Valor Awards Recount Harrowing Moments — Saving a suicidal woman who was about to jump from the seventh floor of a parking garage. Saving the life of a man who had just been run over by an SUV twice. Smashing a car window in order to resuscitate the victim of a major crash on I-395. Those are a few of the acts of valor recognized at the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s Valor Awards this week. [InsideNova, Arlington Chamber]
WaPo Questions Crystal City-Brooklyn Comparison — The Washington Post isn’t letting the New York Times get away with a quote that compared Crystal City to Brooklyn. The area’s hometown paper instead quoted a number of Twitter critics, one of whom called Crystal City a “Ballardian hellscape.” The Times story suggests that Crystal City — with its new restaurants, emerging tech scene, transportation improvements and community events — is experiencing something of a mini renaissance. [Washington Post]
Nauck Town Square Designs — Arlington County is seeking feedback on the draft design of the forthcoming Nauck Town Square park. The design includes a large sculpture of the word “FREED.” [Arlington County]
County Gets Adorable Letters — Arlington County gets adorable letters from children, who ask about things like raising backyard chickens and saving worms that might have gotten swept up as yard waste. [Arlington County]
Taxi Driver Fights Arlington Cemetery Tickets — A taxi driver is scheduled to appear in federal court later this month to appeal three misdemeanor traffic convictions. U.S. Park Police have been repeatedly ticketing Yahia Fayed for idling outside of Arlington National Cemetery, where he says there’s a steady stream of people looking for a cab. Federal officials say that’s not allowed. So far, no militiamen have threatened to protest federal government tyranny on Fayed’s behalf. [Washington Post]
Scary CO Incident at Gym Near Fairlington — Arlington County firefighters and medics were among those who responded to the XSport Fitness gym on King Street, across from Fairlington, on Saturday for a carbon monoxide incident. Witnesses said people all of a sudden started collapsing on their treadmills. Seven were hospitalized. A malfunctioning pool heater was found to be the cause. [Fox 5 DC]
Arlington Ready to Enforce Snow Removal Ordinance — Should snow ever fall this winter, Arlington County is ready to enforce its five-year-old snow removal ordinance. Last season, 25 citations were issued for snow removal violations. [InsideNova]
Lidl HQ Close to Opening — The new U.S. headquarters for German grocery giant Lidl is getting ready to open near Potomac Yard. The company also just purchased land near Richmond for one of its first stores in Virginia. [Virginia Business]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
In a press release, Maryland-based Earth Treks confirmed the Crystal City location will be its fifth gym and will be “among the largest climbing gyms in the nation.”
The company has also posted a video tour of plans for the new facility.
Earth Treks Climbing Centers announces plans to open its first indoor climbing gym within the Washington, D.C. beltway. Earth Treks’ Crystal City, VA location will be its fifth gym, with three gyms in Maryland (Columbia, Timonium, and Rockville) and one in Colorado (Golden) already in operation. True to form, Earth Treks’ newest facility will be industry leading in amenities and size.
With a massive footprint exceeding 45,000 sq ft, the Crystal City location will be among the largest climbing gyms in the nation. The new gym will feature a stunning climbing wall constructed by Walltopia and designed by Jason Kehl, fitness and climbing training areas, a dedicated yoga and group fitness room, private climbing teaching areas, a fully stocked gear shop and locker rooms.
The new gym will be located at 1235 S. Clark St. in Crystal City, VA and will take full advantage of the unique space afforded by an existing health club. The high ceiling heights currently used for tennis and racquetball will soon be home to a jaw dropping 35,000 sq ft of roped climbing and bouldering terrain.
With metro access, Bikeshare, and ample parking, urbanites and suburbanites alike will applaud the new gym’s convenience to Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. The new location is just a five minute walk from the Crystal City Metro stop off the Blue and Yellow lines, and served by numerous biking trails. On site garaged parking will serve the gym and be free during peak hours. In addition to scores of shops and restaurants in the area, the burgeoning creative community in Crystal City is an excellent fit with Earth Treks’ active and adventurous customer profile.
Earth Treks’ owner, Chris Warner, expects the new location to be immensely popular as “we’ve seen a huge response since our initial announcement to the local climbing community. We couldn’t be more pleased to be coming to Crystal City.” Earth Treks is planning a grand opening in late spring 2016.
