Hike City, USA
Where does Phoenix rank in the pantheon of great American hiking metros? “You want my biased opinion?” asks PHOENIX magazine hiking guru Mare Czinar. “It’s the best.” Consider: The Valley has not one, not two, but three world-class hiking mountains in its city core, plus dozens of lesser-known trails on the metro fringe, plus hundreds of wilderness hikes within a three-hour drive.
Some people run for fun. Some run for glory. Why not combine the two, and raise money and awareness for a good cause in the process? There’s no shortage of charity runs in the Valley, and this winter, people will flock to the finish lines and enjoy an array of unusual race day amenities, from donkey rides and DJs to chocolate fondue and rock bands, while benefitting causes from feeding the hungry to leukemia treatment and research.
Think beauty pageants are all about being skinny and strutting across the stage in a bikini? Think again. Scott Keppel, of Scott’s Training Systems in Chandler, wants the pageant contestants he trains to be beautiful and healthy. “I not only want the girls to feel confident in the bikini portion of the pageant, but all of it. I want them to feel good in their evening gowns and whatever else they are wearing, too,” he says.
A gym membership just sounds so very permanent – sign a contract, pay your dues, and find yourself wedded to the same boring treadmills and plate-loaded arm curls month after month. Who needs that kind of commitment? In reality, a lot of people pay monthly gym memberships to go maybe once a week (or not at all). Losing money while not losing weight is a lose-lose proposition. But how about one-time classes with low fees? Now that’s winning! If you’re not getting enough bang for your buck at the gym, there are plenty of fun à la carte fitness classes around the Valley. Here are just a few options for one-time fitness flings.
Get to the point with Phoenix’s fencing centers.
Sometimes referred to as “physical chess” for its complexity, subtlety and mental gamesmanship, fencing isn’t just a martial art, according to adherents. It’s a lifestyle choice. “Fencing is a lifelong sport that teaches self-discipline, self-control, perseverance, patience and analytic and strategic thinking skills,” says Rachelle Arama, assistant coach at Arizona Fencing Center.
Choosing the Top Dentists
Every spring, PHOENIX magazine mails 1,600 surveys to randomly selected dentists throughout the Valley. The survey asks the dentists to write the names of three dentists whom they deem the best in each of nine specialties. They mail the surveys back to us, and we tally the votes in each category. Once the top vote-getters are determined, we obtain the dentists’ contact information from the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners, and our fact-checkers verify their information.
PHOENIX magazine does not give any preference to dentists who advertise. The Top Dentists are determined purely based on the number of votes they receive. Our sales staff does not see the list until the magazine is printed; if there are instances when a dentist on the list also has an ad in the magazine, it is merely coincidence. With the exception of the five randomly chosen dentists profiled, the dentists also have no advance knowledge of whether they made the list.
Get fit while getting hip to a popular European-import sport.
Ever heard of netball? Yeah, neither had we until we came across the Phoenix Heat, the Valley’s own team devoted to this domestically obscure sport.
Similar to basketball, netball is played on a court divided into zones featuring two 10-foot baskets. The seven players on each team are restricted to certain zones depending on what position they play. There’s no running or dribbling with the ball; players must shoot or pass to another player within three seconds or be penalized. “Games can get pretty intense,” Faye Hall, Heat president, says. “Your level of fitness has to be pretty high.”