It's been more than three decades since Andrew Drake rode his first wave, but his passion for surfing stays strong. Washington Surf Academy is the embodiment of his passion and has grown to include instruction not just for surfing but for paddleboards as well. Unlike a gingerbread man's enemies, Mr. Drake's classes don't take a cookie-cutter approach. "Every person is a unique case," he says. The diversity of his clientele is one of the things Mr. Drake finds most rewarding. "Some people will have huge fears, and it is nice to see them get over them. This one time, this lady was freaking out, but I talked her into it, and she loved it so much that she bought a board from us on the first day."
By helping them to float out of their comfort zones, Mr. Drake and his team open people up to the hidden world off Seattle's coast. With snow-capped peaks in the distance, surfers can conquer waves and paddleboarders can float beneath bald eagles flying to their next college history lecture.
Fuerte means "strong" in Spanish, and if anyone knows the strength required to stay fit, it's Fuerte Fitness owner Adriana Medina. Having completed an impressive transformation herself, Adriana founded Fuerte as a way to reinvigorate a dedication to health and fitness in others.
A brightly lit, brightly colored facility, Fuerte separates itself from big-box gyms with its friendly, intimidation-free vibe. But make no mistake: the focus here is on fitness, as evidenced by the gym's army of cardio machines, weights, and cross-training equipment, including heavy bags and agility boxes. Fuerte also hosts a rotation of more than 10 fitness classes, plus other events, such as hiking trips, cooking classes, and outings at sporting events so members can get to know each other face-to-face instead of grunting their hobbies between every rep.
The certified instructors at Bikram Yoga Seattle lead students through a tapestry of restorative postures within heated studios that help loosen limbs, increase circulation, and incite detoxifying sweats. During each session, they'll explain and demonstrate the physical and potentially spiritual nuances of each of the 26 poses.
Under the same management but in a brand new studio, which just had its grand opening two weeks ago, the location boasts antifungal and antimicrobial smooth-surface flooring that helps cultivate a clean and hygienic atmosphere in which to practice. The materials are 100% recyclable and made by Mondo, the same company that supplied the flooring for the 2012 London Olympics.
For the past eight years, Community Fitness has been motivated by the vision of people striving toward goals together while having fun enjoying music and movement. Lifelong dancers teach barre classes, pharmacists-cum-personal-trainers guide yoga sessions, and CrossFit?trained mothers of three lead BodyPump workouts.
Community Fitness' approach is balanced across three different studios, each with its own focus and to-the-point name, that combine to offer more than 100 classes per week. The Play studio offers movement and dance classes, the Power studio revolves around strength training, and the Flow studio takes a mind-body approach with gentler exercises such as yoga. Each studio creates a bright space equipped with sprung floors and high-tech light and sound.
Vision Quest Sport and Fitness promotes a five-pronged approach to fitness, covering cardiovascular, progressive resistance, proper diet, supplementation, and personal training. Like any decent clock factory, the clubs are open 24 hours a day, and each keeps its own schedule primed with group classes such as boxing, yoga, spinning, and hip-hop fitness. Body Sculpt sessions fashion forms with weights and bands, and Total Body Conditioning uses lighter weights and higher repetitions to create lean, mean muscle mass.
Members take part in complimentary wellness seminars from fitness experts to fine-tune their bodies, and teams of affiliated massage therapists, chiropractors, and nutrition gurus save skeletons and muscles from harmful injury.
High above the city, you might hear the sounds of splashing in the Seattle Municipal Tower. They're coming from the 25-meter lap pool and jacuzzi at one of Seattle Executive Fitness's two downtown outposts. Both gyms tend to the bodies of busy Seattleites with personal training sessions with certified fitness gurus, rows of cardio and Hammer Strength equipment, and more than 60 weekly classes. Before exercisers head back into the city to impress their bosses with their new muscles, they can freshen up in the facilities' plush locker rooms, which have showers, towel service, dry saunas, and steam rooms.