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A Canadian Comeback

Morning Chalk Up

June 28   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • The Return of Alex Vigneault.
  • Brian Friend, Tommy Marquez and Patrick Clark file their picks for who will earn a Games berth out of the men’s division in the Last Chance Qualifier.
  • Paul Dewey suffered a major stroke, using CrossFit, the 56-year-old is now back to squatting 250 pounds and deadlifting 330.
  • The Morning Chalk Up is hiring a Social Media Manager and Homepage Editor, and Customer Service Representative.

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

“The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.” - Socrates

  The Return of Alex Vigneault 

The Return of Alex Vigneault

Now that the leaderboard from the Atlas Games is finalized, we can start to break down some of the standings.

All five qualifiers from the men’s field are Canadians who have previously finished in the top ten at the Games.

Patrick Vellner has done it four times, including being on the podium for three straight years from 2016-2018. Jeffrey Adler placed fifth last year; Samuel Cournoyer finished 10th. Brent Fikowski finished fourth, second and fourth during the same three year stretch that Vellner had his best finishes (2016-2018). And then there’s Alex Vigneault, who some may know by name, but most won’t know as much about as perhaps they should.

Remind Me: Alex Vigneault first showed up at the Canada East Regionals in 2014 as a twenty-two year old rookie,

  • “I placed third on a tiebreak with Paul Tremblay and Pascal Baillargon. That year, only the top two got their place for the CrossFit Games. I was disappointed with the way my weekend ended, but I knew I could do more in the sport.”

The next year, 2015, Vigneault began studying to be a police officer and said this gave him plenty of time to train. “I set the goal of qualifying for the Games.” He took second place at the Hartford Regional that season and made good on that goal. “[That year] I just wanted to do well and not finish last. I ended up finishing eleventh and learned a lot.”

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  • The Masters Fitness Collective is seeking volunteers for its event, September 2-5, in Fort Wayne, IN. Apply now.
  • CrossFit Director of Sport, Dave Castro is testing CrossFit Games workouts with athletes Alison Scudds, Kelly Clark and Connor Schmitz.
  • CrossFit Games veteran, Lauren Fisher shouted out and thanked her Training Think Tank training crew. The long-time Invictus athlete dropped in with the Alpharetta, GA squad to prepare for the West Coast Classic this year.
  • MUST READ: In the South China Morning Post earlier this month, Patrick Blennerhassett asked the question, “will BKG win the 2021 CrossFit Games?”
  • Adaptive athlete, Logan Alridge, was featured on ESPN’s Instagram hitting a 225 pound clean and jerk at bodyweight 165.
  Last Chance Qualifier Mock Draft: Men’s Division 


Last Chance Qualifier Mock Draft: Men’s Division

Semifinals have barely ended, and the newest iteration of the “Last Chance Qualifier” is right around the corner. From July 2 to July 4 thirty men and thirty-four women will have the opportunity to compete in one final qualifier event for the Games. However, there are only two spots in each division available, so get ready for perhaps the most competitive format yet.

How the this draft works: Each one of our Morning Chalk Up analysts — Brian Friend, Tommy Marquez, and Patrick Clark — will have the opportunity to “draft” two men and two women who they believe have a good chance to secure a Games berth out of the Last Chance Qualifier in a snake draft style format.

  • The order for the men will be Brian, Patrick, Tommy for two picks, then Patrick, and Brian to finish.
  • Tomorrow we will flip it for the women (Tommy, Patrick, Brian for two, Patrick, and finally Tommy).
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Good News is our weekly round-up of positive stories around the affiliate community. Are you opening a new gym, expanding a current location, offering new classes, or is your box running a fundraiser? Send us a tip to be featured.

  • New Affiliate: Lineage CrossFit opened its doors in Clearwater, FL on June 1 after only a month of building and prep. The gym is taking on new members now.
  • Earlier this month, Andrea Ferry, a member at CrossFit Crossing in Wyomissing, PA created an online fundraiser for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  She pledged to do a burpee for each dollar donated.  The response was amazing.  So much so that she then took it a step farther and made a video dedication to each donor for their contribution.  Each video was themed to make it more personalized. So far, Ferry has raised almost $1500.
  • £10,000 Fundraising Challenge: CrossFit Stormbreaker, in Salterbeck, UK is owned by Bill Moore and Kate Jarvis. The owners set a 24-hour fundraising challenge for their members to support two charities, Mind and the Samaritans. The challenge involves completing one hero WOD every hour for 24 hours. Donate here.
  • Blood and Bone Marrow Drive: Earlier this month, the member of CrossFit Cyprium in Ferndale, Johannesburg, South Africa, held a blood and bone marrow drive led by the #MightyMack army. The blood and bone marrow drive was set to benefit Mackenzie Friedman, a baby born in January who has developed acute myeloid leukemia.
  Driven and Determined: Paul Dewey Suffers Major Stroke, Builds Back His Strength 

