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Brent Fikowski Talks Training and 2023 Games Improvement

Morning Chalk Up

August 21   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • For Krystal-Kate Meacham, judging at the CrossFit Games was a bucket list experience, her week in Madison did not disappoint
  • Brent Fikowski changed up his training this season, getting back to basics in some ways and innovating in others
  • Honeymooners Kyle and Taylor Flynn CrossFit around the world
  • How did 2022 Last Chance Qualifier athletes fare in 2023?

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“It's never too late to start something new. Even if you don't identify as an athlete today, you can still become one.” - Amy Bream, 2023 Fourth Fittest Woman, Adaptive Division-Lower Extremity

  Being a Judge at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Was On Her Bucket List, Then the Community Found Out  

Being a Judge at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games Was On Her Bucket List, Then the Community Found Out

If you saw judge Krystal-Kate Meacham during the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games, you wouldn’t know she was battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

The opportunity to be a judge at the Games was on Meacham’s “bucket list” and her experience was far more than just judging a competition, as the entire CrossFit community rallied behind her to give her one of the most memorable experiences of her life.

Meacham only started CrossFit about a year ago after some friends enticed her to get into the sport. She trains at CF Chirnside Park in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, and said, without the coaches 100% support of her health situation, “I wouldn’t have gone back.”

She was first diagnosed with pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer in 2011, underwent major surgery, and was in remission until 2021 when the cancer came back. This time stage 4 and her prognosis is 5 years.

  • “Fast forward 10 years enduring many more follow up scans and bloods, and the cancer came back, stage 4 with mets to my stomach, pancreas, and lymph nodes in 2021,” said Meacham.
  • “I’m currently still stage 4 and continuing monthly treatment and bloods, however recently I’ve been losing a lot of weight and my tumor markers are creeping up so there is reason to believe from my oncologist and MDT that something else is going on unfortunately.”
  • She adds, “Judging at the CF games was on my bucket list for the same reason competing as an athlete may be on an athletes dream list.”
  • Meacham had judged a handful of local competitions, including the Torian Pro “and knew the CF Games was going to be the biggest comp I could judge at, so put my application in and waited. I didn’t think I would get accepted given I had ‘baggage’”– cancer–as it may have been put in the “too hard basket”.”

After meeting the requirements to apply as a judge at the Games, Meacham applied, and little did she know, the head coach at her gym also put her name down.

“When she found out before I did that I had been selected, her and my home gym crew, rallied around and raised money to pay for my flights [close to AUD $4000]. Now if that doesn’t scream community, I don’t know what does,” said Meacham.

  • Upon her arrival at the Games (and even before), word started to spread about Meacham’s story, including meeting Arielle Loewen thanks to canceled flights.
  • Meanwhile, Loewen was working behind the scenes to get Meacham a shirt signed by as many athletes as possible.
  • Our very own Morning Chalk Up managing editor, Joe Genetin-Pilawa heard from co-host of Talking Elite Fitness, Tommy Marquez, about her story and asked Kristen Chandler, Director of Marketing Communications at NOBULL if they could donate some lifters and other gear to Meacham. They generously agreed.
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🎟️ Invitations for the Dubai Fitness Championship are out this week. Thirty men and 30 women will be invited to compete in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on December 8, 2023.

🗳️🗳️ Help Bring CrossFit to South by Southwest: Community voting is now open. Visit the panel picker and up-vote CrossFit’s topic “Type 2 Fun: How Shared Suffering in Sport Can Change Society.”

Check out this lineup of elite athletes competing at the Madrid Championship, September 7-10, 2023. It includes Anikha Greer, Jacqueline Dahlstrom, Victoria Campos, Thuri Helgadottir, Lazar and Luka Djukic, Jonne Koski, Adrian Muddwiler, Uldis Ulpenieks, and more.

Compete Media has released a mini-documentary on the iconic 2022 CrossFit Games test “The Capitol.” Watch “The Capitol Untold,” now.

