Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
Vital Climbing Gym combines the facilities of a rock-climbing center with the comforts of a coffee lounge, giving members a place to strengthen their bodies and relax their minds. The 24-hour gym entices members to climb at any time of day without concern for injury on rocky walls that are built for bouldering, a style of climbing that keeps climbers low to the ground and requires no safety equipment or backup support. Before or after climbing sessions, clients can relax on a comfortable couch, sip a hot beverage from the espresso machine, connect to the gym’s WiFi network, and talk technique with fellow climbers.
Each arena at The Paintball Park brings in fresh equipment every season to keep paintballers on their toes. Barricades, bunkers, trenches, and tall trees provide ample cover for firing off shots at opponents, ducking from overhead fire, or meeting to discuss how to get the pizza-delivery man into the fortress unharmed. Games of elimination battles give players a chance to take out the other team while sprinting between the wreckage of tanks and helicopters.
Each of the Paintball Park's paintball fields has a distinct feel. Running beneath dinosaur sculptures lends to a carefree sensation, and trying to find an entrance in endless, gray castle walls evokes the sense that one is an ancient warrior who left his keys somewhere.
The staff at Unified Team Diving can transform someone who's never scuba dived before into a professional diver with their expansive menu of classes and courses. In their onsite heated swimming pool, instructors orient students to the world of breathing and exploring underwater. Combined with classroom sessions, they can award their students various certifications such as recreational diver, technical diver, diving instructor, and overhead diver, which includes cave diving. They conduct their training dives at the nearby La Jolla shores, which offer shallow wrecks, walls, and kelp for students to explore.
In the middle of The Wave Waterpark, people lie upon colorful rafts that float gently down the lazy river. It’s a serene way to soak up some rays and keep cool. But in the center of the lazy river, separated by raised concrete and a foot bridge, an adventure awaits: the Flow Rider. This simulated surfable ocean wave dares visitors to try and hang ten without falling off their boards into the safe, if rollicking waters.
These two attractions represent the broad spectrum of activity at The Wave, a family-friendly destination equally suited to mild-mannered relaxation, adventurous fun, or something in between. Other rides include a tangle of waterslides, such as the Slam Dunk, an enclosed-tunnel body slide with plenty of twists, and Rippity’s Rainforest, a kid-friendly playground gushing with fountains and waterfalls.
From April to September, lifeguards teach swim lessons in the park’s competition pool for kids as young as 6 months, as well as adults. The Wave is also an ideal spot for birthday parties, with rental cabanas that can fit as many as 30 people or one enormous birthday clown, and a Surf Spot Grill that refuels revelers with burgers, burritos, and pizza.
"I consider sacred the bond of trust that develops over time with our athletes, forged by sound direction, collaboration, and real, lasting results," says Erik Preston, owner and head trainer at CrossFit San Elijo. The ex-Marine recruited a team of instructors who work to forge a sense of community among its members through rigorous shared effort of their group workouts. Instructors teach athletes foundational movements during an initial class before embarking on daily workouts where they’ll hoist kettlebells, master gymnast’s rings, and walk with 45-pound weights. Every exercise is rigorously monitored, as instructors insist on proper form while students execute core exercises of squat, press, and lift. Along with emphasizing sound mechanics, instructors help copilot participants toward healthier eating habits and recovery techniques.
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