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Annie Thorisdottir’s Letter to Her Baby Girl

Morning Chalk Up

July 7

Happy Wednesday Morning Chalk Up readers! We’re just three weeks away from the CrossFit Games. We hope to see you there for all the fitness 🥳.

  • Hot off the press! Former Nike Executive, Jason Dunlop, is CrossFit’s new President.
  • History is made: For the first time, three Finns have qualified as individual athletes in the same year for the CrossFit Games.
  • Annie Thorisdottir wrote an emotional letter to her daughter, Freyja.
  • Congrats to Paula Mann from Jasper, Indiana, the winner of two CrossFit Games Tickets
  • Plus, have you seen our new CHALKFIT shirts? Available for pre-order until 7/9.

Crush a PR or have a story you want us to tackle? Hit us up at [email protected].

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“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” - Thomas Edison.

  Breaking: CrossFit Hires Jason Dunlop, Former Nike Executive, as New President 

Breaking: CrossFit Hires Jason Dunlop, Former Nike Executive, as New President

Today, CrossFit announced that Jason Dunlop would step in as the company’s President to work on the global expansion of CrossFit.

One big thing: Since taking over CrossFit a little more than a year ago, Eric Roza has added several employees with the kind of resumes rarely seen inside CrossFit corporate.

  • Dunlop spent five years at NIKE, with stints at Starbucks and Canada Goose afterwards. At NIKE, Dunlop was responsible for Nike’s Direct-To-Consumer (D2C) business across 41 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), directing store growth and digital expansion.
  • Gary Gaines, who left SoulCycle right after Roza came on board to be global head of affiliates, appointing several internal CrossFit employees to work under Gaines. Gaines previously worked at Lyft and Tesla.
  • Andrew Weinstein, who is global head of communications and public policy, previously worked as press aide to Speaker Newt Gingrich, spokesperson for AOL and head of communications for LivingSocial.

His role as President of CrossFit: Dunlop and Roza will work together building the brand and growth worldwide. This includes growing the 12,000 affiliates — more than half of which are outside the US — the expansion of CrossFit’s education and training programs, building CAP and OnRamp, and continuing the global growth of the sport through the CrossFit Open and CrossFit Games.

What they’re saying:

  • “I’m thrilled to welcome Jason as my partner in leading CrossFit towards our goal of transforming 100 million lives. Jason’s expertise leading the hypergrowth of some of the world’s leading brands across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa will be a powerful driver for achieving CrossFit’s mission,” Roza said.
  • “Through its passionate community and proven ability to transform lives, CrossFit has come a long way from its humble roots, but it has barely begun to tap its unlimited global potential. I am confident that we can build CrossFit into an iconic worldwide brand on par with Nike and Starbucks, and I am as excited today to join the CrossFit community as I was five years ago when I first walked into a CrossFit box and felt that sense of community, inclusivity, and mission,” Dunlop said.
This Jump Rope Converts Your WOD Into a Living Hell

This Jump Rope Converts Your WOD Into a Living Hell

The Earth 2.0 from Velites uses a unique system of interchangeable weighted handles and ropes to torch your muscles, build strength, and push you to breaking point. It includes:

  • Twelve weighted handle pieces ranging from 7oz to 2.2lb.
  • Three different ropes to vary intensity and speed.
  • Fifteen different combinations to turn your workout into a living hell.

That’s the #1 reason CrossFit Games athletes Brent Fikowski and Kristi Eramo O’Connell have switched to using Velites Earth 2.0 jump ropes. To make every double-under count.

Launching in the United States this summer, sign up for the Velites private launch and access exclusive offers.


  • Team change: Games athlete, Ryan Sowder, will be filling in for Eric Carmody on Team Invictus at the CrossFit Games.
  • Training Think Tank is hosting a free “Super Summer Sizzler competition” starting this week. It consists of three workouts with the final WOD demoed by Noah Ohlsen and Alessandra Pichelli. Sign up and submit your scores by Sunday, July 11 before 12 PM ET to see how you hold up on the leaderboard.
  • Dallin Pepper and James Sprague announced that they’ll be at the Pit Fitness Ranch in September for the US Army CrossFit Elite Teen Throwdown.
  • Give it a try: Olympian British weightlifter, Sonny Webster, tackles a CrossFit Metcon, and looks pretty flawless doing it.
  • “The Weekly Fight” T-Shirt Fundraiser by Make WODs Great Again: From John Wooley, the mind behind Make WODs Great Again and Make Pods Great Again, “You’ve probably noticed that I’ve been BLOCKED BY CASTRO. Shocking I know. From all the DMs I’ve received, it sounds like it’s a common occurrence. I figured all of us that have been “Blocked by Castro” need a support group, so I made these tees. They’ll be on presale through Thursday.”
    • The post continues: “Also if you don’t know, Dave was a Navy Seal which is a pretty incredible thing and we owe so much to those who have served so 100% of the proceeds from the sale will go to The Weekly Fight, which is a CrossFit-centered charity that helps veterans (and their families) overcome PTSD. You can also donate directly to them online if you don’t need a super cool tee.”
  Top Trio of Finnish CrossFit Athletes Shine During Semifinals to Reach Madison 


Top Trio of Finnish CrossFit Athletes Shine During Semifinals to Reach Madison

After the pandemic put the CrossFit Games on pause, primarily for international athletes, the Semifinals brought back athletes from around the world, pushing for a podium spot this year in Madison WI.

There were big names from different nations in contention, but a top trio from Finland put the world on notice, by competing and qualifying for the Games together, with very strong performances.

