PCF started in 2007 in the biggest facility of all: the Great Outdoors. Before we found dual homes in Pan Pacific Park and North Hollywood Park, we ran stairs at the Hollywood Bowl and did kettlebell swings, burpees and countless other moves in the orchestra pit. Wall Ball became Tree Ball and we did box jumps on picnic tables. We once did a Farmer’s Walk around the entire perimeter of Pan Pacific, stopping on the way for swings, high pulls, squats and snatches.
WODs were limited by what would fit in my pickup. When I got barbells my job became more complicated and securing the load was my first coaching task of the day at around 5AM. We had to run from the rubber playground at Pan Pacific to the monkey bars if we wanted to do pullups, so “Helen” was a good WOD for us.
Oh – if you’re wondering what “Helen” is, come on by – we’ll be glad to show you!
The park crew at Pan Pacific became great friends. Liz, Lloyd and Griselda went out of their way to accommodate us, always lending a broom whenever we had to sweep the sand off the deck. Local park denizens, both the four-legged and the two-legged kind, often made their presence known . We took it in stride; it was all part of the fun.
The weather in Southern California was mostly our friend, but over the years it became increasingly clear that to grow our little gym we were going to have to move indoors. The hardy few that make up my core membership to this day are a rare breed: they show up rain or shine, four seasons a year. To fulfill our mission statement, though, we knew we had to have a clean, comfortable space with – luxury of luxuries! – our own bathroom.
And so it came to pass that in August 2012 we moved to our current location on Fulton Ave., in the bustling community of North Hollywood, a town known to its thriving residents as the “Gateway to Burbank.” Wall Ball happens on an actual wall now, so no one gets tree bark in their eyes. Pullups are done on a Rogue Rig that’s bolted down to a floor we actually own. There’s a roof overhead to keep out the rain, and the beams that hold it up support our state-of-the-art ring station . There are rowers, punching bags, med balls and bumper plates far in excess of what I could have hauled to the park in a Ford Ranger.
Parkside CrossFit still has the spirit of the Great Outdoors, but we fulfill our mission – “Functional Strength for Life” – indoors. Like all CrossFit gyms we make ample use of the parking lot and surrounding streets, so we cover quite a bit of territory in our new neighborhood. We still go back to the park for holiday workouts, but now when it rains we can come inside and stay dry.
Not that we’re getting soft or anything – we just really like having a bathroom.