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Athletes Reveal COVID-19 Recovery Details

Morning Chalk Up

August 19


Happy Wednesday, we’ve made it to mid-week and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The Master’s Fitness Collective Championship kicks off this week in Fort Wayne, IN. It’s been 164 days since large groups of elite-level CrossFit athletes met in person to compete, so we can’t wait to cover it; Patrick Clark has a preview. And, Spenser Mestel’s investigation into “strength,” one of the ten components of fitness, inaugurates a new Wednesday series.

  • And, don’t miss Emily Beers follow-up with CrossFit athletes who have recovered from COVID-19.

Keep those quote suggestions, story tips and PRs rolling in at [email protected].

The Morning Chalk Up is looking for an experienced writer interested in covering CrossFit Games athlete feature stories for the premium content section of the website. Apply now!



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“The barbell doesn’t care.” – Unknown


Masters Fitness Collective Championship Steps Up With Four-Day Competition

  Masters Fitness Collective Championship Steps Up With Four-Day Competition  

Over 100 masters division athletes will converge on Fort Wayne, IN August 20-23 for the Masters Fitness Collective Championships hoping to put a bow on their 2020 CrossFit season. With the cancellation of the Age Group divisions at this year’s CrossFit Games, the organizers of the Collective came together in May to start planning to hold an event for those athletes who were denied a chance to compete.

The divisions: Athletes are spread across 13 divisions with six divisions each for men and women. The organizers are also introducing a 65+ division which will feature both men and women.

35-39 divisions

  • Men: Kevin Jones heads into the competition as the favorite after placing ninth in this year’s CrossFit Games Age Group Online Qualifier. In 2018 he made his Games debut, finishing 18th. Kyle Ruth is a four-time individual Regional athlete, placing as high as fourth at the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Regional. Rhin Bourgeois (39 years old) and Ryon Anderson (38 years old) are among the older athletes in the division but were successful in the AGOQ finishing 57th and 74th respectively.
  • Women: Six of the eight women competing placed in the top-50 of the AGOQ. Briana Gaipa is a four-time Regional veteran who placed seventh in the AGOQ. Rachel Green just missed out of a top-ten AGOQ finish, placing 12th. Shannon Zimmerman has competed in five Regionals including three as an individual before becoming a Masters athlete. April Payne competed in the 2018 Central Regionals as an individual before finishing 14th in this year’s AGOQ. Samantha Stine also competed at the 2018 Central Regionals but on a team. Ashley Watkins finished 46th in the AGOQ.

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Not That Fit: Getting Jacked with Iceland’s Strongest Viking

  Not That Fit: Getting Jacked with Iceland’s Strongest Viking  

CrossFit has made its name on the idea of “constant variance,” but when it started, the workout program was barely that. At the first Games, in 2007, there were just three events: a rowing buy-in with a pull-up/push jerk couplet, a 5k trail run, and a one-rep max in the back squat, press, and deadlift. Compared to a 5×5 globo-gym lift sesh, maybe this is constantly varied, but it’s not by the standards of what fitness is today.

Now, elite athletes can expect criterium road races, yoke carries, ocean paddleboarding, marathon rows, and handstand obstacle courses. At a Rogue invitational in 2019, they even had to tackle a simulated biathlon, and inevitably, what happens at the Games — the pegboards, the ruck sacks, the open water swims — trickles down to what we do in the gym.


CrossFit Athletes Who Had COVID-19 Reveal Recovery Details

  CrossFit Athletes Who Had COVID-19 Reveal Recovery Details  

An August Time Magazine article reported that many COVID-19 survivors are experiencing long-term symptoms, such as shortness of breath, exhaustion, headaches, brain fog, and neuropathy. Meanwhile, a recent study out of Wuhan, China, found that some survivors are experiencing long-term lung damage.

The Morning Chalk Up caught up with five CrossFit athletes who had COVID-19 in recent months to see if this has been the case for them.

