Shoot Like They Owe You Money

TSF saw this article in the New York Post, and we wanted to bring it to the attention of our readers in the hopes that someone will do this in the bay area.

The article highlights Indoor Extreme Sports in Long Island City, Queens, where guests can enter an archer’s arena and shoot padded arrows at one another.

The concept appears similar to paintball, laser tag, or airsoft: run, duck, take cover, and crawl while playing a version of snatch the bacon (i.e. capture the flag, siege vs. defend, take them out before they take you out) but WHILE ARMED WITH BOWS AND ARROWS. For those of us who remember the late 80s/early 90s, this can only mean one thing: that’s right, kids; we’re THIS CLOSE to recreating the Assault Game from American Gladiators!

In all seriousness, this looks like a lot of fun. Unfortunately, none of the numerous indoor sports venues in the bay area appear to be onboard the “arrows to abdomens for amusement” bandwagon just yet. According to ArcheryTag.com, only a few places are officially recognized as purveyors of the new game, including Orlando, Jacksonville, and Saint Cloud. A group called Tropical Extremes has hosted archery tag events in Tampa, but they aren’t based here.

Laser tag? Pffft.
Laser tag? Pffft.

Slow to jump on the newest trend? Understandable. Depending on how one feels about the Nerfication of a (we hope) fictional blood sport in the twin names of amusement and capital gain, padded archery may just be further confirmation that we’re all just one step closer to actually having some version of the Hunger Games in the near future. Or The Most Dangerous Game. Or Surviving the Game. Or The Running Man. Or possibly Spartacus, if you really want to be cynical.

That being said, this needs to happen in the bay area yesterday.

Think of the obvious benefits something like this would have in the bay area. There’s already a healthy market for outdoorsman activities thanks to the varied landscapes offered throughout the area (that means we like shooting things). Now those people would have a chance to level an arrow at a friend in a closed-off arena and let it fly without feeling any pesky remorse about causing grievous bodily injury later. They’d also be grabbing hold of the archery pop culture zeitgeist that started with the Hunger Games and went off to shows like Arrow, Revolution, and Once Upon a Time.

TSF approves of this in general terms. Anything that gets our readers active (read: running around) is good, so marathons and triathlons are satisfactory. Things that allow for groups of people to engage in said activities are usually better, ergo our fondness for CrossFit, outdoor yoga classes, and dragon boat races. But unique, physically-challenging activities where bruising may be involved wins the House Cup every time. The added benefit of being able to whack someone with a padded weapon gets a gold star here.

I mean COME ON, who wouldn’t want to fire an arrow at someone and then go out for a beer with the person you shot?

Cuz Even the Walking Dead Stay Active

So it’s now spring, the pleasant weather is here (until May 1, at any rate) and any type of activity that can happen outdoors (festivals, concerts, and the Dunedin Highland Games, to name a few) are happening.

You need to get outside and enjoy while you can, though, because the zombies are coming. Again.

Sound like a leap in logic? Not really. The Walking Dead Escape, an immersive obstacle course run, will be setting up shop in Tampa at the USF Sun Dome on Saturday, May 10. What makes this particular event different from the other zombie runs, Tough Mudders, and other obstacle course-style races that Tampa Sports Fitness has been known to cover? Three things: as it’s taking place on the USF campus, this one is in the backyard of the Tampa Bay area; the event is produced in conjunction Robert Kirkman, the man behind The Walking Dead comic and television show (a TampaSportsFitness favorite); and it takes place at night.

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Well, okay, 6 p.m., but COME ON!

“It’s a fully immersed zombie experience,” David Isaacs, president of production company Skybound EXP, said in a story with the Times-Picayune. “It’s not a haunted house where things dump out at you. It’s more of 45 minutes of running, driving, breathless, not sure what you’re going to do next through these hallways and corridors and stadiums,” Isaacs said. “It’s a little bit overwhelming.”

According to the event’s website, the average time to complete the course is 35-45 minutes. While it’s not a race, participants may have to move quickly to avoid the walkers (as the slow usually die for a reason.) Climbing, crawling, and sliding all come into play along the route, but participants can still complete the course even if they can’t complete a given obstacle. Oh, and there will be zombies. And water stations. Probably not at the same time, but you never know…

Registration types include Survivor ($75/$65 with Military ID) for those wanting to run the course (no weapons permitted, so leave any hammers, crossbows, and samurai swords at home, please), Walker ($95/$85 with Military ID) for anyone that’s wanted a professional makeover but secretly wanted it to include rotting skin and bad teeth, and VIP ($150) for those who can’t make up their minds. Spectators get in for $20 ($10 Military ID) and the producer’s promise not to have them look at the flowers. There’s also an after party should anyone survive the course.

Information about the event, including arrival times, prohibited items, and other important stuff to know about surviving the course can be found on the event’s website. Comfortable shoes are recommended.

So, who’s interested?

 

 

Take that New Year’s Resolution Outdoors

It’s the middle of January, which means most of the people that had invaded the gym to get after that New Year’s resolution have either stuck to it or given up by now.

(Full confession: TampaSportFitness MIGHT have played a role there. Certain staff members like to run through gyms in early January with bags of Chick-fil-A. You know, to test the resolve of the newly converted.)

For those of you still going at it, congratulations and keep it up. And for those that have stumbled, we’d like to suggest a change of scenery.

Since we seem to be the only state in the union not digging itself out of snow at the moment, TampaSportFitness thought it was important to highlight some form of outdoor activities. After all, what’s the point in living in a place where January feels like late summer/early fall if you can’t rub it in the faces of everyone living above Atlanta?

And since we’re talking outdoors, we want to highlight a place that everybody thinks they know about but probably don’t: Al Lopez Park.

Located off Himes Avenue, just across the street from Raymond James Stadium and next door to Jesuit High School, the park is well-known by locals for its playgrounds and rented patios. Named for Tampa native and Baseball Hall of Famer Al Lopez, the park stays open from sunrise to sunset and offers some of the most numerous park amenities in Hillsborough County, including dog parks and fishing ponds.

During a recent visit, however, TampaSportsFitness learned it has a great deal more to offer fitness enthusiasts.

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The Cordelia B. Hunt Community Center stands near the park entrance and offers a variety of very inexpensive (as low as $2 a session!) fitness classes within its walls. Funny thing is, despite its 11,000-square foot size, a multi-purpose room, kitchen, computer lab, and fitness center, even the regular path runners and playground patrons don’t know about the numerous classes and opportunities offered within the building, even with the advertisements on the billboard in front of it.

“Some have no idea,” James, who teaches a martial arts weapons class on Wednesday nights, said. “Some have told me they thought the building was a landmark.”

In addition to the martial arts weapons classes, the center also currently features tae kwan do for multiple skill and age levels, Zumba, tai chi, and yoga. There have also been fitness boot camps and dance classes hosted at the park in the past.

For anyone looking to enjoy some community fitness activities on a tight budget, the park is a revelation. $15 buys an annual membership for a single person at the Center, granting access to everything within the building. The park also hosts a variety of sporting events. The Art Run 5K will take place there on January 11, 2014, followed by the Tampa Dash 5K and the Energy for Like walk in March.

So how about it, readers? Anyone feel like taking a class or two?