The first person at Chattahoochee Gold Swim to exemplify the attributes of determination and tenacity so highly valued by coach Pat Murphy, the club's founder, was not a swimmer, nor did the character-defining event occur near the water. The person in question was a hard-working landscaper, who—though he had only one arm—approached his work with an unbridled passion that coach Murphy couldn’t help but admire. Keeping the landscaper ever in his mind, Pat—with the help of his team of coaches and instructors—strives to impart a similar sense of commitment, integrity, and inspiration in swimmers of all ages via a host of lessons, programs, and swim meets.
Throughout the year, the crew of coaches can be found in the pool and on the deck helming fun and educational lessons for students of all levels. The introductory parent-tot program teaches first-time swimmers the basics of water safety, and the swim league grants kids the opportunity to meet for weekly practices in a noncompetitive environment, free of the middive thumb wars often associated with competitive programs. Along with lessons and classes, Chattahoochee Gold Swim offers fitness programs, such as water aerobics, to help participants streamline their physiques.
Perhaps his degree in physics from Georgia Tech or his longtime stint as a partner in an engineering firm prepped Jeff Sousa to understand the improbable poses that yoga demands. Before starting Ember Yoga, he knew that he wanted to take possession of his own physical health, and so he left his engineering days behind and became a full-time yoga teacher. He opened Ember Yoga as a venue for others to discover their own passion for yoga.
Now, 16 other passionate yoga teachers?including former basketball players and professional cyclists?aid Jeff in teaching 16 unique yoga classes. Along with the hot-yoga courses, including Vinyasa, the team leads diverse groups through sessions intended for children, and practitioners intent on mediation. This panoply of offerings recently won the Woodstock-Towne Lake Patch Readers' Choice Award for Best Gym. The 4,400-square-foot studio features four distinct areas, including a hardwood hot-yoga studio, locker rooms with onsite showers, and a boutique full of yoga equipment and apparel.
Giving gifts is its own reward, but at The Gifted Ferret, get-well cards, trinkets and candles accompany a robust collection of boutique wines so gift-givers can reward themselves as well. The shop's wine racks brim with vino crafted by vintners who treat winemaking not just as a business but also as a passion as well as the best way to teach grapes a lesson. During onsite wine classes, industry experts regale attendees with information while pouring samples from among the shop's dozens of varietals. For those seeking an intoxicant-free fix, the staff brews Newman's Own coffee and Green Mountain Naturals apple cider. In the gift area, patrons peruse handmade cards and Arthur Court pewter home-decor items alongside gift bags and an expanded array of gourmet food items.
The specialists at Eat My Art construct elaborate, edible sculptures from natural ingredients and impart their baking alchemy during classes and workshops. With careful measurements and precise amounts of flour, sugar, and eggs, the baking team arranges multidimensional cakes in the shapes of hot rods, handbags, corsets, and boxing gloves. During child or adult baking classes, the staff supplies all the baking utensils and ingredients necessary to create cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and miniature pies. The classes reveal fine baking and decorating techniques such as piping with buttercream, sculpting with fondant, and baking a file-shaped cake to successfully escape gingerbread prisons.
Picasso's Corner's imaginative artists offer step-by-step instruction to guide students of all skill levels as they craft 16"x20" paintings. Classes, running either two hours Tuesday-Wednesday or three hours Thursday-Saturday, are scheduled at 7 p.m. and include all necessary materials such as acrylic paint, brushes, high-powered paintball guns, easels, aprons, and canvases. Patrons may use provided bottle openers and cups during class to enjoy self-supplied beer, wine, and snacks. The studio's three-hour open-studio sessions offer a more independent painting session devoid of step-by-step instruction and performance-enhancing hugs.
Glowing neon-red-and-blue wall accents complement the staff members' bright attitudes at American Bodyworks gyms. They strive to make connections with each member, remembering their names and favorite prime numbers, as they guide them through rows of cardio equipment—each with an attached LCD TV screen—and strength-training machines affixed with illustrations on their use. Guests can work out in the daytime hours or swipe their membership key for nighttime access, pushing through free-weight reps while personal trainers sleep inside their resistance-band cocoons.