Driven and Determined: Paul Dewey Suffers Major Stroke, Builds Back His Strength

On November 30, 2016, Paul Dewey stroked out at his gym, CrossFit Johns Creek in Georgia.

  • “It was the type of workout… I want to say a 10-minute workout when… your score was going to be double-unders,” says Ronda Smith, Dewey’s coach.
  • “Paul had about a minute-and-a-half, two minutes [left],” she says, “And he was really good with his double-unders. [Then] he just stopped, and he… I mean, it happened so fast. I remember him sitting down and I was like ‘Are you ok?’” she continued, recalling that at this point another member, a police officer, grabbed Dewey.
  • When Paul looked at me, the side of his face just slumped. I knew it was a stroke.”

Dewey suffered an acute ischemic stroke. Within 30 minutes, Dewey, 52 years old, an athlete and a father, was on his way to the local hospital.

  • At the hospital, Dewey was given clot buster medicine, but it didn’t work. His front left carotid artery was blocked, prompting a helicopter ride to a different hospital with a trauma center.
  • Once airlifted, he was operated on and diagnosed with a major stroke. Dewey had aphasia and apraxia, and his whole upper right side and 30% of his leg were affected.
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A Dumbbell Leg Day

Leg day without a heavy barbell? What is this? By swapping out the barbell for some dumbbells, you can focus on building unilateral strength and evening out any asymmetries you have. Try these eight exercises next leg day and feel the dumbbell burn.




How to Breathe Better

Yes, we know you have been doing it all your life but we've also been running all our lives, and we can certainly use some help there. Researchers have found that by correcting your jaw and tongue position with a mouthpiece, you significantly increase endurance, reduce respiratory rate, and boost your recovery.



Kettlebell Banded Bench Press

You're only as strong as you are stable. But so many methods of building stability are either ineffective...or dangerous. Try this modified bench press using suspended kettlebells to seriously challenge and improve your shoulder stability.



The 3-in-1 Row, Ski, Paddle Machine Backed by Rich Froning

Transform your garage, hotel room, or bedroom into a full training facility with Whipr, the world's first portable ERG training machine. Still selling at founder pricing, use code "MCU5" for an additional 5% off.



Crispy Shrimp Burger Patties

Dig into these shrimp burgers seasoned with smoked paprika and chili powder. You can enjoy them burger style, on a salad, in a wrap, or as part of a protein-packed bowl. The secret is blending half of your seafood while rough chopping the rest to create the perfect patty.


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.

9/29 - 10/25: Fittest of the Coast Coastal Qualifier powered by Victory Grips (Charleston, SC)
9/30 - 10/1: Iron Anchor Throwdown (Batavia, OH)
9/30 - 10/2: October Challenge (Fiuggi, Italy)
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)
10/1: Lansing’s Strongest 2022 (Lansing, MI)
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: The X Games (Brooklawn, NJ)
10/8: Nightmare On Wod Street (Spring Lake, MI)
10/8: Rua Rumble II (Frankfort, IL)
10/8 - 10/9: MACC FEST (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Fall Brawl at CrossFit Lehigh Valley (Allentown, PA)
10/8 - 10/9: Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival (MACC FEST) (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Mayhem & Massacre @ Infinite Fitness & Health (Wharton, NJ)
10/14 - 10/16: 3F Throwdown (Poreč, Croatia)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Belleville (Belleville, Canada)
10/15: Diamond K Classic (Birmingham, AL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Dallas (Dallas, Texas)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Omaha (Gretna, NE)
10/15: 7th Annual Kilo Crushfest (Hampton, VA)
10/15: Ragin Games (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: PAINKLLR Nashville (Nashville, TN)
10/15: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/15: Ragin Games 2022 (Lafayette, LA)
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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