POINT MUGU, Calif. (NNS) -- A celebrity fitness guru visited Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Aug. 21, exercising and talking nutrition with Sailors and Marines and helping the Navy promote a culture of fitness.
Tony Horton, best known for his P90X series of workouts, is visiting several military installations in California this month, talking to Sailors, Marines, Airmen, Soldiers and Sailors about getting fit and staying healthy through smart choices about food and exercise.
"It's about creating a different mindset," Horton said. "If you work out today, you're a better man today."
Horton started the day with a workout at NBVC Point Mugu in the hangar that is home to reserve unit Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 55. In addition to the VR-55 crew, members of NBVC command, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 113 and several chief petty officer selectees from around base gathered to workout with Horton.
After an hour-plus workout that included cardio, yoga and martial arts elements, the 75 sailors in VR-55's hangar were sweaty, but still excited.
"I feel motivated and ready to do more," said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman (select) Justin Darnell, of Navy Munitions Command Det. Point Mugu. "The Navy of today is definitely more fit than the Navy of yesterday. The standard has been raised."
Ready for the next step in his Navy career, Darnell said he sees fitness as a way of maintaining readiness and leading the way as a chief petty officer.
For others, getting fit was a life-changer. After the workout, Electronics Technician 3rd Class Elliott Turnbull of VAW-113 talked about how getting fit and flexible has improved his life and made him a better Sailor. Smiling while Horton signed a T-shirt, Turnbull talked about how he was skeptical of adding yoga moves to his routine, but now he is a believer.
"Listen to that. Grown men talking yoga. I love it." Horton, whose routines incorporate several yoga moves, said.
After touring C-130s with the California Air National Guard, which shares a runway with NBVC, and VR-55, Horton moved to NBVC Port Hueneme to tour USS San Diego (LPD 22) and workout with the crew.
Two workouts a day is common for these tours, said Susan Lucy, Horton's liaison and member of his team. At 54, Horton said he is in better shape than he was at 24, thanks to good nutrition and fitness choices.
"You don't need all that fancy equipment. Just your body and a space about as big as a table. You just have to move, so there aren't any excuses for not doing it," Horton said.
Aboard USS San Diego, Horton's second workout was just as intense as the morning routine. After the regular routine, Horton challenged the crew to more exercises, including doing push-ups while balanced on two exercise balls.
Ship's rescue swimmer Yeoman 3rd Class Thomas Meriwether was up to the challenge; after a wobbly start, he successfully completed two push-ups with his feet and hands gripping large exercise balls.
"For me, it's very important to be physically fit," Meriwether said. "I have to be ready to jump in the water and save someone all hours of the day."
Also taking Horton's challenges was ship's dentist Lt. Shannon Kelso. She did a series of push-ups and side planks with her hands gripping small medicine balls. Kelso, who is also the health services department head for USS San Diego, sees being fit as the first step in being a good leader.
"Leading form the front is one of the most important things you can do as an officer and the best place to start is taking care of yourself. That means eating right and exercising and allowing your people the time to do the same," Kelso said.