ICYMI: The Veteran and the Rookie: Comparing Europe’s Bjorgvin Karl and Jelle Hoste at the CrossFit Games.

  “The Professor,” Brent Fikowski Dissects his Improvements at “the Most Safe and Fair” CrossFit Games in 2023  


“The Professor,” Brent Fikowski Dissects his Improvements at “the Most Safe and Fair” CrossFit Games in 2023

After the 2022 CrossFit Games, Brent Fikowski knew he needed to make some changes if he wanted to compete with the best in the world again.

Fikowski, a two-time Games podium finisher and eight-time competitor, placed 16th in 2022, which led to the realization that he had “lost a step on my competitors,” Fikowski said.

  • “That was my own doing, and there was something that needed to change in my training to get myself back into the running as one of the best in the world,” he added.

So Fikowski and his team “took a really hard look” at his training leading up to 2022 and hatched a game plan that involved seeking out different coaches “for insights and feedback,” he explained, and then overhauling his training program heading into 2023.

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  Not Your Average Honeymoon: Newlyweds Kyle and Taylor Flynn Go on “CrossFit World Tour”  

Not Your Average Honeymoon: Newlyweds Kyle and Taylor Flynn Go on “CrossFit World Tour”

Like many newlyweds, Kyle and Taylor Flynn decided to go on a European vacation for their honeymoon.

But unlike most couples, Kyle and Taylor Flynn added CrossFit to their sightseeing. At almost all of their stops across the pond, the newlywed couple dropped in at a local gym, going on what they called a “CrossFit World Tour.”

About the Flynns: Kyle and Taylor Flynn are longtime CrossFitters and currently own a gym together. (The couple met through CrossFit – Taylor Flynn took a class at a previous affiliate Kyle Flynn owned, and the rest was history.)

They decided to go on a CrossFit tour to break up their sightseeing with a little movement.

  • “Eating and drinking for 30 days straight wouldn’t feel so great,” Kyle Flynn said, “So we thought, ‘Why not go to a CrossFit gym at every stop?’”

Their trip: The CrossFitting couple started in Iceland, visiting — you guessed it — CrossFit Reykjavik. Kyle Flynn said they went straight from the plane to the box, hitting an 11 AM WOD in the infamous gym.

From Iceland, they headed to Enschede, a town just outside of Amsterdam, where they checked out CrossFit Twente, a gym inside an old church. The structure and integrity of the church was kept intact—during their hero workout, Hotshots 19, Kyle and Taylor Flynn worked out below Basilica-style architecture and stained glass.

After a stopover in Vienna (with no WOD), the couple hit CrossFit Stigma in South Athens, Greece.

A few days later, on a Thursday, they headed to Egypt to drop in at Silver Giant Fitness in Cairo. This was one of the largest classes, Kyle said, with almost 40 people working out in the affiliate. “They said it was a super slow day,” he laughed. “It was unbelievable.”

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  How the 2022 Last Chance Qualifiers Did in the 2023 Season  

How the 2022 Last Chance Qualifiers Did in the 2023 Season

Two athletes who snuck into the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games after winning the Last Chance Qualifier that year–Arielle Loewen and Tim Paulson–ended up on the podium in 2023.

From narrowly earning the right to compete in 2022, to proving their domination in 2023, these two athletes showed that they are some of the fittest men and women competing in the sport today.

But how did the other athletes who competed in the 2022 Last Chance Qualifier shake out in the 2023 season? 

Let’s get into it.

Remind me: In 2021 and 2022, CrossFit Games gave athletes who did not qualify for the CrossFit Games out of their respective Semifinals–but were very close–the opportunity to try again in something called the Last Chance Qualifier.

A total of 30 individual men and 30 individual women earned the right to compete in the 2022 Last Chance Qualifiers. Though, just 27 men and 22 women submitted scores in the 48-hour virtual event during which athletes completed in four separate workouts.

At the end of the event, the two women and two men with the top two scores were given the opportunity to move on to Madison.

