By Chris Frost
Oxnard-- The gang from CrossFit Oxnard got an early start on their holiday, Nov 24, as the group celebrated "Friends Giving" at Windrow Park.
The group brought a large potluck meal that featured lots of healthy choices for their feast and enjoyed a day of fun, friendship, and games that sparked the competitive fire.
CrossFit training is a healthy lifestyle that involves high-intensity movement in a variety of ways, including calisthenics and strength conditioning exercises.
During the event, attendees enjoyed a lively cornhole tournament and spike ball on teams that had everyone doing what they do best, staying fit, and pushing each other to be active.
General Manager Kolby Krystofic came up with the idea of Friends Giving and said he wanted everyone to come out, enjoy some food and have a beautiful day.
The group also utilizes its gym as a dropoff point for Toys for Tots, and the group has toys for kids age 1 to age 15.
"Toys for Tots works with the Oxnard Police Department to give presents to kids in need," he said. "CrossFit Oxnard brought some chickens, some waters, and everybody else brought their own side dish and desserts. We're all enjoying Friends Giving."
CrossFit Oxnard is a community-oriented space where like-minded people gather to exercise and eat well.
"Eat real foods, mostly plants and not too much," he said. "I brought quinoa salad today because it is an easy recipe to bring."
He refers to CrossFit as general physical preparedness training.
"It's training to be able to do other things, like play sports, go mountain biking or rock climbing," he said. "We use our training to be able to do that."
Kolby played college water polo, and after that, he wanted to stay healthy.
"I started working out by myself at the gym, and I didn't enjoy it," he said. "I had a friend who told me that I would like CrossFit. It's been like team sports for adults. It's cool."
After a large meal, he planned to limit his activity to the games at the park.
"No more workouts for the rest of the day," he laughed.
Wes Marroquin enjoyed mashed potatoes, quinoa, macaroni and cheese, a roll, and a couple of dessert items.
He and Kolby found each other on their fitness quest, but Kolby pushes him more than he pushes him.
He was excited about throwing down in a game of cornhole.
"I wouldn't consider myself an expert, but I can definitely hold my own," he said. "I like spending time with friends and having a good time."
Occasionally, Wes said you might find him at a fast-food restaurant enjoying something decadent, but mostly he sticks to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
People who want to get started with CrossFit, he said, should just do it.
"There is no better time than now," he said. "It's scalable, so no matter what your fitness level is, this is something for you to do. It's all about building yourself up."
Liz Krystofic started CrossFit training in 2016, and at first, she could only do the basics.
"I wasn't good at weightlifting and all the gymnastics, but I have always always been a runner and a swimmer, so I had that going for me," she said. "Now, I am still not good at weightlifting, but I am way better at a lot of things that I was not good at when I started."
Getting started is simple, she said, and it can be sitting in a chair and choosing to stand up. She also would pick things off the ground.
"It doesn't have to be heavy, but take something from your chest over your head," she said. "It can be two pounds, but the basics can be wherever you're at when you start."
When she got on board with CrossFit, she added the whole life challenge to her diet.
Included in Liz's diet today are plant-based foods, nuts, and seeds, fruits and vegetables, and not a lot of sugar or refined foods.
"That made the biggest difference," she said. "You can work out as much as you can, but if you don't eat right, you won't see the results that you want all the time. Everything starts with changing your diet and finding something that works for your body. It still allows you to have events like this and eat the brownies and cookies, but it's all about portions and moderation."
It took her a little while to get with the program.
"Tortilla chips were a big one for me," she said. "Sweets were always hard, but I took it in six-week chunks. I tried not to eat horribly for six weeks, then the next six weeks, you'd give yourself a little break."
CrossFit Oxnard is located at 300 Paseo Mercado.