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3 Inspiring Female Coaches for International Woman’s Day

Morning Chalk Up

March 8   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. It’s Open week and International Women’s Day, so let’s jump right in.

In today’s edition:

  • How to be a good Open coach.
  • Meet Major Haley Mercer, West Point grad and affiliate owner.
  • Emily Beers profiles three women doing amazing work in the fitness ecosystem.
  • Reebok reiterates its commitment to CrossFit community.
  • Do you know someone who has done an exceptional job embodying and capturing the essence of the CrossFit community? Find out how you can nominate them for a Morning Chalk Up Community Choice Award.

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right” - Henry Ford

  How To Be a Good Open Coach: Know Your Athletes 


How To Be a Good Open Coach: Know Your Athletes

Every year, the Open pushes athletes to their limits and tests the very outer edges of their fitness. It’s a time to prove your fitness and bring yourself outside of your comfort zone. But it’s also important to recognize that the Open doesn’t just push athletes beyond their comfort zones. Every year, the Open takes the average CrossFit coach and pushes them to guide their athletes through some of the most challenging workouts they’ll face this year.

If you plan on coaching during the Open, you’ll need to level-up your coaching game. We asked 3 elite coaches for their biggest pieces of advice on coaching athletes during the Open.

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  • MUST WATCH: In the first episode of the “Fraser Files,” Mat reviews and talks about his performance during the second workout of the 2018 CrossFit Open — 18.2 and 18.1A. He did these workouts only four hours apart and hit 385 and 380 on his cleans. Check out how the five-time Games champ improved his leaderboard position with one simple change.
  • Jeffrey Adler, fifth Fittest Man on Earth in 2020, is giving away a Timebird mini-timer. Enter now, the giveaway ends tonight.
  • MUST READ: Kara Saunders was interviewed by Muscle and Healthtwo weeks ago. She talks about training pregnant and as a new mom and gives advice for women who want to get started in CrossFit.
    • Saunders: “Start where you are with what you have. Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s unless it propels you forward and makes you motivated or inspired in a positive way.”
  • Christian Lucero announced that he will not compete in the CrossFit Open this year.
  • Michelle Suozzi, a three-time CrossFit Games qualifier in the 40-44 division, tore her Achilles tendon and will not compete this year.
  Major Haley Mercer Raises the Bar With Successful Military Career, CrossFit Affiliate Ownership 

Major Haley Mercer Raises the Bar With Successful Military Career, CrossFit Affiliate Ownership

Major Haley Mercer of the United States Army is not the average CrossFitter. She placed 190th worldwide in the 2019 CrossFit Open (ages 35-39), graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management, earned two Master’s Degrees, and graduated from the Sapper Leader Course. She also owns Third Coast CrossFit in Dickinson, TX and exclusively uses the sport for her training while serving as Executive Officer of the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion.

Why this matters: CrossFit has always very popular in military communities as members strive to remain in peak physical condition. Many soldiers use CrossFit training instead of simply relying on a routine of running, push-ups, and sit-ups mixed with some weightlifting. The reason for this is not complicated.

  • “I think it’s gained a lot of popularity, honestly, two words: ‘it works,’” Mercer explained. “I think people started seeing a lot of improvements in their overall fitness much more quickly than what they had been doing previously.”
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  Celebrating International Women’s Day with Three Resilient, Courageous, Strong Female Coaches 

Celebrating International Women’s Day with Three Resilient, Courageous, Strong Female Coaches

Today is International Women’s Day and we asked the community to point us toward inspiring female coaches and entrepreneurs. As expected, we had countless options to choose from. Here are three of them:

Kristel Raab: The Picture of Resilience

She kept her eyes closed as she opened the email, scared of the news she was about to receive.

“I can’t see another fail. Please tell me I passed,” Raab pleaded internally about that anxious moment just before she learned she had finally passed her CrossFit Level 1 written exam in 2018.

Relief and excitement overtook her body. In recent months, Raab had spent $2,500 to take the Level 1 course twice and the test six times. And although she was thrilled, she didn’t share her excitement with anyone at the time, because nobody had known she had failed five times.

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  Reebok Reiterates Commitment to CrossFit Community 

Reebok Reiterates Commitment to CrossFit Community

In the wake of this week’s news that fitness apparel upstart NOBULL would replace Reebok as the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games as well as exclusive apparel and footwear sponsor of CrossFit, Reebok’s President Matt O’Toole made it clear to Morning Chalk Up the brand isn’t going anywhere.

What he’s saying: “While our official partnership with CrossFit HQ came to an end in 2020, make no mistake, Reebok remains committed to supporting the athletes, affiliate partners, and the global CrossFit community,” O’Toole told the Morning Chalk Up this week.

  • “This is a community that we’ve believed in since day one, and we have no plans to walk away from them. We will also continue our focus on creating the very best products for the sport.”
  • “Our latest shoe, the Nano X1 — the Official Shoe of Fitness — is the greatest shoe ever created for the CrossFit community and we will continue to raise the bar with each and every product we create.”
Continue Reading...


Sots Press Progressions To Increase Overhead Strength

The Sots Press is tough. It requires stability and mobility both in the squat and overhead. But, it's a great exercise to improve your snatch positioning and overhead squats. Check out this video from coach Greg Everett at Catalyst Athletics to learn some progressions and perfect the lift.




