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23 Questions with Emma Lawson

Morning Chalk Up

February 22   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • New York Minute CrossFit WOD tips hat to New York Fire Department
  • 23 questions with Emma Lawson
  • CrossFit Games team athlete Mikaela Norman eyeing HYROX glory after long career
  • Watch Tia-Clair Toomey crush 23.1 while pregnant
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“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” - Lao Tzu

  New York Fire Department Honored with CrossFit Benchmark WOD ‘New York Minute’  

New York Fire Department Honored with CrossFit Benchmark WOD ‘New York Minute’

The Fire Department of New York is the beating heart of New York City and has come to represent the latest benchmark WOD “New York Minute” released by CrossFit HQ.

These brave men and women go head first into burning buildings to save individuals who would otherwise perish, going towards the smoke and flames others wouldn’t dream of nearing, in gear upwards of 130 pounds.

The FDNY CrossFit team was asked to demonstrate this workout for CrossFit HQ. Now, they are the face of this brutal workout and show us the real impact CrossFit can have on an occupation that could mean life or death. Many of these individuals are also on the medical team for the CrossFit Games.

The workout: With a partner complete as many reps as possible in 1 minute, switching every minute, until you complete:

  • 150 wall balls (20, 14 pounds)
  • 30 muscle-ups
  • 30 clean and jerks (155/105)

Ricardo Roman, FDNY CrossFit president, says when CrossFit HQ asked the team to do the demo it was a huge honor.

  • The FDNY CrossFit team has only existed since 2019, so “being able to be visible on a benchmark it doesn’t get any prouder than that. It was a huge honor to represent CrossFit in this way,” said Roman.
  • “That’s what CrossFit is about, it’s about being a better mover, or just being better everyday, or for us it’s more or less what comes up at work, we want to be ready for the things we have to tackle.”
  • The members who took on the workout “represented themselves, their company, and their families in the best way.”

One of the firefighters took on the workout in full gear. The workout was: Start with bunker gear off and put gear on and do for time:

  • 10 wall balls (20/14)
  • 3 muscle ups
  • 5 clean & jerks (155/105)

The demonstration took place at CrossFit Park Slope, owned by Sam Mina, who is also the treasurer at FDNY CrossFit. Mina says the intersection of firefighting and CrossFit has always been a fixture in the sport and has grown increasingly important as gear gets heavier.

  • “The Fire Department generally for New York City Fire Department, I have to say that most of the members are in shape, we try to stay in shape as part of our job. The challenging workouts for the members is something they like to do,” said Mina.
  • “What’s tending to happen in the fire industry is that the equipment that we’re getting is newer, and it’s better, but a lot of the time it’s just heavier, they’re constantly giving us new stuff, and we’re constantly getting heavier and heavier in terms of equipment.”
  • “Working out with the equipment seems a little bit silly, but a lot of times the stuff that we’re doing kind of entails us having it on and to do that workout with the gear was impressive to me.”

The bottom line: CrossFit HQ releases numerous benchmark workouts, but this one has particular importance as it now represents an occupation equally dangerous as it is courageous.

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23.2 is here: New Jersey will take center stage for the second of three workouts of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games and we will be on the ground at CrossFit Bison this Thursday so keep your eyes glued to our Instagram page, competition hub and newsletter for all the inside info. 😎

Wow: Watch Roman Khrennikov set a new world record for 23.1 at Mayhem with an astonishing 306 reps.

Competition update: The Jungle Games will take place in Machali, Chile July 15-16.

Team update: Angelo DiCicco will lead Mayhem Independence along with Sam DeMeester, Zoe Jones and Kyra Milligan.

Another team update: Zack George has announced he is going team with Nicole Crouch, Janie Garratt and Will Kane.

  23 Questions with Emma Lawson: Metallica, The Office, Thrusters and Horror Movies  


23 Questions with Emma Lawson: Metallica, The Office, Thrusters and Horror Movies

As a 17-year-old, Emma Lawson, now 18, burst onto the elite stage with an immediate impact, coming sixth at the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games. She followed that up by coming third at last year’s Rogue Invitational. On top of being the youngest competitor ever to compete at the CrossFit Games, she was also the youngest ever to wear the coveted white leaders jersey.

If this wasn’t enough, she already looks like she’s ready to build on last season as she sits seventh after 23.1 of the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games. Lawson, who just inked a deal with Pliability, an advanced mobility and recovery app, is also fast becoming a household name in the space and on a fast track to superstardom.

But who is Emma behind the scenes, as a person, and outside of CrossFit? What makes her tick, well we’re glad you asked as she sat down with Morning Chalk Up for 23 questions so we can get some answers to the real burning questions.

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  Mikaela Norman Eyes HYROX World Championship After Nine Years of CrossFit  

Mikaela Norman Eyes HYROX World Championship After Nine Years of CrossFit

After nine years of CrossFit, 2022 CrossFit Games Team athlete Mikaela Norman is stepping away from the sport. However, she’s not going far from the functional fitness space. A highly specialized endurance athlete, the Swede has a new sport more attuned to her natural abilities: HYROX.

