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Annie and Katrin Launch a Children’s Book

Morning Chalk Up

November 12   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Annie and Katrin launch a children’s book.
  • The CrossFit Cowboy, Sean Sweeney announces his retirement.
  • Annie Sakamoto’s workout of the week.
  • Here are five things you can start doing today to prepare for the CrossFit Open.
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“Every Friday, I like to high five myself for getting through another week on little more than caffeine, willpower, and inappropriate humor.” - Nanea Hoffman

  Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir Launch New Children’s Book 

Annie Thorisdottir and Katrin Davidsdottir Launch New Children’s Book

The two most decorated CrossFit Games athletes from Iceland are joining forces for another project. Two-time champion Annie Thorisdottir and two-time champion Katrin Davidsdottir have written a children’s book together, which they will fully reveal on Tuesday. November 16. The story is centered around a young girl named Freyja — which is also the name of Annie’s daughter — who “sets out on an adventure to chase down her own destiny.”

The details: The two-time champions have yet to reveal the details of the children’s book, but they have provided some important information. For example, a prominent theme of the project is resiliency. Thorisdottir and Davidsdottir wanted to deliver the message that people fight through anything that stands in their way.

  • Thorisdottir: “Everyone will meet adversity at some point during their life, some obstacles big and others small. When you are growing up, if you are not exposed to challenges and how to approach them, you will grow up afraid of them and will shy away from everything new and never experience what life is all about.”
  • “Most will have a ‘defining moment’, for some it will be clear what it is, for others it might not be that clear. What leads up to this defining moment is what we want to showcase in this book. To help parents show their children that it is okay to fail and trying is the best way of succeeding. Resilience is something that is easily lost in our modern life, but one of the most important life skills to learn.”

Thorisdottir teased the big reveal on an episode of Jason Khalipa’s “Effort Over Everything” podcast: “We’re definitely creating something. Me and Katrin, we’re doing some incredible things together, and I’m so excited to share some of it. There’s these different things. I don’t know what I’m allowed to say. Ok, I’m just going to blurt it out. We wrote the most incredible children’s book. We haven’t decided the title actually, and it’s not fully ready yet. But the story — I could not be prouder of the book than I am right now.”

A positive impact: Thorisdottir explained that she has spent a lot of time thinking about how to change the world for the better. She believes that this process starts with the kids. Thorisdottir added that she and Davidsdottir have spent “years” talking about the subject, and now they are preparing to make the big reveal.  

The children’s book is not the only venture in progress. On top of their recently launched Dottir Audio, Thorisdottir revealed during her discussion with Khalipa that she and Davidsdottir have multiple things coming down the pipeline. Understandably, the fitness world is a key part of these plans.

  • “I have so many things that I’m extremely excited about that I’m starting to spend… It’s funny. After so many years, you get sponsored by certain companies and you help build them up, but at a certain point, I also want to build something that’s mine.”
  • “I have very strong opinions, and I’ve had the privilege of getting to choose the companies that I work with. So I’m not forced to work with someone that I don’t believe in or don’t want to use. That’s definitely a privilege that I’ve got.”

Several options were available: The book was not the first idea that Davidsdottir and Thorisdottir came up with. They looked at some other options that they could use to inspire the next generation of athletes. The main theme that permeated each idea was mental fitness.

  • “We have played with the idea for YEARS. It started with an Icelandic tv show, Lazy Town. A show in which the main objective was to get kids to MOVE and make it FUN. We went from the idea of recreating this to something that was even closer to our hearts than physical fitness – mental fitness.”
  • “Growing resilience and courage to be YOU and to rely on friends and family to support and guide you – something that we both have been incredibly fortunate to have growing up.”

Why it matters: Thorisdottir has been involved in several business ventures throughout her career. She supported the Grid League early on, she became an investor in Yerbae, and she partnered with Davidsdottir to launch the line of Dottir headphones. Joining forces with her fellow champion to write a children’s book only continues this trend.

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In case you missed it…These are the 14 women making waves in CrossFit that you need to know.

Kicking off today: The WheelWOD Games down in Raleigh, NC will field adaptive athletes from 25 countries across ten divisions over the next three days.

HAPPENING SUNDAY…Matt Salis is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for most burpees in 12 hours, with his sights set on 7,500 total. He’s using the attempt as a way to raise enough to donate a life-saving defibrillator to every county in England.

  • The current record is 5669 reps.

If you have 10 minutes…Meet Henrik Haapalainen, 2nd fittest in Finland and 18th fittest on earth at the 2021 CrossFit Games.

  • P.S. His biggest hobby prior to CrossFit was skateboarding. Who knew. 🛹

Three positive trends related to gym memberships, according to WODIFY:

  1. The number of memberships purchased per month is increasing
  2. More clients are purchasing recurring memberships
  3. The length of commitment is trending upwards
  EXCLUSIVE: Sean Sweeney Hangs Up His Competition Cowboy Hat, For Now 

EXCLUSIVE: Sean Sweeney Hangs Up His Competition Cowboy Hat, For Now

He’s one of the more recognizable CrossFit athletes on the field. Shirtless, like most, but sporting a cowboy hat — Sean Sweeney — the CrossFit Cowboy. Although this past Games season didn’t pan out how he had hoped, it was the final rodeo before this cowboy steps off the Games floor and walks away from the big competition.