  • Jonne Koski
  • Emilia Leppanen
  • Henrik Haapalainen

Their performances mark the first time in CrossFit history that three Finns qualified as individuals in the same year.

Continue Reading...
  Not Strong Like Me, Strong Like You. A Letter to My Baby Girl 

Not Strong Like Me, Strong Like You. A Letter to My Baby Girl

Dear Freyja,

Just a couple of weeks after you were born, I was sitting on the couch with your pabbi watching TV and suddenly I had a total breakdown.

I was just so overcome with emotions. You were so teeny tiny and dependent on me, and I started to panic about how I’ll be able to protect you from this world. I started to think about things like the day I’ll have to drop you off at kindergarten and leave you for a few hours. This terrified me.

I’m never leaving you. I’m going to protect you from this big ass crazy world, is what I was thinking through my crazy mom tears.

They say that you do not know love until your child is born, and Freyja, they were partially right.

I think it’s a feeling only a mother can understand, so it might not make sense to you until you’re a mom too, but the moment you came into the world everything changed. The second I got you in my arms I felt something I had never felt before. Protecting you was suddenly the only thing that mattered to me. I knew I would die before I would let anything happen to you. And even though it has been an emotional and physical rollercoaster — I lost so much blood, couldn’t stand up on my own and didn’t sleep for five consecutive days when you were born — having you has also made me the happiest I have ever been in my life.

Continue Reading...
  CrossFit Games Rookie Series: Meet Zach Watts 

CrossFit Games Rookie Series: Meet Zach Watts

Heading into the 2021 season, 25 year-old Zach Watts wasn’t quite sure he’d make it through the first qualifying stages.

  • 2020 was full of life-changing events for Watts. A new job as a medical sales rep, a global pandemic, getting married to his high school sweetheart and going on his honeymoon last fall. Watts said, this meant training was put on the “back burner.”
  • “So I went into the Open not really sure how it would go. I wasn’t even sure I’d make it to the Quarterfinals,” he said.

A few months later, the two-time Central Regionals competitor is training to compete at his first CrossFit Games after punching his ticket at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge in Knoxville, TN.

Watts’ Semifinals experience: Watts opened the weekend with an event win, hitting a 310 pound snatch, followed by an impressive 4th place finish on Event 2.

  • “I really was just going to take it event by event, but after day one, I was sitting in second place overall, and I was like, ‘wow, this may be my opportunity if I can hold it together,” said Watts.
Continue Reading...
  CrossFit Games Rookie Series: Meet Zach Watts 

Get Your CHALKFIT Shirt Today

The global launch of CHALKFIT, an apparel line by Morning Chalk Up designed for athletes who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

These shirts and tanks are made from a lightweight poly/cotton blend softer than a Charmin teddy bear.

Shop Now...


The Earthquake Bar

Suspending the weights from the barbell using bands creates a ton of movement and bouncing. This massively increases the stability demand on your body and works all your stabilizing muscles like crazy. Add this into your program to increase stability or as some prehab work for back pain.




The Jeans You Won't Believe are Jeans

Revtown's latest innovation is like nothing you've ever worn before. The style of 5-pocket denim with the performance and stretch of an athletic pant. Lightweight, flexible, and durable. The Tech Jean fits in at the bar, the boardroom, or even the box. You may never need to wear any other pants.



Overhead Med Ball Stretch

Next time you're about to lift anything overhead, grab a med ball and do this first. Pay close attention to form and you'll literally feel your lats activating and stretching out. A must-do anytime you're lifting overhead.



Your Aerobic Engine

Train Your Weakness has a new course to improve your aerobic endurance in just three easy-to-follow workouts a week for eight weeks. Make this the summer you crush those summer runs, swims, and bike rides.



Keep The Bar Even Closer

When you're trying to lift some serious weight, keeping the barbell close to your body helps keep all that power moving in just one way. Struggle to keep it close enough? Use these two variations in your warm-up to correct that bar path and keep everything moving in the right direction.


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.

1/28 - 1/29: Qualifiche Campionato Italiano Sthenathlon Blor (Milano, Italy)
1/28: Masters Of The Midway (Cary, IL)
1/28: Bloodline Brawl (Fort Myers, FL)
1/28: Sunshine CrossFit ALS Fundraiser (Bedford Hills, NY)
1/28: Bloodline Brawl VII (Teams of 3!) (Fort Myers, FL)
1/28: Masters Of The Midway: Individual (Cary, IL)
2/4 - 2/5: Modena Challenge: Intermediate and Rx (Modena, Italy)
2/4: Valentine’s Day Massacre (Tucson, AZ)
2/4: The 2023 Winter Classic (Danbury, CT)
2/4: GOAT Youth/Teen Fitness Competition: Individual, Age Groups 10-17 (Olyphant, PA)
2/10 - 2/12: Fittest if the Coast Championship (Charleston, SC)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash (co-ed pairs) (Staten Island, NY)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/11: Valentine’s Day Crush (North Hollywood, CA)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash at THRIVE CrossFit 103 (Staten Island, NY)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/12: The 2023 RCF Winter War (Londonderry, NH)
2/18: Moultrie South Georgia Classic (Norman Park, GA)
3/1 - 3/31: Barbells For Bullies: Sit Ups For Pups (Online Event, United States)
3/18 - 3/19: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, Canada)
3/25 - 3/26: Costa Dorada Fitness Challenge (Tamarit, Tarragona, Spain)
3/25: No Weak Links (Marcy, NY)

See all upcoming events

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