Bryan Crisfield, president and ceo of Crislu Corp. and a lifelong resident of Southern California, equates relaxation with surfing and beach volleyball.
The second-generation owner of Crislu, which designs and produces cubic zirconium fashion jewelry, has even been known to bring a board on international business jaunts.
“Running a company can be pretty stressful, but getting out in the ocean and surfing is invigorating. You see dolphins jumping, you’re not competing or pressured, you basically just answer to yourself,” he asserted. “I don’t think much about the industry when I’m out there, so it’s a good break.
“Surfing is pretty much free and easy to learn,” he added. “You just need your board, your suit, and there’s no cover charge, no lift fee.”
He also competes each week in beach volleyball at Topaz Beach at Redondo, which was immortalized in The Beach Boys’ classic “Surfin’ USA.” “I don’t jog, I don’t go to gyms and I don’t work out, so any exercise I get is through other activities. California is unique that way because people here are always walking, biking, swimming….It’s not like living where having a gym is vital because the climate doesn’t allow opportunities to get [outdoor] exercise.”
Cristina Bartolucci, co-founder of DuWop makeup and beauty products, prefers spending her time unwinding as a community gardener at the Norman Harriton Community Garden in Silverlake, Calif. “There are people you would never expect to see knee-deep in mud. I have two girls and it gives us a chance to spend good time working together as a family. It’s an amazing experience to create a beautiful space in the middle of the city,” she said.
“When you make the time to do something like this, it’s so fruitful….That seems to have an effect on the rest of the day. You get a real sense of time because when you plant something, it takes a while to grow. That counteracts the pace of the world in such a great way.”
Chuck Dembo, 45, a commercial real estate broker specializing in retail, finds his relief in a more daring way: snowboarding. The Los Angeles native, who grew up skateboarding, took naturally to snowboarding, which he’s enjoyed for 22 years. Dembo loves extreme sports and when he’s not in the snow, he’s competing in triathlons or mountain biking.
“I grew up skateboarding, but when snowboards came out, I gave it a shot and never went back. I enjoy it because it’s a challenge. It’s part of the lifestyle here. It’s not for everybody, but I like to think it keeps me young. I’ve got a couple of kids, so when they grow up, I want to keep up with them.”
Carol Shaw, founder of Lorac, dedicates her free time to Kundalini Yoga and nutrition.
“It is the most amazing workout because it not only keeps your body in shape and works on your metabolism, it cleanses the liver, cleanses your body, cleanses the anger right out of you.”
Shaw tries to squeeze in a half-hour workout daily and practices the Body Ecology Diet and has taken cooking classes over the past year. “It has really transformed me. It helps balance my hormones, is antiaging and fun.”
In her down time, Lori Justice-Shocket, vice president of conceptual development and advertising at OPI, brings medical supplies to rural villages in Third World countries with her family. “We bring the drugs with us and there are usually hundreds of people who wait in line to receive them, because the communities we visit are extremely poor and have absolutely no medical attention. In every country, we renew our wedding vows in their culture, so we have been married 12 times.”
The trips are essentially Justice-Shocket’s sole use of personal time. “When we take vacation, this is what we do. I don’t remember the last time we had what most people would think of as a ‘normal vacation.’ We go once or twice a year for about two weeks, and hope to go to Morocco in the fall.”