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AB CrossFit Mayhem eyes a podium finish at the 2023 CrossFit Games

Morning Chalk Up

July 4   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Happy Fourth of July to all our American readers. 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸
  • How Doug Rinard uses CrossFit to battle Multiple Sclerosis
  • Just how good do you have to be to stand on the podium at the CrossFit Games?
  • AB CrossFit Mayhem is more than just a wildcard pick in 2023

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“In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.” - Barack Obama

  Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Through Movement, Goals and Community  

Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis Through Movement, Goals and Community

In 2006, Doug Rinard began noticing a numbness and tingling in his limbs, severe fatigue and occasional blurred vision. He had no family history or precursors for disease.

Xrays revealed no broken bones or slipped discs, which could possibly have been the culprit. Physical activity ceased. Rinard had been lifting weights, and leading an active life, but no longer could.

After multiple doctor visits and differing opinions, Rinard was referred to a neurologist and was given both a brain and spine MRI. It was there that lesions were discovered on his lower brain stem and upper spinal cord. Rinard had Multiple Sclerosis.

He was 29 years old.

Rinard took the diagnosis with extreme difficulty. Causes and triggers of MS are a mystery: it could be a combination of genetics and environmental exposures, but there are no definitive answers as to what Doug could have done differently to alter this inevitable outcome.

  • “When I was diagnosed with MS, I took it very hard mentally,” said Rinard. “I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong. With no cause or cure, it’s not something easy to get past. I thought I could take action and make plans, but I found too much contradictory info and opinions. This lack of trust about information felt like a lack of control. I won’t pretend that I turned that corner quickly, but I will say that I eventually did.”

For ten years, Rinard treated his relapsing-remitting MS with steroids, which were administered via daily shots. He also underwent yearly MRIs to monitor progression of the disease.

With such vague and contradictory information available, it was Rinard’s best guess as to how to best manage and live with MS.

  •  “I decided that I wanted to make the most of the unknown years I had with my body functionality. I chose to manage MS through medication, diet and exercise,” said Rinard.

When Rinard first began exercising in a way to manage his MS, he ran, lifted weights, swam, and competed in local triathlons and races. While these activities and events helped his fitness, and did indeed help to manage his MS symptoms, he felt that they provided temporary goals. His effort would slide for months at a time until he found a new interest or physical focus.

Eventually, Rinard found CrossFit. 

  • “CrossFit provided me with such variety and goals that I never got bored,” recalls Rinard.

But as a new member of a larger, fit and somewhat intimidating community, Rinard was concerned that his diagnosis would overshadow who he was as a person and as an athlete.

  • “When I joined… I withheld my MS from all the coaches and athletes. I was so scared of being treated differently than others. I desired to be pushed and challenged, which I was. I often overcompensated by lifting too heavy because I was scared to appear weak.”
  • “It was about two to three years later that I trusted everyone there enough to disclose that I had MS. I trusted everyone there to interact with me based on my past performance, not a preconceived notion of what I could do.”
  • “I strongly believe that my increased level of physical fitness through CrossFit has helped slow progression and relapses of my MS. Whether it’s just the physicality or the improved positive outlook it brings, CrossFit has been a game changer for my health and well being,” said Rinard.
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📋 🗒️ CrossFit Games testing is underway in Columbis, OH at Rogue Fitness HQ.

Good Read: Check out this piece by Morning Chalk Up contributor (and Mat Fraser’s co-author), Spenser Mestel in Men’s Health, “I Discovered a New Future for Strength Sports at a Pride Deadlifting Event.”

Individual Games rookie, James Sprague dropped in on the Peak 360 Fitness crew to hit a training workout this weekend.

ICYMI: CrossFit Gifford, our July Affiliate of the Month, raised $21,000 for a women’s shelter through a 24 Hours of Heroes event.

  How Good Do You Have To Be To Stand on the CrossFit Games Podium?  


How Good Do You Have To Be To Stand on the CrossFit Games Podium?

To even qualify for the CrossFit Games is a phenomenal achievement on its own, but to stand atop the podium as one of the top three Fittest Men and Women in the world requires even much more than that.

We all know that you have to consistently place high throughout all events, but exactly how well must you finish in each event? And are you allowed to have any poor finishes and still make the top 3?

