Warwick native illustrates book on crossfit moms

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For Ben DeCastro, inspiration was found during the third and fourth quarters of the Dec. 4, 2016 New England Patriots game to write the children’s book, “Because Your Mommy Does Crossfit.” Funny thing is, neither DeCastro nor his illustrator, Warwick native Kristen Hrabcsak, do cross-fit, nor have children.

DeCastro spent a rigorous 90 minutes writing the 30 pages of the book, who said the idea just came to him, and he thought, “Why not?” The tale is of a young child who looks curiously at his mother as she trains using odd equipment and roars as she’s exercising.

“Why is mom screaming? Why is there a big tire in the back yard?” said DeCastro, a social media coach at his company, Ben Ben Marketing and Consulting in Warren and an announcer for the Pawtucket Red Sox, on his thought process coming up with the story.

“I think it’s a story of team spirit. Cross-fit has encouragement and an overall goal to improve a person’s health,” DeCastro said. “The overall message is that Mom does these things so she can be strong and protect you.”

Keeping up with the untraditional route, Hrabcsak used a newly-purchased iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to illustrate the book. Using a watercolor and almost colored marker style, she said the process translated easier to print than hand-made drawings.

“I am in graphic design, but it was my first big project in digital illustrating,” Hrabcsak said. “It was grueling, but I’d do it again.”

The process was a first for both, DeCastro never having written a book before and Hrabcsak never illustrating one either.

“It was a totally random thing,” said Hrabcsak, who also owns a marketing agency, Khrab, located in the Pontiac area of Warwick. “Everyone wants to do a children’s book, but they don’t find the means. I was lucky to have the offer.”

Hrabcsak and DeCastro knew each other through family and owning similar businesses. When DeCastro asked Hrabcsak if she was interested in the project, without hesitation she said, “I’m in.” The pair observed a cross-fit class together but did not participate, although Hrabcsak said she thinks it would be a funny sight to see the two try it out together.

DeCastro is proud the book was written, illustrated and published all in Rhode Island. Barrington Printing, a family-owned business, worked closely with DeCastro and Hrabcsak as it was the first children’s book it has published. Of the 2,500 copies printed, DeCastro said he’s sold a couple and he’s gotten good reviews.

“Kids point at the character and say, ‘That’s mommy,’” he said. “They love it.”

A release party will be held at Barrington Books in Barrington on Aug. 14 and in the Garden City Cranston location on Aug. 15, both from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Both the writer and illustrator will be at the event to sign copies. For more information or to purchase the book, visit www.becauseyourmommydoescrossfit.com.

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