Thursday, October 29, 2015

TITLE Boxing Club Of Stow

Photos by OHventures

4433 Kent Road
Stow, OH 44224
(330) 474-7062

I have never sweat more in one hour than I did when I took a class at TITLE Boxing Club of Stow! When it comes to giving you a killer workout and getting you in shape, they mean business!

Boxing requires you to be in peak physical shape, and to have stamina, strength, agility, and endurance to be a success in the ring. TITLE Boxing Club offers classes that deliver the amazing results of boxing, minus the combat. These intense workouts transform and strengthen your body from head to toe by showing you how to master the moves of the boxing pros. It is incredibly fun and rewarding experience that will have you coming back for more!

In Ohio, there are 16 TITLE Boxing Club locations: Columbus (2), Grandview, Hilliard, Highland Heights, Kettering, Liberty Township, Loveland/Cincinnati, Medina, Mentor, New Albany, Pickerington, Powell, Solon, Westlake, and Stow. There are even more locations all over the United States, and one in Mexico.

My friends at the TITLE Boxing Club of Stow are particularly awesome, and invited me and my friends Greg and Brandon to check out a kickboxing class one night this fall. I had known the owner Cindy and the trainers Michael and Tori from TITLE Boxing Club of Stow's recent sponsorship of the local Wellness Walk & Run in Stow. This 5K raised money for breast cancer screenings for those in need. The folks at TITLE Boxing Club of Stow are incredibly devoted to keeping the community healthy in all ways, so it didn't take much to convince me to stop in for a class.

The three of us had little or no experience in boxing before this class (I had taken one class a few years ago in Columbus), so we had to be taught the basics. The class required we wear hand wraps (which are sold on site in various colors) and boxing gloves (of course!), which are provided at the gym. There are various group classes that are available, including traditonal boxing, 30-Minute "Calorie Crusher," 60-Minute "Power Hour," 75-Minute "Super Sessions," one-on-one personal training, and kick-boxing (which is the class we took).

The gym was set up with punching bags all lined up in rows. Everyone gets his or her own bag, and the instructor (ours was Tori) stays near the front of the class demonstrating what to do, and guiding you over a headset. The class was an intense cardio workout that incorporated toning exercises that are guaranteed to help shed pounds.

We were taught the various boxing moves, such as the jab, hook, uppercut, and cross. We then were given a series of combinations of these moves for the duration of our hour long class. We added kicks, and moves around the punching bag.

At the end of the boxing session, Tori led us in a series of ab work that pushed us even further! We definitely got a full well-rounded workout that was fun and different, but also a challenge. It required coordination and concentration, and was a great way for us to get together to try something different. It was perfect for letting of steam during the work week!

Tori and Michael let us get in the boxing ring for a photo op (shown above) and also try on the giant oversized gloves (shown below). They were fun, personable, and dedicated to what they do. 

I recommend a group boxing class to anyone looking to spice up their workout. You can burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour when you take a high energy, high intensity class at TITLE Boxing Club of Stow, and you build muscle and endurance at the same time. Our group proved that you don't have to be a boxing pro to take a class! Any level of ability is welcome. Ask about coming in and trying your first shot free so you can see for yourself!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cryotherapy Plus

Photos by OHventures

Cryotherapy Plus
87 Springside Dr.
Akron, OH 44333
(234) 466-0292

Anyone who leads an active lifestyle - whether it be through team sports, running, biking, or just working out - should take note of cryotherapy! Cryotherapy is an anti-inflammatory treatment involving skin exposure to ultra-low temperatures for a brief, controlled time, in order to help enhance athletic performance and recovery.

Cryotherapy is gaining newfound popularity due to the many ways in which has been shown to benefit your overall health. In addition to treating athletes and fitness enthusiasts for the common soreness that comes with being active, cryotherapy is also known to help with post-surgical recovery, musco-skeletal injuries, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain skin disorders. It also improves skin elasticity, increases energy, speeds metabolism (helping you burn up to 800 calories in one session), and help you achieve a better mood and a good night’s sleep.