In order to find out the answers to these questions we looked at the top three athletes from the 2022 Games, 2021 Games, and 2018 Games* and broke down their results by:

  • Average total points
  • Average event finish
  • Lowest event finish among top 3 athletes

By gathering this data we were able to figure out exactly how good you have to be to be announced as one of the top 3 fittest men or women in the world.

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  You Can’t Train Experience: AB CrossFit Mayhem Proves They are More Than Just a Wildcard Team  

You Can’t Train Experience: AB CrossFit Mayhem Proves They are More Than Just a Wildcard Team

Last year, AB CrossFit received a call that would change the trajectory of the next 365 days for them. After a near miss at a qualifying spot at the MidAtlantic CrossFit Championships earlier that May, AB CrossFit’s team thought they were done for the season.

One big thing: But despite not standing in the top five at the end of that weekendIvan Verdun, Mario Santaella, Laura Sanchez, and Maria Camila Quintero of AB CrossFit would go on to take 23rd overall out of 36 teams that summer in Madison, WI.

Remind me: After two teams were disqualified due to positive drug tests at the MACC, AB CrossFit ultimately ended up placing fourth overall.

  • This reshuffling of the results meant that with just one month to go until teams took the floor in Madison, AB CrossFit learned they had in fact earned their ticket.
  • While their trip to the Games was challenging, as they had little time to prepare, it lit a fire in them and made them realize they knew they had what it took to make a name for themselves in the Team division in 2023.

The first year: Two years ago, AB CrossFit Mayhem came together with a goal. To make it to the CrossFit Games. While they achieved that goal in their first year, it was not without struggle.

  • “I think the challenge [for our team] was the first year,” said teammate Laura Sanchez.
  • We had a very rough year,” she continued, referencing their last minute ticket to the Games and the struggle it took to prepare for the Games in such a short period of time.
  • “We were [still] meeting each other. We all have different personalities,” Sanchez elaborated.
  • “So we learned from that year. It was very challenging dealing with all our personalities,” she concluded.
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How to Survive Workouts When it’s Hot AF

Training Think Tank knows you’re sweating your you know what’s off this summer hitting workouts. Listen to their chat about heat acclimation and getting accustomed to hydrating properly.




How to Get Your Leads to Convert

Does a lead attending a class increase their likelihood of converting? Does the timeframe in which the lead attends a class affect their likelihood of converting? Wodify found that getting leads into your gym as quickly as you can significantly increase your conversion rate!



Reasons to do Metcons

If you like to skip the metcons and just strength train, you need to see this list of all the benefits of hitting a metcon. You can still lift all the weights, then lift them faster for a metcon!



Shop Vuori Swimwear

Picture the same comfort from your Vuori joggers… in swimsuit form. That’s what Vuori does with their swimwear! With performance stretch swimwear, you will be able to wear this in and out of the water.



Your Plantar Fasciitis

Having plantar fasciitis means constant pain in your feet and back of your ankle and can be miserable. Use this exercise and your plantar fasciitis pain will start to go away!


Share Your CrossFit Story


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

  • 🍼 Congratulations to Austin and Jessica (Griffith) Cahoy on their pregnancy news.
  • Congratulations to Debra from Sunshine CrossFit in Bedford Hills, NY on the PR back squat triple at 253 pounds/115kg.
  • Congratulations to the Morning Chalk Up’s own Austin Heaton on the 319 pound/145kg squat clean PR.
  • 🦘Congratulations to 10-year-old Rory van Ulft from Ottowa on the 39.5 inch (100 cm) vertical jump.
  • Christin Panchik is documenting her postpartum journey with 30 days of core rehab.
    • “I’ve been hiding under large crew necks and t shirts for 5 months. Sick of saying ‘tomorrow’ so holding myself accountable for 30 straight days of core rehab 5 [minutes] a day.”

Over the weekend, CrossFit SWB in Beaverton, OR hosted a Warriorthon fundraiser event with 100% of proceeds going to Everyday Warrior, a nonprofit organization that financially supports CrossFitters undergoing cancer treatment.

  • Participants walked or ran for 26 hours to honor cancer survivors and those battling cancer, and pay tribute to those that are no longer physically here.
  • Donate to Everyday Warrior here.
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)

See all upcoming events

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