Highest Voter Turnout in N. Arlington — The Arlington neighborhoods north of I-66 had the highest concentration of voter turnout for Tuesday’s election. Arlington’s high-density Metro corridors and neighborhoods south of Columbia Pike generally had the lowest turnout. [Twitter]
Eric Cantor Buys House in Arlington — Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has purchased a $1.8 million house near Pentagon City. Cantor, who works for an investment banking firm in D.C., formerly lived in the Representative condominium on Arlington Ridge, overlooking Pentagon City, while serving in Congress. [Washington Business Journal]
Sport & Health Closing in Crystal City — The Sport & Health Crystal Gateway club at 1235 S. Clark Street has told members that it will close Dec. 4, a tipster tells ARLnow.com. The health club is set to be replaced by a new Earth Treks Climbing Center.
Flickr pool photo by Michael Coffman
A new gym with a focus on a family-friendly, holistic approach to health and fitness is opening up a new location on Walter Reed Drive.
True Health and Wholeness is looking to open a new location, dubbed “Studio D,” at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive in March or April, barring any construction delays, said gym representative Kimberly Hartke. The new location is replacing World Gym, which closed last year, and is located across from the new Columbia Place development.
The new gym will take a family-friendly approach, offering childcare programs that help kids lead active and health lifestyles while their parents work out or take classes.
“True Health & Wholeness is building a team of individuals experienced in children’s movement and fitness programming, kids nutrition education and workshop design to come use their skills to help us develop what we believe to be a major differentiator for our business when it comes to family fitness,” the gym said on its website.
Gym members will be able to take classes on nutrition and healthy lifestyles, participate in group exercises and receive massages.
“Let the days of a doctor, pill and boutique for every body part and situation slowly become the exception. We believe it’s time to move away from the niche model for health (where the focus is on stand-alone services), and move toward a holistic, customer-centric, relationship-centric, lifestyle-adaptable, results-oriented model for health. You don’t need to fit into our programs, we need to fit into your lifestyle,” the gym said.
The Walter Reed Drive location will be the fitness company’s fourth space in Arlington. The company owns three other properties — Studios A, B and C — near the Glebe Road exit of I-395 in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood.
“[Co-owner Christian Elliot] said that they have always planned to expand in Arlington (though they did look once at a Skyline/Baileys location.) But they have been in business for 10 years in Arlington, which is also their home,” Hartke said in an email.
Elliot and co-owner Nina Elliot will be holding a fundraiser to help offset the costs of opening “Studio D” on Nov. 14, Hartke said. During the event, gym instructors will lead two group exercises, followed by dinner and a dance party. The gym is also accepting donations online.
Kickboxing gym 9Round is planning to open two new Arlington locations, one in Ballston and another on Columbia Pike.
The new Ballston location at 927 N. Quincy Street may be open as early as next week, pending final approval from Arlington, said 9Round partner Michael Agrillo.
The company is looking to open the gym at the Penrose Square shopping center on Columbia Pike the end of the year or beginning of 2016, Agrillo said.
“We will be located by the new Starbucks under the Super Giant,” he said.
The company may also look at a new space in Pentagon City or Crystal City, bringing the total number of Arlington locations to four, Agrillo said. The company first opened in Arlington with a location in Courthouse, at 2250 Clarendon Blvd.
“We’re also residents,” Agrillo said of his partners in the business. “We know this area well.”
“9Round offers a 30 minute boxing/kickboxing fitness program that incorporates functional, interval, cardiovascular and circuit training regimens,” the company said in a press release about the openings. “There are no class times and no person to person contact; members can come to the studio whenever it fits their schedule and get started on the circuit right away.”
In addition to the three new Arlington locations, the company is planning to open up a new gym in Falls Church.
Disclosure: 9Round is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
The LA Fitness club at Pentagon Row is set to close on Friday, June 26, according to signs posted at the gym.
“This club will be relocated on Friday, June 26 at 2 p.m.,” the sign says. “Your membership will be honored at any LA Fitness location in Virginia (excluding Signature locations).”
The nearest LA Fitness location for members is the Crystal City location at 3550 S. Clark Street.
A new world record may have been set in Arlington over the weekend.
A D.C. man claims to have set the world record for most pullups done in a 24 hour period, recording the feat on video at the Ballston Crossfit gym at 1110 N. Glebe Road.
