After acting as Florida Gulf Coast University's director of fitness and intramural sports, certified personal trainer Jason Cobb channeled his passion for physical prowess into founding CrossFit Fort Myers. There, his fellow coaches bring fire-fighting and intensely athletic backgrounds to match his 14 years of strength and conditioning experience, leading specialized courses that challenge the mental and physical stamina of each client.
CrossFit's catalogue of functional movements—actions that recall real-life motions such as lifting, jumping, throwing, and pushing—provide an adaptable base for classes focused on mothers, football players, and exercise newbies. Though the gym's patrons come from all walks of life, they must demonstrate an unwavering devotion to personal betterment and an ability to lift weights with their minds before entering its exclusive ranks.
Retro Fitness, named one of Entrepreneur's Top New Franchises in 2011, unfurls with 13,000 square feet of vintage-styled workout space that leads visitors to physical peaks in a sunny setting marked by red and yellow fitness equipment and an encouraging team of goal-oriented personal trainers. The capacious gym's sound system blasts energetic jams from the '80s and beyond as exercisers hoist weights or watch TV shows on the 17-inch screens affixed to every cardio machine. Classic flicks such as Grease and Ferris Bueller's Day Off claim screen space in the cardio theater, where guests manufacture sweat by pedaling, jogging, and rewinding hundreds of VHS tapes. Checkerboard pathways venture toward the Retro Blends juice bar with baristas who blend made-to-order fruit smoothies using whey protein and yogurt.
Crossing the finish line of the Fort Myers Marathon brings ample rewards. Beyond medals?which go to the top finishers by age and gender?runners get the satisfaction of knowing that they've helped a good cause. Or in this case, several good causes. Proceeds from the race go to non-profit organizations including Disabled Veterans Insurance Careers and the Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida.
The organizers of Fort Myers Marathon want as many people as possible to get in on the altruism, regardless of how much horsepower their sneakers have. To that end, they let runners register for a full marathon, a half-marathon, and a separate 5K race. Whatever route they choose, racers find ample support along the way. Hydration stations, photographers, and fans line the course.
Dance has defined much of Zumba instructor Paula's life. As a child, she took ballet and jazz classes as a means of both exercise and play. In college, she discovered ballroom dancing, and met her future husband in a ballroom class. But after having three sons, she found herself retaining weight, and tried multiple forms of exercise to lose the excess pounds. Nothing worked, until she once again returned to dance. This time, she discovered Zumba, and the blend of dance and exercise became a true passion for her. Now she helps other people burn calories during the Zumba classes she leads at Fort Myers Zumba Fitness.
Classical, opera, and popular orchestral compositions make up the repertoire of the Southwest Florida Symphony, which has made quality programming its mission since 1961. Aiming to make music accessible to all, the symphony visits schools, offers scholarships, books youth-friendly concerts, and provides a friendly First-Timer’s Guide for new audience members unfamiliar with the proper way of applauding.
During her 10 years in practice, Dental Expressions owner and dentist Sonal Bhoot has done much more than care for teeth—she has been a caring member of her community. Dr. Bhoot participates in programs that help underprivileged children receive dental care and facilitates training for dental assistants in the area. She has worked in both inner-city and suburban settings, and she is skilled at connecting with people of all age groups. As a member of both the Leawood Chamber of Commerce and the Lee's Summit Chamber of Commerce, in addition to several local study clubs, Dr. Bhoot stays ahead of what's happening in her city and in the dental field.
Along with her associate, Dr. Mary Augustyn, Dr. Bhoot relies on state-of-the-art technology during each of her treatments. She carefully gauges the measurements needed for a root canal with an electronic apex locator and creates tooth-colored ceramic crowns in a single appointment with the CEREC 3-D system. She and her team detect subsurface cavities with the laser DiagnoDent pen, which also comes in handy for engraving one's name on a steel mug.