Founder Sarah Rose McGuire dedicates her stable to rescuing and rehabilitating horses that may have been neglected or abused by a former owner. During lessons for children 3–12, both horse and child benefit from gentle interspecies interaction: the rescued horses learn to trust their pint-sized human partners and the children enjoy themselves or overcome their fears of riding or being recruited as a jockey. The 60-minute sessions illuminate the subtleties of equine grooming, tack, and proper riding form, with new riders leashed on a lead line until they demonstrate mounted mastery. An experienced trainer with a class A show pedigree conducts each lesson in a private one-on-one format, though two siblings may take their lessons together.
As twilight approaches, Mary Beth Nishime can hardly sit still. Her inner party animal is purring, and its insatiable hunger can only be quelled with a hearty helping of beats, moves, and action. Fortunately, Zumba provides all three, plus the joyful atmosphere common to Latin salsa and merengue. So Mary Beth and her crew move the party to local churches, schools, and senior centers, where students of all fitness levels melt calories and stress with each chest pop and hip swivel. A team of teachers leads many of the church-based classes, filling the room with more energy than a newborn quasar. And to help students vary workouts, Mary Beth also hosts boot camps, yoga classes, and kickboxing sessions at her dojo, Nishime Family Karate.
Having amassed almost 30 years' worth of fitness expertise, Linda Mitchell doesn't believe in age as a limiting factor. The AFAA-certified personal trainer, Ms. Fitness USA competitor, and regular contributor to Ms. Fitness magazine teaches clients how to woman-handle their exercise goals regardless of their backgrounds. She founded Linda Lu Fitness as a studio where women could work out among friends and nonintimidating teachers. There, her signature sessions—which range from boot-camp classes to cardio-kickboxing rounds—tone physiques, tap into wellsprings of confidence, and ready bodies for beach season. She weaves a common thread of compassion and skill through heated yoga sessions, jogging seminars, and dance-fueled aerobics classes, encouraging guests to "embrace their age" as they bypass fitness milestones, such as pole-vaulting through a ring aflame with birthday candles.
At the crack of dawn, Ryan Vaught barks orders across a misty high-school track field. During his four years in the United States Marine Corps, Vaught led daily physical training for his fellow soldiers—experience he now lends to his fellow civilians at Tri State Adventure Boot Camp. A certified personal trainer and member of a local jujitsu academy, Vaught blends different fitness styles into challenging combinations, which helps his charges become well-rounded enough to use each other as medicine balls.
Boot-camp sessions cycle through fitness instruction, motivational training, and nutrition counseling, and participants take on everything from weight training and jump ropes to obstacle-course runs—workouts designed to tone the core, abdomen, butt, and legs. Though sessions gradually increase in intensity, each is designed to accommodate all fitness levels.
Gary Hopkins can divide his mid-20s in two parts: the time before he discovered self-healing, and the time after he discovered self-healing. Before, overwhelming stress and overworking caused him to suffer from anxiety, insomnia, spinal misalignments, and gout. Then, he started meditating, practicing tai chi and energy healing, and taking natural supplements. Not only did these practices help remedy his ailments, but they also led him to a new career as an intuitive healer. Continuing these studies into his 30s, he added such holistic healing methods as Thai massage and reflexology to his regimen.
For more than 10 years, he’s shared his knowledge through a private practice and at Light Path Discovery Center. He is dedicated to helping others conquer physical, psychological, and emotional issues with carefully honed skills and several bodywork methods he developed on his own. For those unable to visit him personally, Gary has penned two books— The Master Within and Axiatonal Integration —that guide readers as they attempt to unlock their happiness, which is usually kept in a safe and buried under their childhood home.
While running a Stroller Strides exercise program for new moms, personal trainer Candice Peters found her calling. As she said during an interview with Cincy Chic, she wanted to recapture "the energy of women…[in] a non-intimidating and non-judgmental environment." To that end, she opened Hyde Park Body Boutique, where she ushers ladies of all ages and body types toward their fitness goals. She emphasizes no-frills functional fitness with TRX suspension gear and a distinct lack of fancy machines—the studio only stocks treadmills and elliptical machines that drop their "g"s and prefer bagels to crumpets.
Because of this stripped-down aesthetic, the studio leaves room for the sun to dapple the hardwood floors as Candice pilots weight-loss regimens, postnatal workouts, and sports-centric routines alike. During group classes, which include boot camp, TRX, and kettlebells, she continues to embody the accepting attitude that led to her studio's creation, encouraging students to set their own pace.