JOHANNA ASHER

ROWER

STORY: Ann Hardie
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

Johanna Asher used to pass the Atlanta Rowing Club when she drove her youngest child to school and would catch glimpses of the crew teams and their oars harmoniously propelling boats up and down the Chattahoochee. It was almost as if the glimmering river and its blue herons and beavers were beckoning her to forgo the congestion and concrete jungle a block […]

LAURIE KNOWLES

MARATHONER

STORY: Ann Hardie
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

As a kid, Laurie Knowles couldn’t hit a ball or sink a bucket to save her life. “I wasn’t particularly coordinated and was an epic failure at all sorts of sports,” she laughs. “But I always knew I could run fast.”

Knowles is very fast indeed, and the longer she runs, the faster she is. The Buckhead resident has competed in some 20 […]

MATT THOMAS

CHESS BOXER

STORY: Ann Hardie
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

Few people have likely heard that Atlanta’s own Matt Thomas is the newest chess boxing champion of the world. In fact, most folks probably don’t even realize that there is such a thing as chess boxing. The sport, equal parts brain and brawn, goes like this: three minutes of chess, followed by three minutes of boxing, three minutes of chess and […]

SAM ARTHUR

SOCCER PLAYER

STORY: Ann Hardie
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

When the call came from the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, Sam Arthur had a tough decision to make: leave college a semester early and follow his childhood dream of playing professional soccer, or pursue a career in wealth management after graduation. He chose the latter. “I decided I love soccer and that I would always play,” says Arthur, “but I didn’t […]

ENDURING ULTRA HIGHS

Justin Epstein chases the physical and mental challenges of vertical climbs and 100-mile runs

STORY: Michael Jacobs

Life is all or nothing for Brookhaven resident Justin Epstein, so when seven fitness friends suggested pursuing ultra marathons at the start of 2018, he jumped in with both soon-to-be-aching feet. “With me, there’s never a no,” says Epstein. “Anything that’s endurance and pushing yourself physically and mentally, I’m about.”

That’s how […]

BUCKHEAD AT PLAY

SIX AREA ATHLETES EXCELLING AT RECREATIONAL SPORTS

STORY: Ann Hardie
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

At virtually all hours of the day and night, Atlantans are getting their sports on. They’re lacing up running shoes and ice skates, picking up paddles and oars, and blasting soccer balls and punching bags. They do it to be fit. They do it because they love to compete. They do it to be the best. […]

GAME, SET, MATCH

TENNIS TAKES OVER ATLANTA

An ALTA team celebrates after a tournament win

STORY: Mickey Goodman

Atlanta has the largest local recreational tennis league in the U.S. and a reputation for being the king of tennis,” says Emmy Powell, marketing director of the Atlanta Lawn Tennis Association (ALTA). And she has the statistics to back up that claim. Atlanta has a whopping 500 more courts than Raleigh- […]

LILI DING

PICKLEBALL PLAYER

STORY: Ann Hardie
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

Lili Ding picked up a pickleball paddle for her husband. She had heard about the sport that was booming around Atlanta and thought it’d be something that she and Mike, who had recently retired, could do together. “I didn’t want him just sitting inside the house watching television,” says Ding, who lives in Brookhaven.

These days, however, Ding plays pickleball for herself. […]

MARTIN MAREK

ICE HOCKEY PLAYER

STORY: Ann Hardie
PHOTOS: Sara Hanna

On many nights when Atlantans are crawling into bed, Martin Marek is stepping out onto the ice. It’s not unusual for the captain of the Crustaceans, Marek’s handpicked team that competes in the Atlanta Amateur Hockey League, to have a game at 10:45 p.m. that will go until well after midnight. Factoring in the time it takes to shed the […]