Remind Me: Wait. . . what is HYROX?

  • Hyrox is a functional fitness race based on running and other cardio modalities. In a regular race, athletes complete eight rounds of a 1-kilometer run and other movements like rowing, sled pushes, burpee broad jumps, and farmer carries.

Norman first tried the sport last November in Hamburg, Germany as a fun activity with a few friends. She put up a new world record that day and was immediately sold. At the time, she was still holding strong to her dream of competing as an individual at the CrossFit Games.

  • “I was very sure I would do everything I could to go to CrossFit Games and suddenly, one hour later, things changed,” Norman said.

Because of her natural abilities in endurance, Norman’s nine years of CrossFit training for elite competition were solely focused on strength and power. In fact, she says her coach would reward her with “relief runs” during competitions to up her morale. While she says the constant practice on things she was deficient at, she says training her strengths in running has been just as mentally difficult.

  • Norman: “What I’ve been doing has been super fun, but it’s mentally harder in another way. When you’re pushing your weaknesses, it’s hard, but pushing your strengths can also be hard because you’re reaching such a high level.”

Only two months into focused HYROX training, Norman already had her goals set for a World Championship title in May and is taking the 2023 CrossFit season off in order to prepare. She’s currently ranked second on the worldwide Elite leaderboard. However, she’s not fully ready to hang up her CrossFit shoes once and for all.

Whether she ends up as a touted World Champion in the new sport or comes back to her roots, Norman says CrossFit has undoubtedly made her the athlete she is now.

  • “Since CrossFit is nine years of my career and HYROX is two months, I would say that the athlete that I am is because of my CrossFit training,” Norman said. “Of course, I’m trying to slowly adapt, but the fitness I have is because of all my years of CrossFit.”
  Mikaela Norman Eyes HYROX World Championship After Nine Years of CrossFit  

Tia-Clair Toomey Does 23.1 Pregnant: “The [Toes-to-bar] were a little challenging”

The six-time Fittest Woman on Earth, Tia-Clair Toomey, officially completed 180 reps in CrossFit Open Workout 23.1, with a tiebreaker of 12:26 (time when she completed 30 cleans). She happens to also be 6 months pregnant.

“Those toe-to-bar sucked,” Toomey said in her YouTube video after completing the workout. She added, “I think I could have gotten six muscle-ups done,” then corrected herself, “seven muscle-ups done.”

In Toomey’s first crack at this workout in 2014, she logged 187 reps, or 7 ring muscle-ups in the first round. At the time, it was her second year doing the CrossFit Open, and the 20-year-old Aussie went on to place 18th in her first CrossFit Games Regional competition. The following year, Toomey took second place to Katrin Davidsdottir in her rookie CrossFit Games appearance in Carson, CA.

Toomey’s score of 180 reps and 12:26 tiebreak in 23.1 still places her in the Top 10% of women worldwide (unofficially).

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Why You Should be Fueling With Ketones

You may have heard of Ketone Supplements (like Ketone-IQ™), but are you aware of the benefits from raising your Ketones? You can learn some interesting info with these frequently asked questions, like: Ketones can mitigate cognitive decline in stressful situations, like after tough exercise (or an Open workout).



Marcus Filly’s Five Minute Core Workout

Looking for a spicy little core finisher after you hit a metcon? Then you should smash your abs with this circuit from Marcus Filly.



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The No Pee Cheat Sheet

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

  • 💍 We congratulated Mr. and Mrs. Ohlsen on their wedding day, but this photo is too good not to share.
  • CrossFit Games teen and Semifinal athlete Paulina Haro highly recommends releasing from the pull-up bar with two hands instead of one.
  • 😱 Ellia Miller from Cobra Command CrossFit in Basehor, KS is back at it again with another “Girl WOD” PR— this time she completed Isabel in one minute flat.
  • Dave Durante, Founder of Power Monkey Fitness, does a real-life handstand sprint.
    • We interviewed Durante back in December for Coffee Break Conversations, Morning Chalk Up Rx members can check it out here.
  • Congratulations to weightlifter Tiffany Craven from Westford, MA on the back squat PR.
12/9 - 12/10: Space Coast Classic (West Melbourne, FL)
12/9: Wodamania (Singer Island Riviera Beach, FL)
12/9: Winter Solo ’23 (Columbia, MD)
12/10: The Great Equalizer 9 (Dover, NH)
12/16: Masters Mania 6 (Oklahoma City, OK)
1/13 - 1/14: The 615 Throwdown (Nashville, TN)
1/14: Battle Cancer Miami (Miami, FL)
1/20 - 1/21: Masters N Minors II (Beachwood, OH)
1/20: FrostFit Team Challenge (Colorado Springs, CO)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)
1/27: GOAT Youth Fitness Competition (Olyphant, PA)

See all upcoming events

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