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22 Questions With Crop Top Extraordinaire Nick Mathew

Morning Chalk Up

November 7   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • How life in a wheelchair has not slowed down Brady Herendon
  • 22 questions with crop top rocking Nick Mathew
  • Unfair advantage? Athletes competing from camps programming events discussed
  • Banned Brazilian Pedro Martins continues to compete in home country
  • Should we cut professional athletes more slack for walking back retirement announcements?
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“It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.” - Henry James

  Redefining Life in a Wheelchair: Mom and Son Duo Defy Odds  

Redefining Life in a Wheelchair: Mom and Son Duo Defy Odds

“I’ve had people contact me and say ‘I didn’t believe it. I didn’t know if you could do this.’ And well, we didn’t really ask,” Ashley Herendon said, when describing onlookers’ responses to seeing her push her son, Brady, in a buggy through track meets at school.

When the now Georgia affiliate owner (CrossFit Fannin) gave birth to her son 16 years ago, it was determined that Brady likely wouldn’t live after coming into the world with a neuromuscular condition — or, at minimum, have a very low quality of life. Through what she explains as a “indescribable peace”, Herendon knew God had her back through the tumultuous time, and “from that day toward I never looked back and didn’t worry about things,” she said.

When Brady was in 7th grade, he decided he wanted to run in cross country.

“I basically just didn’t ask the school, I just kind of told the school and I think that’s a better way to go about it. Like, a lot of people don’t know this is even possible. So we just did it! We told them we were going to do it, and the coach was really cool about it,” Herendon said.

Once the duo got to high school where the athletics rules and regulations are a little more strict, Herendon received some pushback on assisting her son with the races.

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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Jason Khalipa and Jared Graybeal about what might be the best route for kids to become CrossFit athletes. 🤔

HQ update: CrossFit has announced the L4 and you can check out our story with comment from Nicole Carroll about the new designation and what it means for the sport.

WZA update: TYR Wodapalooza team invites are out and will go in waves until Sunday, November 6th. The following day, Monday, November 7th, will be open registration at 8pm ET. All eligible teams will get an email prior to that time.

Interesting read: Should you work out later in the day to better control blood sugar?

  22 Questions with Nick Mathew: Zevia, “Pony” by Ginuwine, Kevin Hart and Crop Tops  


22 Questions with Nick Mathew: Zevia, “Pony” by Ginuwine, Kevin Hart and Crop Tops

The man, the myth, the crop top. After years of competing at the Semifinal level, Nick Mathew earned his first berth to the CrossFit Games in 2022, winning Rookie of the Year honors and wowing the crowd with his double-under crossover skills, and of course, unique fashion choices.

But did you know Mathew is also a father, gym owner and coach? Turns out there is more to what meets the eye – and a lot of exclamation points – and with that in mind, we sat down with him for our recurring series, 22 Questions.

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  22 Questions with Nick Mathew: Zevia, “Pony” by Ginuwine, Kevin Hart and Crop Tops  

Should Training Camps Program Off-Season Competitions?

As off-season competitions continue to outsource training camps for their programming, it raises the question of whether there might be an unfair bias when it comes to athletes competing from the camp that’s programming the event. Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Training Think Tanks head coach Max El-Hag and Chase Ingraham to discuss their concerns when payouts get involved and some ideas as to who could program off-season events to even the playing field.

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  Banned CrossFit Athlete Pedro Martins Continues to Compete in Brazil  

Banned CrossFit Athlete Pedro Martins Continues to Compete in Brazil

Though he’s serving a two-year ban for a positive drug test, Brazilian athlete Pedro Martins has continued to compete at a handful of local competitions in Brazil this fall.

Remind me: Martins qualified to the 2022 CrossFit Games through the Copa Sur Semifinal, but soon received a four-year ban from CrossFit competitions after a positive drug test found Clomiphene in his urine.

  • He appealed and sent all of his supplements to the United States for analysis, where it was discovered that his pre-workout supplement had been contaminated with Clomiphene, which was not on the label. This discovery led CrossFit to reduce his ban to just two years.

The details: Martins, a medical doctor who is putting his medical career on hold to pursue his CrossFit Games dream, competed at and won the Ceros Championship in September, and last month he competed at both the Mugo Games and WodNation. This weekend he will be competing at the Torneio Anápolis Fitness competition.

