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17-Year-Olds Fall Through the Cracks

Morning Chalk Up

May 5

Working Against Gravity

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The CrossFit HQ announcement canceling the age group competition reverberated across the community, but perhaps the hardest-hit group are the 17-year-olds losing their final year of teen eligibility. And the team at Working Against Gravity has five fun recipes for you to try in quarantine. Today:

  • The 17-year-old age group athletes chime in on losing their last year before aging up.
  • Check out five fun recipes for quarantine cooking from our friends at Working Against Gravity.
  • The Down Under CrossFit Championship canceled its event for the 2019-2020 season, the tally is now at eight

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“The world breaks everyone and afterward some are strong at the broken places.” – Ernest Hemingway


17-Year-Olds Fall Through the Cracks in CrossFit’s Age Group Games Cancellation

 17-Year-Olds Fall Through the Cracks in CrossFit’s Age Group Games Cancellation 

When the CrossFit Games announced on April 30 that teenagers and masters would not be included in the 2020 CrossFit Games, keyboard warriors were quick to diminish the surprise, disappointments, and frustration that these athletes were feeling.

“The individual division is open to anyone” and “CrossFit doesn’t owe you anything” were recurring themes in the comments on the Games social media post announcing the change, the same post that informed the athletes themselves that they would not get their own Games this summer.

“There’s always next year” is the natural response of many, but for one group of 15 teens this was likely the last, and maybe only, chance they would have at getting their name on a Games jersey.

One Last Year

The 17-year-old athletes will age out of the teen division for the 2021 season. Dave Castro and the Games have made it clear that the season will completely reset after the still up-in-the-air 2020 Games, and no age group athletes that qualified this year will get a free pass to the ‘21 Games.

While yes, these 17-year-olds will have the opportunity to compete as individuals, only 8 former teen athletes have ever made an appearance at the Games in the individual or team divisions. Furthermore, Haley Adams is the only teen to ever qualify for the individual division the year she aged out of the teen division.

  • Adams: “After hearing the news of the age group season ending, I couldn’t help but look back at the division that helped shape the athlete I am today.”

So for these fifteen 17-year-olds, this decision eliminated an extraordinary opportunity in an instant. But when the coronavirus outbreak struck, the reality seemed to set in long before the Games announced the cancelation of their season.

  •  “I knew that if they were going to have to cut anything it would be us,” three-time Games qualifier Cole Martinez admitted. “Let’s face it, from CrossFit HQ’s perspective age group athletes don’t bring in the same number of spectators nor do they bring the same ‘marketability’ as the individuals do.”

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Working Against Gravity
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5 Fun Recipes to Try While You’re Quarantined at Home

 5 Fun Recipes to Try While You're Quarantined at Home 

You’re in quarantine and cooking meal after meal, every day. We know you can get stuck in a rut, because we are right there with you. But give these five recipes a try, they are tasty and macro-friendly.

Recipe One: Greek Bison Meatballs

Your whole family will love these easy-to-make Greek bison meatballs! Not only do these meatballs pack a protein punch, but they’re conveniently pre-portioned as well! They’re tender and juicy, full of flavor (but low in fat).

Serve them with tzatziki sauce and store-bought pitas for a filling meal that will rival your local taverna.

Serves: 16 meatballs

Macros (per meatball):
Calories: 46
Protein: 6.8 g
Carbs: 1.9 g
Fat: 0.9 g

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 lb 99% lean ground bison
  • 1 egg
  • 14 g panko breadcrumbs
  • 150 g red onion, grated and drained of excess liquid
  • 6 large mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 23 g harissa paste*
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch of black pepper

*Harissa paste is traditionally used in Tunisian or Moroccan cuisine, but it’s a delicious addition to these meatballs. You’ll find it in a jar or tube in most grocery stores, but note that different brands have different macros — and some have lots of fat. This recipe was calculated using DEA brand harissa, but if you can’t find it, feel free to either leave it out or substitute tomato paste.


