Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. In the final installment of our frontline worker series, Emily Beers profiles Caryn Nienstadt, an NYC COVID nurse. And, Margaux Alvarez was featured on the West regional episode of the Titan Games, learn more below.
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“I felt so supported through my gym (Downstate CrossFit) and I am so grateful for all of the members.”– Caryn Nienstadt
Frontline Worker Spotlight: Gym Buddies “Made all the Difference,” for NYC Nurse
April was “the hardest month of my life,” said 26-year-old Caryn Nienstadt, a nurse in Westchester, NY, and a CrossFit athlete at Downstate CrossFit in Briarcliff Manor.
“I cried every single day. I would get into my car after work, take a deep breath, and then cry the whole way home,” said Nienstadt.
One big thing: Nienstadt’s Downstate CrossFit community proved once again what it means to be part of the broader CrossFit community and stepped up in a major way. From reaching out to make sure Nienstadt was OK, to dropping off baked goods, to buying gift cards for her entire unit, Nienstadt’s CrossFit family “made all the difference” during the peak of the pandemic, she said.
“One friend had her kids draw me cards that thanked me for being a healthcare hero, (and)…a few of the girls also sent me dinner and drinks after a particularly hard day,” said Nienstadt.
“I felt so supported through my gym and I am so grateful for all of the members,” she added.
Prioritizing her fitness even after 12 to 13-hour shifts also helped, she added.
“I always knew fitness was an outlet, but it really became an outlet…I used to be a morning workout person, but during COVID I would do fitness after work to decompress from the horrible day,” she said.
Her long daysmeant showing up an hour early for work each morning, as she had to wait in line to have her temperature checked.
“Then another line to get my N95 mask. And then wait again to get my scrubs. There was a cleaning service for scrubs, so they’d give you new ones each day,” Nienstadt said.
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Alvarez and Valdez Rematch in The Titan Games West Region Finals
The West Regional finals of NBC’s The Titan Games on Monday evening saw a rematch on Mount Olympus with a spot into the Finals on the line. Reigning women’s regional Titan Margaux Alvarez would have to defend her title from one of three women competing in the elimination rounds, two of which she had already defeated on Mount Olympus.
Among the three women was Kelly Valdez, who held the title of West Region Titan before losing to Alvarez two weeks ago. The CrossFit Games Regional athlete was the favorite to return to Mount Olympus but would have to survive two elimination qualifiers for that chance.
Event 1, “Hammer Down:” Valdez had her hands full in host Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s handpicked champion, American Ninja Warrior Jessie Graff and last week’s Regional Titan challenger and mountain guide Lindsey Hamm. In the first eliminator, all three athletes must retrieve sledgehammers to use to knock down three pillars, the third and final pillar they would have to climb to pull the “Victory Chain.” The first two athletes to pull the chain would advance to the next eliminator event. The third athlete’s Titan Games experience would come to a conclusion.
Graff was one of the first athletes to retrieve her sledgehammer followed closely by Valdez. Graff’s strategy of switching her hands to avoid tiring out her arms and grip paid off as she was the first athlete to knock down all three pillars. Using her gymnastics background and her athleticism, she had no problem scaling her pillar and becoming the first athlete to move on. Meanwhile, Valdez looked to have the lead over Hamm as she was the second athlete to knock down all three of her pillars. Hamm was able to catch her and both athletes were climbing their respective pillars at the same time. Valdez though beat her to the “Victory Chain” and was able to pull the lever to move on in teh competition. Graff and Valdez advance to event 2.
On this episode of the Clydesdale, Fitness and Friends podcast, Athena Perez joins hist Scott to talk about her new book that just dropped yesterday and how she has used fitness to change everything about her life and recover from childhood trauma.
Check out this delicious and simple grilled honey mustard chicken with the best honey mustard marinade that’s perfect for baked or grilled chicken recipes. The paleo honey mustard chicken marinade is sweet, tangy and an easy way to add moisture and flavor to any cut of chicken!
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Congratulations to Sami K., who was the first to correctly answer who was the only athlete that competed in the first six CrossFit Games as an Individual. The correct answer was Chris Spealler. He competed in every CrossFit Games as an Individual from 2007 to 2012. He also competed at the CFG14 as an Individual.
Today’s question: Which were the last CrossFit Games that Iceland did not win an Individual podium medal?