instruction. At his shop, Mike and his team of NAUI instructors provide education ranging from basic courses all the way up to instructor qualification programs. They also assist clients in planning exotic diving trips, and maintain an expansive stock of equipment and accessories.
Like cookouts and sunscreen, the swimming pool is a summertime staple. At Pointer Ridge Swim & Racquet Club, three pools welcome visitors each summer to splash amid the facility's 5 wooded acres. Members can practice the breaststroke or show off their butterfly skills during lap swimming. And after dips, guests can lounge on the pool deck and nibble on treats from the snack bar rather than slurp down a pool noodle keeping a fellow swimmer afloat. Pointer Ridge also has four tennis courts for lessons and adult and junior programs.