  • “I’m only competing in local and unlicensed championships. The idea is to keep the competitive pace,” said Martins, whose ultimate goal is to get back to the Games once his ban is lifted.
  • “These smaller competitions pay little and (making enough money) as an athlete is more difficult. Knowing that I can’t compete in CrossFit (licensed events) is horrible. But I have the opportunity to stay resilient and train harder for what I want to achieve in the future,” he continued.
  • “This path I want to follow is beyond performance. I want to touch and inspire people’s lives, as well as help change through CrossFit. This sport is wonderful and I believe in it. What happened was just adversity on the way.”

The Big Picture: Martins isn’t the first banned athlete to continue to compete in unlicensed local events—we recently reported on Kuwait’s Nasser Alruwayeh, who received a four-year ban for a positive drug test after he placed second at the 2022 Far East Throwdown Semifinal, and last month he won a local, non-licensed event with a cash prize purse—thus posing the question of whether banned athletes should be able to continue to compete in unlicensed events.

As for Martins, he intends to rest his body for a bit now, “but if an opportunity arises maybe I can compete (again) this year,” he said. And he feels he has the support from the Brazilian people to do so.

“The people in Brazil are supporting me a lot. I have received a lot of affection especially after I managed to prove what actually happened,” he said.

  OPINION: Retiring or retiring from retiring?  

OPINION: Retiring or retiring from retiring?

Most sports fans remember Brett Favre. The All-American quarterback, blue collar guy who threw touchdowns, wore blue jeans and looked like he walked off to a backyard barbecue with a beer in hand after every game. Favre had an illustrious career in the National Football League, winning a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers in 1997. He was also a beloved celebrity: wholesome, straight-talking, he gave off a working class vibe that fans loved and felt a deep connection to. He was easy to love and hard to hate, even if you weren’t a Packers fan.

Then Favre retired, not once, not twice, but three times, taking fans on a roller coaster ride of emotions as he sailed off into the sunset, only to return, again and again. For many, this soured people’s perspective of him, and it’s safe to say, his legacy took a substantial hit. Favre became known as the football player who cried wolf, and the media were relentless in punishing him for walking back his word, only to suit up once again, for a different team, on multiple occasions.

Many professional athletes have done this in their careers, the list is substantial and includes some of the greatest of all-time: Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Serena Williams, just to name a few. Fans loathe a fake retirement, and they love to chastise their idols and heroes for it.

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Knee Friendly Alternatives to Lower Body Exercises

If you have knee pain, it can be a big challenge hitting lower body workouts. Sometimes knowing how to modify things can be challenging, but not anymore with these easy knee friendly alternatives to common lower body exercises you might see in your next WOD.




CoachRx Free Trial For An Entire Month

Are you a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach or group fitness instructor? What if we told you that you could program workouts, assign nutrition programs, message clients and process payments in one app? Oh, and by the way that app is offering a FREE 30 day trial in November.



Four Tips for Massing

Losing weight is challenging… but so is gaining weight. Massing/bulking can be very tough for those trying to put on size and strength. Sometimes you just aren’t hungry and don’t want to eat any more. That’s why RP has strategies to help you increase your hunger.



Stocking Stuffers

Let’s be real, stockings are one of the best parts of Christmas morning. Your family will be pumped to see new socks, hats, fanny packs, gloves and more from Reebok in their stockings this year. Shop their stocking stuffers for everyone, even the naughty ones.



Your Ankle Stability

Running, jumping, squatting, they all require ankle stability. Instability in your ankles can lead to consistently rolled ankles and constant pain. Use these exercises to train the muscles around this joint to stabilize it.


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Heather Weir and Mike Molloy.
  • Congratulations Xander Brice from CrossFit Tonbridge in Tonbridge, England on the 287 pound/130kg bear complex.
  • Congratulations to Katrina Rasmussen from CrossFit Hyperion in Pleasant Grove, UT on the 255 pound/115kg clean and jerk PR.
  • Congratulations to weightlifter Maddie Staniszewski on three new PRs including a front squat double of 270 pounds/123kg.
  • Check out this slow-mo of Amanda Barnhart doing a muscle-up on a 4-inch wooden bar at the Rogue Invitational.
3/1 - 3/31: Sit Ups For Pups (Everywhere, Anywhere Online)
3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (oceanside, ca)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
4/13: Queens of Oly East Tennessee (Bulls Gap, TN)
4/13: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20: Barbells For Bullies: Community Workout Savannah (Savnnah, Georgia, US)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Masiphumelele (Kommetjie, Cape Town, South Africa)
4/20: Festivus Games (Goderich, Canada)
4/20: Festivus Games (Clermont, FL)
4/20: Festivus Games @ The Gym – CrossFit Kilo (Cedar Falls, IA)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CBM Sirens (Caledonia, MS)
4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
4/20: Embrace the Challenge (Mentor, Ohio)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)

See all upcoming events

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