Sustainable Gear, Like the Banks Short From Vuori

The ultimate in versatility, the Banks Shorts are made from four to five recycled plastic bottles each to take you from land to sea and beyond. It’s an athletic short built with a scalloped leg for your most universal performance item.



A Signed HWPO T-Shirt

A HWPO t-shirt signed by Mat Fraser! You can now workout and win like the fittest man in history, in celebration of Mat dropping his official training program on April 1st and we are giving away a signed HWPO t-shirt. This giveaway ends Monday so be sure to enter to win while you can.



The Pistol Squat

Master the pistol squat in just three sessions a week with this simple program from Brent Fikowski and the team at Train Your Weakness.



Nominate Your Swolemate for the Chalk Up Community Choice Awards

Do you know someone who has done an exceptional job embodying and capturing the essence of the CrossFit community? Maybe they have a story of extraordinary resilience or have made considerable contributions to their local community. Whoever that person is, whatever their story, we want to hear it.


Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

10/1: Lansing’s Strongest 2022 (Lansing, MI)
10/1 - 10/2: Fittest in the Fall (Indianapolis, IN)
10/1: Guava Games (Tampa, FL)
10/1: Masters Mayhem (Kilgore, TX)
10/1: WODtoberfest 2022 (Saint Clairsville, OH)
10/1: Battle of the Vikings (Frederick, MD)
10/1: North Dallas Rumble (Dallas, TX)
10/1: Warrior Games 2022 (Suffield, CT)
10/1 - 10/2: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/1: West Town Throwdown (Chicago, IL)
10/1: Legends of the Falls 2022 (Gadsden, AL)
10/2 - 10/16: CHLKDUP Box League – Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN)
10/2: The IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: Battle in the Berg (Newberg, OR)
10/7 - 10/8: Koda Iron Games (Lafayette, CO)
10/8: Mayhem & Massacre @ Infinite Fitness & Health (Wharton, NJ)
10/8 - 10/9: Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival (MACC FEST) (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Fall Brawl at CrossFit Lehigh Valley (Allentown, PA)
10/8 - 10/9: MACC FEST (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Rua Rumble II (Frankfort, IL)
10/8: Nightmare On Wod Street (Spring Lake, MI)
10/8: The X Games (Brooklawn, NJ)
10/14 - 10/16: 3F Throwdown (Poreč, Croatia)
10/15: Ragin Games 2022 (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/15: PAINKLLR Nashville (Nashville, TN)
10/15: Ragin Games (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: 7th Annual Kilo Crushfest (Hampton, VA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Omaha (Gretna, NE)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Dallas (Dallas, Texas)
10/15: Diamond K Classic (Birmingham, AL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Belleville (Belleville, Canada)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx San Diego (Alpine, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Iowa (Des Miones, IA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Southern Illinois (Highland Robinson, IL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Newport News (Newport News, VA)
10/15: Mid Atlantic Masters Classic (Abingdon, MD)
10/15: Bridgetown Throwdown (City of Industry, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Richmond (Richmond, Canada)
10/21 - 10/23: Battledrome Championship (Milan, Italy)
10/22: 8th Annual Crossfit Pittsfield Fall Brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Doomsday 2022 (Palm Springs, CA)
10/22: The Humble Games Fall Throwdown (Hanover, MD)
10/22: Goblin Gauntlet – CrossFit Sandy (Sandy, UT)
10/22: 8th annual fall brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Festivals Games – CrossFit 906 Ishpeming, MI (Ishpeming, MI)
10/22 - 10/23: Rep It Out (Sheffield, England)
10/22: Clash at the Creek 2022 (Knoxville, TN)
10/22: Festivus Games – Teams @ Crossfit Clan (Parsippany, NJ)
10/22: Ironclad (League City, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games (Waukesha, WI)
10/22: Scream and Clean 2 (Danbury, CT)
10/22: SE TEX Masters Fall Classic 2022 (Cypress, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games Pairs – Same-Sex or Mixed-Sex (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Black and Brewed (Huntsville, AL)
10/22: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Dreamland Games 3 (same sex pairs) (Portsmouth, OH)
10/22: 2022 Arsenal Throwdown (Pittsburgh, PA)
10/29 - 10/30: Chi-Town Throwdown (Elmhurst, IL)
10/29 - 10/30: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/29: Heartland Games (Kearney, NE)
10/29 - 10/30: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Black Hive West (Jacksonville, FL)
10/30 - 11/20: CHLKDUP Box League – Nashville (Nashville, TN)
11/1 - 11/21: MFLH X FFTF Partner Series Online Qualifier (New York, NY)
11/5 - 11/6: Reignited Games (Wilmington, NC)
11/5: Fall’s Fittest Partner Throwdown (Amherst, OH)
11/5: Best of the Wurst (New Braunfels, TX)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Salt Lake, UT)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
11/12: CrossFit Exodus Throwdown (Bridgeport, TX)
11/19: Babes & Beasts TURF Games 2022 (Port Saint Lucie, FL)
11/19: Cactus Classic 2022 (Phoenix, AZ)

See all upcoming events

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