“I was really feeling good about it this year and I think I had one of the best performances of my career at the West Coast Classic, it was a super competitive event there and I feel like I really performed well at some events that aren’t typically in my wheelhouse and ended up doing really well and felt like I was in the best shape that I’ve been in so I was planning on making this pretty much my last year, it’s been my plan for quite a while and I was really hoping to go out with a good finish this year at the Games.”

Unfortunately, Sweeney had to withdrawal after Event 5 at the 2021 Games due to medical reasons that he later explained were from a severe allergic reaction. Although he entered the 2021 season with a strong third-place finish at the MACC, his Games withdrawal left him with a 36th place finish overall. He hoped to have had a better performance for his final CrossFit Games, but Sweeney said he never had an expectation to make the Games, let alone compete on the big stage for four years.

Sweeney’s career: Sweeney first jumped onto the CrossFit scene as an individual back in 2015 at the South Regionals where he finished 6th. The following year, he cracked the top five and made his first appearance at the CrossFit Games finishing 30th.

  • His most competitive season was from 2018 to 2019. Sweeney’s best finish both at Regionals and at the Games was in 2018 taking first at the South Regionals and 22nd at the CrossFit Games.
  • 2021 Games — 36th
  • 2021 West Coast Classic – 3rd
  • 2020 Rogue Invitational – 15th
  • 2019 Filthy 150 – 8th
  • 2019 Games — 24th
  • 2019 Brazil CrossFit Championship – 4th
  • 2019 Wodapalooza – 22nd
  • 2019 Fittest in Cape Town – 1st
  • 2018 Games — 22nd
  • 2016 Games — 30th

The future for Sweeney

As Sweeney walks away from Games training, he and his wife Emmily are putting more of their focus on their CrossFit gym and brand, The Cowboy Way — something Sweeney said was always his main priority.

“The goal has never been to win the CrossFit Games…I love coaching and helping other people, it’s absolutely my passion. I happen to be decent at fitness but I really like helping other people find their passion for that.”

Focusing on his own CrossFit community, helping train other athletes through his programming, and even working on expanding his family with Emmily is what Sweeney will be working on for the remainder of the year.

While we won’t see him anytime “soon” at the CrossFit Games, we may just see him back on the floor with his cowboy hat in hand down the road…

“You better believe I’m doing the Masters. I’m 30, I have five years…I plan on competing in the Masters until I drop.”

Until then — fans can look forward to seeing him compete at off-season competitions next year.

“You better believe that I will still be involved in competitions…I’m not going to do any high-level competitions this year but let’s say Wodapalooza or Rogue or whatever, I’m going to go do that competition and I’ll train real hard and peak for a couple of months before that event, hit that event hard and can go back to shifting focus to other things.”

  Annie Sakamoto’s Workout of the Week 

Annie Sakamoto’s Workout of the Week

Every Friday, we’re bringing you an exclusive workout challenge programmed by a CrossFit Games athlete or coach that you can take on at home or the gym. You can post your times or scores in the comment section.

Today’s workout of the week is programmed by a CrossFit legend, Annie Sakamoto. Her involvement in CrossFit stretches from athlete to Games analyst to affiliate trainer. Most might know her due to being the namesake of one of the original “Nasty Girl” benchmark workouts, “Annie”.

Sakamoto is one of the first trainers at the first-ever CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, CA. She played a crucial role in the development of CrossFit not only as a fitness methodology but as a sport, appearing in the CrossFit Games as a team member and individual athlete six times including her last three appearances as a Masters athlete. After nearly three years away from competition she returned to the floor at the 2021 NOBULL CrossFit Games and was crowned the “Fittest 45-49 Year Old Woman”.

4 rounds:
30 Wall Balls (20/14) to 10 foot target
10 Ring Muscle ups
Time cap: 15 minutes

Some advice from Annie: “​​I’m horrible at wall balls, so I would probably break EVERYTHING up into sets of 5!”

To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.

  5 Things to Start Doing Right Now to Prepare for The Open 


5 Things to Start Doing Right Now to Prepare for The Open

The CrossFit Games Open is the official and metaphorical beginning of the CrossFit competitive season. The Open was introduced in 2011 as an annual online qualifier format for the purpose of advancing to in-person qualifier events (with the notable exception of the 2019 season).

Affiliate participation in the Open has been constant with many gyms hosting in-house events that allow their members to compete head-to-head and virtually with competitors from around the world. Even though the stakes are seemingly low for people who are not advancing to the next stage of competition, the Open will always be a good test of fitness relative to previous years and other people. Not to mention, it feels good to crush your training partners.

While a lot of people start dialing in nutrition, training extra sessions, and working on skills in January to prepare, now is really the time to start making changes if the expectation is to reach peak potential in February. As someone who has participated in many CrossFit Games Opens and currently works with competitive and recreational CrossFit athletes, I have come up with a list of the top 5 things to start doing right now to reach your potential for The Open season.

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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)
2/4 - 2/5: Modena Challenge: Intermediate and Rx (Modena, Italy)
2/10 - 2/12: Fittest if the Coast Championship (Charleston, SC)
2/11: Valentine’s Day Crush (North Hollywood, CA)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash at THRIVE CrossFit 103 (Staten Island, NY)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash (co-ed pairs) (Staten Island, NY)
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)
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3/30 - 4/8: Nine27 Athletics Spring Showdown (Online, Virtual)

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