John Bocek, a D.C. resident, reported completed 5,801 pullups, setting a new unofficial record. The Guinness World Records still has to approve Bocek’s record before it is an official world record, said Tucker Jones, the owner of Ballston Crossfit.
The last official record was 5,101 pullups set by Michael Tufo on May 3 of this year.
“He smashed the record,” Jones said of Bocek.
Bocek started his pullups at the crossfit gym at 6 p.m. on Saturday and finished at 6 p.m. on Sunday. He initially set out two years ago to break the world record, but the number of pullups for the record increased a couple of times, he said.
His original goal was 5,000 pullups but last month the record was broken again, prompting Bocek to raise his goal to 6,000. While he did not reach that goal, he was very happy with 5,801 repetitions.
“That’s a lot of pullups over 24 hours,” Jones said.
Three hours from the end of his record attempt, an article surfaced saying another unofficial record of more than 5,700 pullups had been set, so Bocek knew he had to make it past that mark to set the record.
At that point, he was past his physical limit but the support from family, friends and viewers around the world kept him going.
“It was probably the toughest thing I’ve done,” Bocek said.
Via donations, the record attempt raised money for a cause championed by Bocek: the Panama Mission Foundation, a non-profit that builds churches and works to spread the Christian gospel in Panamanian rainforest villages.
Bocek says he trained throughout the two years for the pullup challenge, training at different gyms and at least once a week at Ballston Crossfit. He would go to the gym in the middle of the night and train for about six hours, Jones recounted. Training in the middle of the night helped him get ready for doing pullups for 24 hours without sleep.
The training was more intense than his prior preparation for the 100-mile marathons, Bocek said. His strategy for breaking the record was to do 2,500 pullups in the first seven hours, which he was confident of because of his training, then sets of 500 between 15 minute breaks.
As he neared the end, it got increasingly difficult, and Bocek said there were repetitions that didn’t count because he couldn’t get his chin above the bar.
Although he reported being very sore on Monday, Bocek said would “absolutely” be up for another world record attempt, should anyone break his new record.
Screen capture via YouTube
According to Arlington County Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the lockers in the men’s locker room were all locked with digital locks, and it’s unclear how the suspect was able to open them.
“We’re not sure if the suspect watched people in the locker room put in their codes, or if there’s a way of getting around the digital locks,” Sternbeck said.
One of the larceny victims said the robbery happened over the course of just a few minutes.
“I was working out for about 15 minutes, went back to my locker to change into my swimsuit and it was gone,” Mark Slobodien told ARLnow.com this morning. His wallet, ID and some jewelry were also stolen. “It feels like [the gym] was responsible, at least partly. I was using their locks to secure my property.”
Sternbeck said the department doesn’t keep statistics for thefts from gym lockers — they’re usually reported as larcenies — so he couldn’t say how frequent locker room thefts are. He did say, however, that most of the thefts are from lockers that were not secured by a lock.
There is no suspect description. All of the items stolen, Sternbeck said, appeared to be wallets, cash and other valuables that can easily be concealed.
Slobodien said L.A. Fitness staff told him similar larcenies had happened “once or twice” in the last couple of years. L.A. Fitness management did not return a request for comment.
The second location of Orangetheory Fitness in Arlington is coming to Ballston, just two blocks from the Metro.
After opening in Rosslyn last summer, franchise owner Mark Steverson said the reception has been good enough to expand further in the county.
“We’ve been very busy, but more importantly, the community has really responded well and taken off with the concept of what we do here,” he said. “It’s great to see he community in better shape since we’ve moved in.”
Orangetheory’s next location will be at 4201 Wilson Blvd, in the ground floor of the National Science Foundation’s headquarters.
The space, a former Bank of America branch, is 4,200 square feet, Steverson said, and it will be the largest of Orangetheory’s 180 gyms in the country when it opens this summer.
“The bigger space will allow us to fit more people into a class, while keeping the group personal training feeling,” Steverson said.
Orangetheory specializes in hour-long group interval training workouts that use a combination of treadmills, rowing machines, free weights and a suspension system, monitoring each participants’ heart rate to maximize calorie burn.
While Steverson is prepping for a July opening in Ballston, he’s also looking for a third Orangetheory location in Arlington. He said he has a franchise agreement to open in Crystal City and Pentagon City, and is currently exploring locations. He hopes to open in south Arlington by the end of 2015.