After coming in first or second in the 2022 Last Chance Qualifier, the four athletes who went onto compete at The 2022 CrossFit Games include the following. (The place they finished in the 2022 CrossFit Games is listed after their name).

  • Arielle Loewen, 11th
  • Elena Carratala Sanahuja, 38th
  • Timothy Paulson, 23rd
  • Jonne Koski, 15th

The only athlete of these four who did not go on to qualify for the 2023 CrossFit Games out of their respective Semifinal was Elena Carratala Sanahuja (who took 27th at the Europe Semifinal this year).

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Doing This During a Snatch

Normally we tell you what to do in this section. But here is what NOT to do when you are receiving a snatch.




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The Double Off the Deck Drill

The king of jump roping himself, Dave Newman from RX Smart Gear, explains this helpful drill to master the double-under.



Reebok is Keeping the Games Alive With This Sale

The Games might be over but the fun isn’t over at Reebok. Take 50% off site-wide on apparel items like the Strength 3.0 shorts, Lux Booty Shorts, Lux Leggings and more! Use code “GAMES50” to save all the $$$.



How to Eat an Elephant

It’s not what you think. This would be weird if it was. Read through this mindset post!


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

9/29 - 10/1: MACC FEST (Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival) (West Friendship, MD)
9/29 - 9/30: Iron Anchor Throwdown (Batavia, OH)
9/29 - 10/1: 2023 Masters Fitness Championship (Fort Wayne, IN)
9/30 - 10/1: Sango Games 2023 (Clarksville, TN)
9/30: 15th Anniversary and Birthday Brawl (York, PA)
9/30: Barbell Brawl VIII (Kennett Square, PA)
9/30: No Weak Links: Cuff Links (Marcy, NY)
9/30 - 10/1: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Babes with Barbells (Huntington, WV)
10/7: KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: Pitness At The Mill (Canton, GA)
10/7: 2023 KJ Classic (Longmont, CO)
10/7: FitoberFest (Prairie Village, KS)
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)
10/13 - 10/15: Crash Crucible (Spartanburg, SC)
10/14: T-Town Throwdown (Toledo, OH)
10/14: Triple Threat Terror 2023 (Forney, TX)
10/14: Oscar Mike Challenge (Lakeville, MN)
10/14: Babes and Barbells (Asbury Park, NJ)
10/14: Scream & Clean III (Danbury, CT)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Belleville (Bellevile, Canada)
10/14: Best Babes West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
10/14: Best Babes Columbus GA (Columbus, GA)
10/14: Best Babes Illinois (Byron, IL)
10/14: 8th Annual Kilo CrushFest Competition (Hampton, VA)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/14: Girls Gone Rx Sedalia (Sedalia, MO)
10/14: Best Babes Massachusetts (Beverly, MA)
10/15: Kares CrossFit October Showdown (Georgetown, Guyana)
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)
10/21: Barbells For Bullies: Portland (Hillsboro, OR)
10/21: 401 Fall Throwdown (Smithfield, RI)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/27 - 10/28: Star City Fittest (Roanoke, VA)
10/28 - 10/29: The Ghostly Games (Fayetteville, GA)
10/28: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/3 - 11/4: Florida Grid League Championship (Orlando, FL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/4: Sunshine SmackDown (Bedford Hills, NY)
11/4: Witch City Throwdown (Salem, MA)
11/4: Barbell Babes Lorton (Lorton, VA)
11/11: Freakin’ Gauntlet (Pembroke Pines, FL)
11/11: The Meadowlands Classic (Carlstadt, NJ)
11/11: Barbell Massacre 8 (Dahlonega, GA)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)
11/18: Best Babes Dallas (Dallas, TX)
11/18: Best Babes Philly (Philadelphia, PA)
11/18: Best Babes Iowa (Mason City, IA)
11/18: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Haven, UT)
11/18: Teams Of The Midway: 2 Person Teams (Cary, IL)
11/18: Friendsgiving (Ambler, PA)
11/18: Turkey Bash (Chatham, IL)

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