Cryotherapy Plus is Ohio’s first full-service whole body cryotherapy center, and the only one located in Northeast Ohio (two others exist in the state, both in the Columbus area). Cryotherapy Plus is committed to providing the latest developments in cryogenics to help people reach their goals in health, athletic performance, and beauty. This location opened in August of 2014 and was immediately a hit. Even more success came when NBA superstar LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers revealed Cryotherapy Plus as one of his “secrets” to his success, as it helps speed his muscle recovery.

As an avid runner and fitness junkie, I have had my fair share of aches, pains, and even minor sports injuries (such as my runner’s knee and sprained ankle from soccer). As much as I do not enjoy being subjected to cold temperatures, I was eager to give cryotherapy a try, as there is no denying its many benefits.

At Cryotherapy Plus (located in the Fairlawn/Akron area in Summit County), a fantastic staff is on hand to help you enjoy your experience from start to finish. Being my first time, I was required to fill out a waiver, and I was given a run-down as to how things worked.

For a whole body cryotherapy treatment in the CryoSauna, you are given dry socks, slippers, gloves and a robe (optional) to change into prior to your session. You are also given a blow dryer to ensure that you are completely dry (no sweat), and will be given athletic shorts if needed.

The CryoSauna is a cylindrical chamber that pumps air as cold as anything you would find in Antarctica! The liquid nitrogen air circulated is extremely dry and reaches temperatures as low as -293 degrees Fahrenheit! The session lasts for 2-3 minutes (no longer than that). Your head stays out and above the tank, and you must keep your hands and body from touching the sides of the tank.

Entering the chamber, I was a bit nervous, but Kim (the manager) and Kimmie Amity (the owner) assured me that the process is incredibly safe. They stayed in the room with me the entire time (a technician will ALWAYS be present while someone is using the tank – no one is permitted to be in the tank unsupervised).

While the cold air was cranking, and the extreme temperatures were being reached, I was able to talk to the technicians and my friend Greg, who was there with me for a whole body cryotherapy treatment of his own. There was also some light music playing, which helped pass the time. I was able to withstand the cold for the entire three minutes (although it does seem much longer).

Thumbs up after my very first cryotherapy session!

When I stepped out of the tank, my body immediately began to reheat and come back to normal! My sides (laterals/obliques) were oddly the only part of me that remained cool for a few minutes after my cryo (they said this is normal). I had a smile on my face, and a rush of adrenaline. I felt energized and refreshed. And, best yet, the minor soreness I had in my lower legs seemed to have vanished! 

All of this is possible due to the fact that the liquid nitrogen vapor "tricks" your brain into thinking that the body is freezing, which then triggers production of anti-inflammatory proteins in your bloodstream.

As I warmed up, it was time for Greg to give the CryoSauna a shot! He also made it the entire 3 minutes (-293 degrees is not as bad as you think) and he too felt immediate effects, especially after having had many heavy workouts recently.

In addition to the whole body cryotherapy in the CryoSauna, Cryotherapy Plus offers several other services. These include: local cryotherapy (a cryodevice that uses a beam of nitrogen gas to focus on one area of your body that might be injured or needs special attention), the CryoFacial (specifically for your face to stimulate collagen production and decrease pore size), infrared sauna, and organic spray tans!

The experience at Cryotherapy Plus was fun and rewarding. The staff said that some people become pretty hooked, especially after seeing the benefits for themselves. With a few big races coming up in the near future, I will be coming back for back-to-back sessions to get a feel for what multiple sessions can do for my performance. 

If you are active in any way, want to experience the benefits of cryotherapy, or you are simply curious and want a "chill thrill," Cryotherapy Plus is your answer.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Cook Like A Pro At The Gervasi Cucina


If you've ever wanted to become chef for a day, creating culinary cuisines and learning tricks of the trade that will impress your family and friends, look no further than Gervasi Vineyard in Canton. You can make that cooking dream a reality by booking a class at The Cucina, a fully-equpped professional kitchen located on site at the Villa Grande.Classes are completely hands on, letting you be in control of the preparation and cooking process, while being guided step-by-step by one of the restaurant's experienced chef instructors. Not only that, you get to sit down with your classmates and enjoy the meal you created, paired perfectly with one of the many fine wines from Gervasi's vineyard. In addition, you get to take home the coveted black and red apron!