Down Under CrossFit Championship Canceled, Tally Hits Eight

 Down Under CrossFit Championship Canceled, Tally Hits Eight 

The Down Under CrossFit Championship alerted registered athletes on Monday via Instagram, that its Sanctioned event was officially canceled for the 2019-2020 season. It was originally scheduled to take place in Wollongong, Australia on May 22-24, but had already been postponed until July 3-5. Eight Sanctionals have now been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

One big thing: As with earlier cancelations, this puts the Down Under CrossFit Championship in a less than ideal financial position. In the message to competitors, the second-year Sanctional organizers did not mention refunds but indicated that all currently qualified and registered athletes will remain on the roster for the 2021 event.

From the message: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Down Under CrossFit Championship.”

  • “We have made all efforts to move forward and have exhausted all of our options. Sadly, we will not be able to conduct the Down Under CrossFit Championship for the 2020 Games Season.”
  • “We are mindful of the health and safety of all athletes and staff and the continued efforts made by the community.”
  • “We will reschedule the Championship for 2021 with all currently qualified and registered athletes remaining on the 2021 Athlete Rosters.”
  • “Any vacant positions will be filled with the highest ranked athletes from the Expressions of Interest received, based on the Individual Performance from the 2021 CrossFit Games Open.”

The bottom line: The Down Under CrossFit Championship was one of the first Sanctionals to announce a postponement in March. At this point, seven Sanctioned events remain, some with a scheduled date, others without, who have yet to announce an official cancelation. It is likely we will see many more in the days and weeks to come.




Arms with Dan Bailey

Get that pump on in this upper-body burner with Games athlete Dan Bailey. This isn’t a simple biceps and triceps circuit, instead, Bailey shows you how to use isometric holds to increase lactic acid build-up and get swole.

 Morning Chalk Up 



Nature’s Pre-Workout

Did you know that coffee is one of the most effective and natural pre-workout boosts you can take? Black Rifle’s Fit Fuel is a high-caffeine blend, fresh-roasted to fuel your inner athlete. Join the coffee club and save 25%.

Dan Goodman Discuss Hard Conversations about Money


Dan Goodman Discuss Hard Conversations about Money

On this episode of the Open Gym podcast, host Patrick Cummings talks with Dan Goodman, co-owner of Varsity House Gym in New York. When the virus hit, 20 members abruptly canceled their memberships. To get ahead of more doing the same, they came up with a unique idea: Membership bail-outs.

Listen on Spotify    Listen on Apple Podcasts    More Listening Options...


An Efficient Athlete

The Professor (Brent Fikowski) and his team of CrossFit Games regulars (Patrick Vellner, Cole Sager, Chandler Smith, and more) want to help you learn how to move better during all your CrossFit WODs (yes – even if they are at home). Start your movement journey with a free 7-day trial of The Professor Project.

 Morning Chalk Up 


Buttermilk Spring Chicken

People have been brining chicken in buttermilk since forever, often as the first step in a dredged and fried chicken situation. But check this recipe out and roast the poultry straight out of a buttermilk bath, which not only imparts a delicious tangy flavor, but helps the skin achieve that golden brown color when roasted at high heat.





Community Roundup

Here are a few cool stories we are following around the CrossFit community:

  • Ten Thousand: Apparel company, Ten Thousand just dropped a limited edition “Support Your Local Gym Collection” as part of their ongoing gym donation initiative. The collection features three of Ten Thousand’s best-selling pieces, with a special Support Your Local Gym graphic. And 100% of the profits from the collection will be donated to 30 customer-selected gyms around the country that have been forced to close due to COVID-19 – and that’s on top of the 10% of net profits the brand is already donating to the gyms and their nearly 300 employees.
  • Maritimes in Motion: Recently, a mass shooting took place in Nova Scotia, Canada. There were 22 victims, including one police officer. The local CrossFit community rallied together and created an “Open style” competition to take place over the next five weeks. 900 athletes have paid $10 each to join the competition, raising a total of $9,000 for the victim’s families.
  • Minnesota National Guard: The Minnesota National Guard has a partnership with the Minnesota public school system and during quarantine, they are helping out by offering CrossFit Wednesdays to some Minnesota public school kids.
  • Avoid the COVID 19: Hanna Look, the Contemporary Cavewoman, has been getting a lot of questions about how to avoid quarantine weight gain. Here’s her video on four tips to keep your nutrition on track and maintain a healthy weight during the quarantine.
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