Darryl Chajon: Long-time CrossFit athlete Darryl Chajon came incredibly close to dying from COVID-19 in March. The 47-year-old spent six days in the ICU in April, where he was placed on a ventilator and underwent dialysis as his kidneys started to fail. When he was released from the hospital on April 13, he was weak and had lost 30 pounds.

  • Just over four months later, Chajon said he is “doing fantastic.” He has gone back to following CompTrain programming and has “gained all my weight back,” he said, adding that it took him two months to return to his normal body weight of 210 pounds.
  • “My lungs are great…no lasting side effects,” he added.

That being said, Chajon admitted it took him three months to feel like his normal self again, and that his strength numbers in the gym are around 85 percent of what they were prior to getting sick. He has also also experienced mysterious pain in his hands and wrists since getting sick and said he’s convinced it “is somehow related to the hospital stay,” he said.




How Suffering Could Signal Future Success

In a new series, Michael and Adee Cazayoux interview members of the Working Against Gravity staff to gain insights and understanding on their motivations and how their experiences can benefit their clients. In the first episode, meet Taylor Lumpp, Head of Operations and one of WAG’s original coaches.

  Morning Chalk Up  



IsoGrips, The No Chalk Gymnastic Grip

With the current COVID-19 situation, we’re seeing chalk bans happening across the board as boxes and gyms reopen. We all love the cool factor of freshly powdered hands but it’s time to move into 2020 with the latest in grip technology… Enter, the Element 26 IsoGrips. Shop now and 10% Off!

  Morning Chalk Up  


How 3.7 Million Viewers Were Exposed to the CrossFit Methodology

On the Bottom Line, Niki Brazier talks with Morning Chalk Up writer Patrick Clark who has been keeping up with NBC’s Titan Games all season. They break down the final showdown that landed Dani Speegle and Matt Chan on top of Mount Olympus and discuss the greater implications for the sport of CrossFit given all the mainstream network attention.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Bundle And Save

For one day only Reebok has put together a special bundle for US customers that you don’t want to miss out on. Use the code “BUNDLE” to snag a pair of the Floatride running shoes and the versatile Speed TR’s for just $125.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Firecracker Chicken Meatballs with Cilantro Coconut Pineapple Rice

It takes a lot of words to describe this much flavor. These incredible firecracker chicken meatballs are made with flavorful spices and served with a creamy cilantro coconut pineapple rice. The meatballs are spicy, sweet, savory and make an incredible one pan meal. Easily made gluten-free and perfect for meal prep!



Congratulations to Dany R., who was the first to correctly answer which Individual Games Champion had the greatest points margin of victory. The correct answer was Mathew Fraser who at the 2018 CrossFit Games won by 220 points over second-place Patrick Vellner.

  • Today’s question: How many Individual Games podium medals has Iceland won?

Submit your answer.





Community Round-Up

Here are a few more events that have come across our desks in the past week:

  • Why Suffer Alone? 2020 Challenge: Last year SufferwithFriends raised over $9,000 and with a matching donation from Street Parking, they donated $18,000 to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). The Second Annual Why Suffer Alone? Challenge will take place August 21-23 and again support the AFSP which is the nation’s largest nonprofit dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide. You can donate, register and pre-order t-shirts, the fundraiser involves one workout that can be completed anytime during the weekend with limited equipment.
  • New York State to Allow Gyms to Open: After five months in lockdown, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo announced that New York gyms can re-open as soon as next week if they meet public health requirements including inspections, mandatory mask-wearing, a 33% occupancy limit and 6 feet between gym-goers.
  • CrossFit Epically Awesome Throwdown: The Fort Walton Beach, FL affiliate, CrossFit Epically Awesome is planning an in-person competition for teams of two. The CrossFit Epically Awesome Throwdown starts at 8am on August 22 and all proceeds will benefit Shelter House, a state-certified domestic and sexual violence center for Okaloosa and Walton counties.
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