Surrounded by craggy peaks, three men in bright-red helmets stand in the midst of wilderness, surveying the mountains around them as their group of hikers break for a snack on the rocky ground. This interface with the majesty of nature is all in a day's work for this trio of adventurers—Paul Mangasarian and Jakob and Daniel Laggner. Still, their passion for open-air exploration grows with each expedition they lead. Paul, Jakob, and Daniel cofounded Treks and Tracks with the dream of orchestrating excursions into nature that combine ancient means of travel—such as sailing, horseback riding, and hitchhiking on a centaur—with modern sports ranging from surfing to rock climbing. Though they focus on introducing novice outdoorsfolk to unspoiled wilderness around the world, Treks and Tracks' cofounders also strive to leave the awe-inspiring surroundings they visit as pristine as they found them by rigorously upholding practices of environmental stewardship on each expedition.
For more than three decades, locally owned Spectrum Athletic Clubs have aimed to create a resort-like experience for patrons with upscale perks and personalized care. After workouts, gym-goers can avail themselves of unlimited towel service and change in comfortable locker rooms. Other amenities include saunas, steam rooms, healthy cafes, specialized workout areas, and complimentary Internet access.
In addition, racquetball courts let athletes improve their game independently, and patrons can sweat solo on cardiovascular equipment with individual viewing screens. Group classes, more than 1,200 of which are held daily, include Zumba, Pilates, Body Combat, and CXWorx sessions and enable trainees to draw motivation from each other or from each exercise studio's complimentary tank of moxie. The Spectrum Kids Club gives kids a place to play while adults work out and hosts such events as pool parties and pizza parties throughout the year.
Though GOLFZING can't actually sink a tough putt for you, it provides just about everything else that it takes to enjoy a day on the links. In states across the U.S., the company makes it simple to book tee times, receive detailed course info, buy and sell gear, and even play fantasy golf. Plus, GOLFZING's online community keeps golfers connected.
GOLFZING's membership program, The Players Club, is designed to help golfers of all levels improve their game. It provides vital tools and training opportunities for chopping down scores. Members enjoy access to select courses across the country, as well as numerous other benefits, from unlimited driving range balls to free clinics. Golfers can also earn ZINGPOINTS as part of the company's rewards program, which can be used toward free rounds of golf.
Each of the guitar coaches at American Guitar Academy are certified in the school’s signature teaching method. Developed over 25 years, this house-honed instruction technique incorporates scientific research to help fingers learn to shred frets up to eight times faster than alternative methods. During private half-hour lessons, instructors guide budding rock stars aged 4 years and up through the basics of strumming chords and seamlessly stitching together riffs. These comprehensive lessons on classical, electric, or acoustic guitars are offered once a week with a live instructor or online and guarantee that students will be playing their favorite music within six months of training. Students may begin lessons without owning a guitar, but are encouraged to gain access to one quickly for mastering scales and the ability to solo with their teeth.
The meaning of art may be subjective, but Mission: Renaissance believes that the basic, technical skills needed to create art are learnable, regardless of a student’s age or experience. The instructors at the studio, which was originally founded in 1975, illuminate the Gluck Method, which focuses on the classic rendering techniques that the great masters used on their first computers. The classes can accommodate students as young as 5, and they explore a number of different mediums—including charcoal, watercolors, and oils—while giving attendees the experience they need to appreciate art, as well as create it. Spread across 19 studio locations in southern California, attendance is capped at around six students per instructor, which allows them to offer artists more personalized feedback and more fitting nicknames.
Time 4 Class’s owner, Sandra Rieback, began dancing at age 7, but her career was cut short due to a debilitating back injury. Unable to keep away from the studio, she took matters into her own hands and got certified to teach fitness classes and work as a personal trainer. Shortly thereafter, Sandra opened her own studio, and she was once again immersed in the electrifying energy of group classes. Now, along with a team of instructors, Sandra leads classes for adults that range from cardio Zumba classes and yoga to boxing, boot camps, personal training, and nutrition counseling. Unlike those fitness classes that meet inside R-rated movies, kids can also join the fun with classes such as ballet, kids Zumba, and musical theater.