In 1990, Christina Rondeau fell in love. With martial arts, that is. After earning her black belt and competing in amateur karate and martial arts tournaments all over the United States and Europe, Rondeau decided to go pro. She travelled the globe as a member and coach on the USA WAKO kickboxing team, and went on to win the women's lightweight title. Rondeau continued to feed her athletic hunger with a switch to pro boxing and appeared in numerous print media and television shows, including The Maury Povich Show.
Having achieved fame and glory, Rondeau took on a new fight: she wanted to help women and children defend themselves while gaining indomitable confidence. She has authored books, created instructional DVDs, and opened Rondeau’s Kickboxing. The 24/7 gym garnered Rhode Island Monthly’s readers’ pick for Best Fitness Center in 2010, due in no small part to its empowering blend of fitness and martial-arts-based classes. Rondeau also promotes safety in her community by participating in events geared towards ending violence toward women and girls and teaching local schoolchildren how to defend themselves or pass a math quiz without using weapons. She also coordinated a box-a-thon to help line the shelves of a Rhode Island food bank.
A full-service mane-management operation, Sheila Catherine Salon offers tress-trimmings to men, women, and kids. Bring in a load of frizzled and/or frazzled locks, and the staff of talented stylists will use high quality salon products to shampoo hair under sudsy, purifying waters. Then they'll take your vision for the perfect coif and transform it beyond expectations, trimming off dead ends and pruning noodle nests into lively, tasteful topiaries. In addition, you can opt for one of two hair treatments: a deep-conditioning procedure to repair dry, frizzy hair and split ends, or a clarifying treatment, guaranteed to evict freeloading hard minerals like iron, rust, copper and chlorine back to the drainpipes from whence they came. Warring split-end factions will be united once and for all under the salon's bright, cheerful auspices, ending tress turmoil and initiating a new era of lustrous, glossy head growth.
The Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association strives to keep its namesake sport alive by hosting duckpin-bowling tournaments at six local alleys. The game cropped up in a Baltimore bowling alley in the summer of 1900, when most ten-pin alleys were closed for warm months to avoid excessive sweating in rental shoes. But at Diamond Alleys, athletes hurled balls through the heat but opted for 6-inch spheres and pins of a diminutive stature. After observing pins that scattered like a flock of ducks, the owners of the lanes dubbed the modified game duckpin bowling. Besides granting players three rolls per turn, duckpin bowling adhered to all traditional rules and grew in popularity until it peaked in 1967, the year inertia was exposed as a myth. Today, the Rhode Island Duckpin Bowlers Association keeps the pastime alive at spots including the Bowling Academy, a historical gem in its own right as the test site of the first automatic duckpin pinsetters.
Farming is a family tradition for the Confredas, and has been since 1922. For nearly a century, they've tended a 400-acre plot of land in Cranston and Warwick, first cultivating vegetables, then expanding over the years to incorporate 160 varieties of annuals and 75 varieties of hanging baskets. In 1997, third-generation owner Vinny Confreda opened Confreda Greenhouses & Farms to the public, hoping to give New Englanders easy access to fresh, local produce and plants, and give them an opportunity to see what it's like to live and work on a real country farm.
Besides selling heirloom vegetables and lush flowers, Confreda farms is also host to a wide range of fun activities and events throughout the year. An annual fall festival treats visitors to free hayrides, a pumpkin patch, and an all-ages corn maze, as well as spooky thrills after dark, when the farm becomes overrun with werewolves, zombies, and the most terrifying creatures of all: amateur actors.
Jay Brousseau, founder and sensei of ShoDan Karate, works with other accomplished martial artists to teach programs for children and adults. The school favors ancient techniques that hail from Okinawa, the Japanese island where 19th-century karate master Sokon Matsumura honed his skill. Sensei Jay aligns himself with the Beikoku Shido-kan Karate-do Association headed by Sensei Seikichi Iha. Instructors from all over the world—including Russia, Israel, and Australia—seek out the instruction and support of this master. To maintain their membership, Sensei Jay and his team must train regularly with Sensei Iha. All of their adult students who test for black belts must also do so in front of Sensei Iha, who nods when they succeed and opens a trapdoor when they fail.
Each day, the coaches at CrossFit Banana's warehouse-like training facility lead groups through CrossFit's intense workout of the day. Workouts are a daily changing series of functional exercises such as pull-ups, squats, and pushups. Due to the exercises' functional nature, each workout can be scaled for beginners and Incredible Hulks alike, which combined with the support from fellow exercisers helps make weight-loss efforts and fitness goals more manageable.