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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.”
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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.

5/26 - 5/27: Gold Star Murph 2022 (Southern Pines, NC)
6/3 - 6/5: Northern California Classic (Sacramento, CA)
6/3 - 6/5: Atlantic Coast Classic (Daytona Beach, FL)
6/4 - 6/5: Whiplash: The Welsh Open 2022 (Same Sex Pairs) (Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom)
6/4: Love’Em or Leave’Em 10 (Saugus, MA)
6/4 - 6/5: Tandemonium (Palmer, AK)
6/4: Goose Games (Chicago, IL)
6/4: Average Joe’s Competition (Sheridan, WY)
6/11: Costa Rica Riptide Rowathon (Mokena, IL)
6/11: Hi Temp Games (Albany, GA)
6/11: Mind Games (Okemos, MI)
6/11: Kanna Fest (Ambler, PA)
6/11: Battle on Bridge Street III (Phoenixville, PA)
6/18: Oz Fest 2022 (Junction City, KS)
6/18: Beat The Heat 2022 (Hays, KS)
6/18: Atlanta Masters Classic (Snellville, GA)
6/18: Back Lot Bout – RX, Intermediate, Scaled (Saint Charles, MI)
6/18: Wodmania (Urbana, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: Best of the West (Rock Springs, WY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, CA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: The Heat 5.0- Co-ed Partner Competition (Marysville, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: The Garrison City Gauntlet (Dover, NH)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/18 - 6/19: The CS&F Summer Classic (Cumming, GA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, NC)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Tennessee (Mc Minnville, TN)
6/18 - 6/19: Emerald Coast Throwdown (Pensacola, FL)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/24 - 6/27: I Got Your Six (Charleston, SC)
6/25 - 6/26: BILT Summer Classic (Welland, CA)
6/25: Independence Games VIII at The Pit Fitness Ranch (Three Rivers, MI)
6/25: Northwest Arkansas Basement Brawl (Fayetteville, AR)
6/25: Summer Bash 2022 (Zanesville, OH)
6/25: Ocean State Summer Threesome (Smithfield, RI)
6/25: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Muster Station (Sanford, FL)
7/9: Rex Rumble at CrossFit zoo (Ocala, FL)
7/9 - 7/10: Rex Rumble 11 Double Down (Ocala, FL)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Fayetteville (Spring Lake, NC)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx West Texas (Snyder, YX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx South Sound (Puyallup, WA)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)
7/17: Warrior Affiliate League Summer Classic (Whittier, CA)

See all upcoming events

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