With the 2012 Olympics shortly coming to a close, where are you supposed to get your fix of patriotic sporting events? Besides waiting another four years, you could indulge in the Olympics yourself by becoming one of the athletes -- well, sort of.
Emulate our own Danell Leyva and take a gymnastics course for adults, or release your inner boxing champion and throw on some gloves at the gym. Miami even offers lessons for even more obscure sports: learn the art of archery in a class with friends, or yell "En garde!" as you wield your epee in a fencing match.
Maybe if you practice enough, we'll see you on the big screen in Rio! Here's where you can take classes, lessons, or right hooks to the jaw, right here in town:
Next time you get into an argument, you can settle it with a duel. <a href="http://www.miamifencingclub.com/classes-2/" target="_hplink">Learn the art of fencing at four locations</a> in Miami, taught by members of the Miami Fencing Club, with classes starting at $64 for a month for beginners.
First Katniss Everdeen of "The Hunger Games" knocked out the enemy with her bow and arrow, and now with Olympians showing off their stuff in London, archery is all the rage. <a href="http://www.evergladesarchers.com" target="_hplink">Pros teach lessons </a>at the Everglades Archery Range in Homestead. Private lessons are $75 per person, or $35 per person for groups of three or more.
Miami's surrounded by water, why not use it to your advantage? The Miami Beach Rowing Club offers <a href="http://www.rowmiamibeach.com/learntorow.htm" target="_hplink">$195 classes for beginners </a>to learn land training, rowing techniques, rowing with others, boat-handling skills and more. Class sessions span multiple weekends from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. You must be comfortable in the water. Call 305-861-8876 or e-mail email@example.com for class sessions and other information.
Channel your inner hunter with a lesson in skeet shooting, using rifles to aim at clay "pigeons" shot into the air. At the <a href="http://www.miamidade.gov/parks/parks/sportshootingrange.asp" target="_hplink">Trail Glades Sport Shooting Range</a>, safe shooter classes are offered.
While your skills might not be anywhere near earning the name of "The Flying Squirrel," <a href="http://www.miamigymnastics.com/programs/adults" target="_hplink">adults can join in on the fun of gymnastics too</a>. At the Miami Gymnastics and Dance Academy, classes start back up in September and students can practice tumbling and aerial dance in silk, while also taking on more traditional gym activities like Zumba and cardio classes. Adults can take part in open gym time.
Who needs a motor when you can just use the wind to get around? Naturally, Miami has more than one sailing club that teaches students of all ages and levels of experience. Check out the <a href="http://www.cgsc.org/adult-programs" target="_hplink">Coconut Grove Sailing Club</a> and the <a href="http://www.castleharbor.com/SAILING/GetCertified.html" target="_hplink">Castle Harbor Sailing School</a> for one that's right for you.
Want to learn some fancy steps on a horse? Sign up for dressage at the <a href="Miami Equestrian Center" target="_hplink">Gold Stirrup Academy</a> or learn the art of English riding at the <a href="http://www.miamiequestrian.com/index.html" target="_hplink">Miami Equestrian Center</a>. Horse not necessary.
Throw on the gloves and with some training, you too can become Rocky Balboa. At South Florida Boxing, <a href="http://www.southfloridaboxing.com/Schedule.htm" target="_hplink">coaches host classes every day</a> from morning until evening and even on the weekends. Get fit while perfecting your right hook!
Explore the rivers of Miami via kayak and be an Olympian at the same time! <a href="http://www.bluemoonmiami.com/" target="_hplink">Blue Moon Miami</a> rents boats and leads tours of Oleta River State Park, while <a href="http://www.southbeachkayak.com/index.html" target="_hplink">South Beach Kayak</a> explores Biscayne Bay and the islands.
Sometimes, the best way to learn something new is to just dive in and do it. <a href="http://www.southbeachvolley.com/index.htm" target="_hplink">South Beach Volley</a> has met at the courts on Eighth and Ocean Drive since the early '80s, welcoming anyone to join in on a game.