The next time you're on the roof of a five-story building, look down at the ground, and you'll get a rough idea of just how high people climb at Touchstone Climbing. The gym's seven locations feature lead walls that rise as high as 50 feet off the ground, though height isn't the only dimension that makes the space feel immense. Each spot has at least 11,000 square feet of climbing terrain, not to mention as much as 3,000 square feet of bouldering.
To prevent newcomers from feeling intimidated by the magnitude of the environment, the gym holds introductory classes. During these sessions, participants learn the basic techniques they'll need if they want to conquer the gym's crack systems and boulder problems. The classes are also an opportunity for students to scope out the terrain features at each location, such as Diablo Rock Gym's steep prow, which juts out crookedly like a thumbs up from a dizzy ballerina. While they're at it, the visitors might notice something else: the social nature of the gym. As the San Francisco Chronicle recounts, the fact that lead climbs require two people means that climbers are constantly asking around for new partners and chatting back and forth as they ascend.
Each location also boasts a weight room, cardio machines, and a studio space for everything from yoga to spinning to core classes.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Normal State Yoga is for people who find balance outside!
Classes are held in a calm lawn with views of the bay, mountains, bridges and dozens of sailboats. Sky overhead, earth below.
Don't give up on fitness! Get going again with help from West Sacramento Recreation Center in West Sacramento.
What's a fine gym without fine dining to accompany it? Be sure to pick up a tasty meal when you visit their great restaurant.
Bring the whole family to this gym, where kiddos are welcomed with open arms.
Impress your friends and family with your kickboxing skills.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
It's not often that anyone outside of the Beltway gets to visit the White House twice, but that's just what happened to Bhangra Empire. The co-ed troupe performs bhangra, a style of Punjabi folk dance, and when it's not putting on shows for VIPs, it teaches classes throughout the Bay Area. Read on to learn more:
In 2009, Bhangra Empire performed at a state dinner hosted by President Obama for the Indian prime minister. “I felt that we were bridging the cultural gap between the U.S. and India,” troupe cofounder Michelle Puneet Gill told Santa Clara Magazine. “We were representing a piece of Indian culture as Americans and helping President Obama showcase this to the prime minister of India.”
The group was back again a year later. This time, they weren't dancing, but were photographed at the White House with Michelle Obama for an article in Harper's Bazaar about her favorite performers.
Also in 2010, Bhangra Empire auditioned for America's Got Talent, where judge Howie Mandel proclaimed, "It was fun. It was colorful. You made me a fan."
The group has danced at San Francisco Giants and Golden State Warriors games, and in Canada, the United Kingdom, Bahrain, and Kenya.
Bhangra Empire teaches classes to beginner and intermediate children and adults. It fuses traditional bhangra moves with contemporary touches, such as performing to modern Western and Indian music. The one-hour classes are taught by members of the troupe and meet weekly. At the end of the lengthier courses, students perform in the Dance Off to show off all the dance moves and smack talk they worked on for eight weeks.
When the climbers of Planet Granite say that community anchors everything they do, they have a history of outreach to back it up. After Castle Rock State Park appeared on California’s closure list, Planet Granite’s team quickly organized a fundraiser to save the sanctuary. They pledged $10,000 in matching funds, threw an auction, scheduled guest speakers, and obtained support from companies such as REI. In one night, they raised $20,725.
This kind of response has typified Planet Granite’s team since opening its first facility in 1994. One of the first climbing gyms in the country, Planet Granite has expanded to four locations in Belmont, San Francisco, and Sunnyvale and Portland. The diverse array of climbing resources at each location led Popsugar to name the gym conglomerate one of the top five in San Francisco in 2011. At the San Francisco location, members scale 25,000 square feet of climbable surfaces that ascend from top out bouldering to 50-foot walls.
In keeping with their commitment to community, the staff tailors instruction and climbing routes to every ability level and affinity for hand sweatiness. They also supervise each gyms’ fully equipped fitness centers, including yoga, which provides a peaceful counterbalance to the full-body workout of rock climbing.
Sponsored by Men's Health, the coed Urbanathlon race and festival is a fitting representation of the magazine's "work hard, play hard" mentality. Indeed, the courses are hard work. Whether competitors run the 3- to 5-mile sprint course or the 10- to 11-mile classic course, occasional obstacles, such as monkey bars, stairs, tires, barricades, and stacks of unfinished tax returns, stand in their way. But don't be too intimidated—Urbanathlon has created 4- and 12-week training plans to help participants get in shape for the race.
All the hard work will pay off though, thanks in part to a post-race party with DJ sets, refreshments, and swag from sponsors. Plus, competitors will have the opportunity to donate to the Challenged Athletes Foundation upon registration or with the $15 suggested donation for hair trims at the Paul Mitchell tent.