Located on the ground floor of the Halstead apartment building, on Columbia Pike, the location is World Gym’s only in Arlington.
An employee there told ARLnow.com that the business is closing because of a dispute between the franchise owner and the building manager, but couldn’t provide any details.
The fitness center changed ownership in 2013 and became Exercise Nation, before it took back the World Gym name this year. The company sent its members a brief message saying it would close Sept. 30 due to “circumstances beyond our control.”
Several readers sent ARLnow.com the email, which is copied below in its entirety:
To Our Valued Members:
We are sorry to inform you that due to circumstances beyond our control, World Gym will be closing this location effective September 30, 2014. We appreciate all the support and business you have given us and apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the gym at 703-892-1861 or through email at [email protected]
Located at at 1122 N. Kirkwood Road, the gym is one of four Sport & Health clubs in Arlington; there is one in Ballston and two in Crystal City. The comapny emailed its members earlier this week to tell them the gym would close March 5 due to concerns about building maintenance and “market conditions.”
“The market conditions have changed and the facility that was created decades ago will not allow us to continue with our vision at the Arlington Sport&Health Club,” Sport & Health Club CEO and President Mark Fisher wrote in the email. “While these market conditions and physical plant concerns have affected our ability to continue operating the Arlington club, we have built new clubs and reinvested in others. It is our hope that you will continue to give us the opportunity to help you reach your fitness goals and enjoy the club communities that we create.”
The chain has 22 other locations in the D.C. region, and starting today it’s allowing the members of the Arlington club to sign up for free at its other locations. The gym originally opened in 1977, according to General Manager Perry White.
Police say a man left the L.A. Fitness on the 3500 block of S. Clark Street, near Potomac Yard, just before 8:00 p.m. He was followed to his apartment by another man. Once inside the apartment lobby, the suspect exposed himself, then fled the scene on foot.
“The suspect is described as a black male in his 30s, approximately 6’1” and 230 pounds,” police said in the daily crime report. “At the time of the incident the suspect was wearing a black knit winter hat, a black hooded sweatshirt with red dots and blue jeans. The investigation is ongoing.”
Arlington Boy Drowns in Shenandoah — A 3-year-old Arlington boy drowned in a Shenandoah County creek over the weekend. The boy had been seen playing with other children about 200 yards downstream from where his body was found by a search and rescue team. His death has been ruled accidental. [NV Daily]
Jail Hosts Mother’s and Father’s Day Visits — Earlier this month, the Arlington County Detention Facility held a special event for the children of female inmates, in honor of Mother’s Day. Next month, the jail will host a similar event for the children of men for Father’s Day. [Sun Gazette]
Road Closures for Parade Near Shirlington — The westbound lanes of S. Four Mile Run Drive will be closed between Shirlington Road and Walter Reed Drive on Saturday for the Corso de Santa Cruz Parade. The closure is expected to be in place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. [Arlington County]
Grand Opening for Bluemont Fitness Facility — Though it has been open for several months, Bluemont-based Phoenix Fitness (5130 Wilson Blvd) will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday with free food, classes and giveaways. [Phoenix Fitness]
Flickr pool photo by Alex
World Gym Now ‘Exercise Nation’ — The poorly-reviewed World Gym at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive has changed hands and is now “Exercise Nation,” a small low-cost gym chain with existing locations near Baltimore. Memberships start at $10/month. [Washington Business Journal]
Metro Ramps Up Anti-Harassment Campaign — This month Metro began tracking all forms of sexual harassment, one additional step in the agency’s ongoing anti-harassment campaign. [Greater Greater Washington]
Four Mile Run Watershed Cleanup — Arlington County is organizing a watershed cleanup for Four Mile Run on Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will be asked to help clean up at one of several sites along Four Mile Run, Arlington’s largest watershed. [Shirlington Village Blog]
Forum to Feature Streetcar Supporters, Opponents — On April 10, the Arlington Committee of 100 will hold a forum about the proposed Columbia Pike streetcar. A streetcar supporter, Arlington Chamber of Commerce chairman David DeCamp, will face off against a streetcar opponent, “Peter’s Take” columnist and former Arlington County Democratic Committee chairman Peter Rousselot. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick