The SugarBabies—a nonprofit girls' baton-twirling team—teaches youngsters the finer points of showmanship during classes that span three levels of expertise. Techniques such as the helicopter and the double-leg roll push the boundaries of physics and require intense coordination, precise execution, and an abiding hatred of Isaac Newton. The artistic nature of this sport gives girls a chance to express themselves creatively, and sharing the experience with other athletes fosters friendships. Once newly minted spinners are up to speed, they can leap into the limelight at any of the SugarBabies events, including appearances at parades, fairs, and theme parks.
The modern athlete is a walking sculpture—made of chiseled brawn that can leap through the air, dart across a field, and pull off wearing a tank top that says, “The Muscles Not Necessarily from Brussels.” Given this grandeur, it's understandable that some athletes might overlook the means to the end. At Fitzmaurice Performance, co-founders Brian and Shawn Fitzmaurice and their highly experienced staff strive to offer athletes a well rounded path to overall wellness.
While the gym's 6,000-square-foot space lends it a "big box" feel, the family-owned Fitzmaurice Performance prides itself on the tight-knit feelings it fosters among its clientele. Brian and Shawn can now boast 20 years in the personal-training business and 13 years of ownership of Fitzmaurice Performance, offering one-on-one services as well as group classes. They take a four-pronged approach, focusing on performance training, nutrition counseling, motivation and recovery. These facets comprise their 360 Fitness program.
Those looking to get fit outside of the sports realm benefit from their expertise as well with personal-training and small group personal training classes. The instructors lead sessions including hallmark 360 fitness classes, which incorporate exercise equipment such as suspension bands and Power Plate machines. For good measure, Fitzmaurice Performance also has its clients channel their inner Rocky Balboa as they run up and down the gym's stairs.
As they enter the training circuit at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. Thirty seconds is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
When Olympiad Gymnastic Training Centers opened its doors for the first time, it counted only 16 students on its roster. That was in 1979, and more than 30 years in business later, the gym has grown considerably. It now counts 10 locations and more than 150 employees to its name. Despite the changes to its size, the training centers maintain the original gym's mission to help children find health, happiness, and confidence through gymnastics. Olympiad's areas of study, open to boys and girls, include not only gymnastics, but tumbling, cheerleading, and trampolining.