Most all classes have slots available for up to 16 students, and are typically about 3 hours in length. Most take place primarily in the spring, fall and winter months. This is because the kitchen you use as the classroom is also a fully functioning kitchen used to cater weddings and special events that take place at Gervasi. It's exciting to be in the middle of the action, as real chefs and cooks are creating magic just a few feet away from you!

There's an incredible amount of classes offered, all with an equally enticing theme. You can sign up to learn how to make "kneadlessly" simple breads, artisan pastas, or wood-fired pizzas. You can get a bit more adventurous with a sushi-making class, or a course dedicated to chilis and stews. You might want to consider sampling specific worldly cuisines, like Mexican, Italian or French! Cool new classes are always popping up, and there is something for everybody! Classes fill up very quickly, so if you see something you like, don't hesitate to book your spot immediatey!

Being a frequent flyer at all three of Gervasi's amazing restaurants (The Crush House, The Piazza, and The Bistro), and being a budding chef in my own home kitchen, I had been wanting to attend a culinary class at The Cucina for quite some time. I had the chance to be a student this October in the "Great Fall Grilling" class with Chef Meg Feller as my instructor. The high quality and elegance you'd expect from any of Gervasi's establishments is found throughout your cooking experience at The Cucina.

On the menu for our grilling extravaganza was: brown suger and bourbon flank steak, citrus and basil cedar plank salmon, grilled sweet potato salad with honey mustard vinaigrette, lemon parmesan grilled brussels sprouts, and grilled pear and almond packets with vanilla ice cream! This lengthy list allowed for us to cook side dishes, main courses, and a dessert - all using our newly acquired skills on the grill. 

Chef Feller taught us many things, including how to skin a salmon fillet, how to check the temperature of your meat (and what the appropriate temperatures should be), how to properly slice and dice our various ingredients, and more. We were also taught how to use cedar planks while grilling our salmon in order to get a bold flavor, and she introduced us to some cool utensils, like ceramic knives!

After our cooking was complete, we plated our meals and chowed down. It was a great feeling to know that we were responsible for cooking these gourmet restaurant-quality dishes ourselves! I'm looking forward to attending even more classes to build upon my chef skills!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Best Ohio Overnight Adventures

The back deck of Bodhi Tree Guesthouse in Athens (Photos by OHventures)

Some call it a "stay-cation," but I call it an escape from reality! If you want a unique and exciting place to stay in Ohio, I can not say enough good things about the following list of places. These are not your typical lodging options! Stay overnight high above the ground in a tree house, or in Ohio's oldest historic hotel! Book a room with amazing lakeside views, or in the thick of the woods. Or, get adventurous by staying where you can wake up and experience a float tank or a water slide! Check out our top picks for awesome lodging in Ohio, and consider booking yourself a room!

1. Bodhi Tree Guesthouse & Spa: The Bodhi Tree Guesthouse & Studio in Athens is approaching its one year anniversary of being in business, and is quickly becoming a premier Ohio destination for rest and relaxation. This Buddhist-inspired getaway can be found off the beaten path, hidden among the trees and on four acres of the Appalachian hillsides of Southeast Ohio. Travelers can choose to stay overnight in one of four beautifully furnished guest rooms, each with different sized beds and amenities. In addition to being a cozy wooded bed and breakfast, Bodhi Tree also offers meditative and therapeutic services, such as Thai massages, private yoga classes, and a refreshing and revitalizing flotation tank (an extremely unique and rare experience in the area).

2. Mohican Tree House Cabins: If you ever had a desire to live Swiss Family Robinson style for a day, or if you wanted to bring back childhood memories of the treehouse you had in your backyard, now you can! The Mohicans, located in Glenmont, Ohio in Knox County, have these exciting accommodations available for anyone to stay! Borrowing technology from the zipline industry, the treehouses are constructed upon platforms with heavy-duty bolts and hardware fastened to the trees to ensure safety, and to provide flexibility for when the trees inevitably grow in size over the years. These cabins are nestled in the treetops starting at around 20 feet in the air, allowing for beautiful picturesque views of the Mohican Forest, and providing a peaceful refuge for birdwatching or reading with a mug of coffee.

3. The Lodge at Geneva-On-The-Lake: The romanticism of Ohio's Lake Erie shoreline is encapsulated to perfection at the upscale yet affordable Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake. Immaculate views of the state's northernmost shore and an array of activities and attractions for folks of any age are at your fingertips when staying at the Lodge. Dine at the Horizons Restaurant and take a dip in the outdoor pool, or in the Great Lake itself!

4. Kalahari Indoor Waterpark & Resort: Kalahari Resort is primarily known for its impressive indoor water attractions, which makes it a year-round destination for travelers from near and far alike. To get the most out of your stay (especially if you came a significant distance), it's recommended you reserve a room to stay for a day or two (or three or more)! From world-class spa treatments, to a fitness facility, to a fine selection of adult beverages (including a swim-up bar), you'll be surprised how much fun can be had!

5. Golden Lamb Inn & Restaurant: The legendary Golden Lamb in Lebanon (Warren County) is known across the state (and country) for its extensive history and impressive guest list! Established in 1803 (the same year that Ohio became a state), the restaurant and inn holds the title of the oldest continuously operating business in the State of Ohio! In over 200 years of operation, The Golden Lamb has served up hearty comfort foods and offered overnight stay for such prominent figures as authors Mark Twain (Samuel Clemons) and Charles Dickens, as well as twelve United States Presidents, including William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, John Quincy Adams, Martin Van Buren, Ulysses S. Grant, Howard Taft, Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush, and more!

6. Mohican State Park Lodge: The Mohican State Park Lodge lies right in the middle of the extremely popular and incredibly massive Mohican State Park, which is 1,110 acres in size and icnldes 5 miles of the scenic Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River that runs through. The recreational opportunities available to the park visitor include fishing, hiking, picnicking, camping, mountain biking, hunting, horseback riding, backpacking, and boating. There's so much to explore, that you can't possibly do it all in just one day. That's why thousands of people a year choose to stay at the Mohican State Park Lodge by reserving one of its 96 guest rooms. Lodge rooms are available in double, queen, and king size, and are all complete with fantastic amenities to make your stay relaxing and comfortable. flat screen televisions with DVD players, balconies, patios, free wifi, coffee makers, mini fridges, and full baths are just some of these amenities. All rooms are smoke-free, and some are pet-friendly.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mohican State Park Lodge

Photos by OHventures

Mohican State Park Lodge
3116 OH-3
Loudonville, OH 44842
1 (800) 282-7275

The Mohican State Park Lodge lies right in the middle of the extremely popular and incredibly massive Mohican State Park, which is 1,110 acres in size and icnldes 5 miles of the scenic Clear Fork Branch of the Mohican River that runs through. The recreational opportunities available to the park visitor include fishing, hiking, picnicking, camping, mountain biking, hunting, horseback riding, backpacking, and boating.

There's so much to explore, that you can't possibly do it all in just one day. That's why thousands of people a year choose to stay at the Mohican State Park Lodge by reserving one of its 96 guest rooms. Lodge rooms are available in double, queen, and king size, and are all complete with fantastic amenities to make your stay relaxing and comfortable. flat screen televisions with DVD players, balconies, patios, free wifi, coffee makers, mini fridges, and full baths are just some of these amenities. All rooms are smoke-free, and some are pet-friendly.

Lounging in our room at the Mohican State Park Lodge!

My family and I stayed in two connected double rooms this October, and had an absolute blast! During our visit, we took advantage of several of the many health and recreation facilities available on site. We swam laps in the heated indoor pool (there is an outdoor pool as well that is open during summer months), relaxed in the sauna, strolled on the lighted and paved walking paths on the perimeter of the lodge, played billiards and ping pong in the game room, and enjoyed a campfire on the patio that overlooked the scenic lake (pictured below).

This view can't be beat, and can only be seen at the Mohican State Park Lodge

In addition, we ate some fantastic food at each of the two on-site restaurants. An amazing restaurant, Bromfield's Dining Room, has fantastic views and serves up delicious grub, like the homestyle meatloaf (pictured below), and delicious breakfast dishes (try the quiche or the biscuits & gravy)! We also ate personalized homemade pizzas and tasty sandwiches at Boxers Lounge, which is the more casual dining option at the lodge. Boxers Lounge also offers a full bar with seasonal beers and mixed drinks.

The lodge also offers up adventure packages, or help and guidance in finding what adventures you can embark on in the area. Our group took a challenging hike on the nearby Lyon Falls Trail to see the iconic covered bridge (see below). We were surprised with just how difficult the paths were, so be sure to come prepared with plenty of water and appropriate hiking gear should you choose to go!

Loads of tourist attractions are located just minutes away from the Mohican State Park Lodge, including Tree Frog Canopy Tours (the state's tallest, fastest and longest zip line course), Loudonville Canoe Livery (the Mohican area is Ohio's canoe capital), and Mohican Adventures, to name a few.

To soak in the beauty of Ohio at its finest, the Mohican State Park Lodge is a no-brainer. Book your room now to breathe in the fresh air for yourself and to bring out your adventurous side!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Akron Marathon Team Relay Recap 2015

Photos by OHventures

I always tend to geek out when it comes to the Akron Marathon. I can't help it. Since I have moved here just over 2 years ago, I have truly been smitten with the Rubber City and the energy that pumps through its streets. The Akron Marathon is a capstone event for me each year where I get to run with great friends through the city that just truly feels vibrant and alive - which in turn makes me feel vibrant and alive.

For the third year in a row, on September 26, 2015, I took part in the Akron Marathon through the relay team option (see previous Akron Marathon Relay posts from 2013 and 2014). And, for the third year in a row, I am running with 4 different people who have become great friends through the power of running (if you have not felt the power of running firsthand, you should look into it - it's pretty amazing).

My team this year was "Team Torchbearers" (named after the young professional leadership group that myself and my teammates are all a part of). The team was: Getta (Leg 1, 5.8 miles), Samantha (Leg 2, 5.7 miles), Patrick (Leg 3, 5.5 miles), Jonny (Leg 4, 3.6 miles), and Myself (Leg 5 - also known as the anchor - 5.6 miles)! The legs were completely different distances than in previous years. In the past, the legs varied greatly in distance, but now most of them were close to the same distance.

PB = Patrick B. or Peanut Butter?

We decided to don matching "I Heart PB" t-shirts, which are campaign shirts for our teammate Patrick, who is running to be re-elected as a member of Akron School Board (how is that for a plug?). The PB can also stand for "Peanut Butter" if you would like (there were many people who really thought that is what it stood for!). It's a simple thing, but having us all wear the same t-shirt definitely brings a feeling of unity!

Being the final leg of a relay has its pros and cons. Pros: get to sleep in longer, you get more time to stretch, the sun starts to come out so it's not so cold, and you get to take all the glory by crossing the FINISH line! Cons: you have to wait longer to start drinking beer with all of your friends (especially for those of us with FOMO), and you have much more time for the anxiety to build up anticipating the start of your leg!

The pros by and large outweighed the cons. However, I have come to realize that I have a major case of the "running jitters." I get knots in my stomach, I worry about injury, I panic about my time and pace, and I fret about whether or not I have trained enough (I didn't). It's definitely unnecessary worry that takes over my thoughts, but I can't help it. I just always want to perform to my potential and not let myself or anyone else down. I am sure I am not alone, and that many others also experience the pre-race jitters. I just never have time to think about it when the start gun is first thing in the morning!

Once I am off and running, all of those worries go out the window and I remember why I always sign up for these things. There was a definite pep in my step and I felt like I was floating through the streets during my leg of the Akron Marathon Relay.

The blue line making its way in to Canal Park!

For the first time in years, the Akron Marathon's blue line was painted on an almost entirely new course. My 5.6 miles started at Hardesty Park, turned on Market Street, to Castle, to Garmin, to Portage Path, and back to Market. There was a final turn on to Main Street and the finish line on the baseball diamond in Canal Park!

Photo by Akron Marathon. The finish line party at Canal Park.

It was a great feeling to cross the finish line with my teammates cheering! I gathered our finisher medals and distributed them to each member of Team Torchbearers. We found out that our final time was 4:38:25, with my 5.6 miles taking approximately 48 minutes (8:35/mile). I was extremely proud of my time, and proud of the team for finishing such a huge feat!

Celebrating with Getta and Kyle

We celebrated with some Michelob Ultra, pizza, and other finish line goodies, and we even got to appear on the jumbo screen! I think today might have officially cured me of my "running jitters" because this ended up being one of the most enjoyable runs I have ever done. My mind was in the zone, and there was no reason to worry with such a strong support system in my team. After all, worrying never has added a day to anyone's life.