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Captain Matt O’Neil is an inspiration

Morning Chalk Up

April 10   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Captain Matt O’Neil is an inspiration
  • Teaganne Finn took on AIRWAAV and guess what? It worked
  • Ari Hurst is taking on a T1D fundraiser

Hey! The Morning Chalk Up is hiring a new contract writer to cover the CrossFit Games season and elite athletes. Apply now!

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“Believe you can and you're halfway there.” - Theodore Roosevelt

  CrossFit Athlete Ari Hurst Talks Living with Type 1 Diabetes, Plan to Ride 100 Miles for a Cure  

CrossFit Athlete Ari Hurst Talks Living with Type 1 Diabetes, Plan to Ride 100 Miles for a Cure

When Ari Hurst was younger, she sometimes felt embarrassed to tell people she was a diabetic.

She felt stigmatized, and sometimes frustrated, as many people didn’t realize the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Oftentimes, people were shocked to find out Hurst had Type 1 diabetes, as they didn’t understand that, unlike Type 2 diabetes, Type 1 is a genetic condition that often shows up earlier in life that attacks your insulin-producing cells in your pancreas, and cannot easily be controlled by diet and lifestyle.

  • “No it isn’t just diet and exercise…No matter what I eat, I’m still going to have to take insulin, because my pancreas no longer functions,” she said.

Today Hurst, now 31, realizes that instead of feeling stigmatized, it’s more valuable for her to talk about diabetes, to educate people about the disease, and even to raise money to find a cure.

This is exactly what she will be doing this fall, when she embarks on a 100-mile bike race in Death Valley, CA.

The details: The 2023 JDRF Death Valley Ride to Cure Diabetes runs from October 12th to 15th. Through the years, the charitable ride has raised more than $60 million for Type 1 diabetes research.

  • Hurst is the first to recognize what research and advancements in science can do, as for many years she had to prick her finger everyday. But thanks to technology, she now wears a non-invasive continuous glucose monitor called a Dexcom that tells her her blood sugar levels 24 hours a day via a bluetooth.
  • Thus, Hurst has committed to raising $4,000 between now and then for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), an organization that helps implement new therapies, and provides support for diabetics.

She admits a 100-mile cycle is way out of her comfort zone.

  • “I have never trained for a long bike ride like this, but I think it’s going to be a fun way to challenge myself,” said Hurst, a long-time CrossFit athlete and the Partnerships Manager at CrossFit LLC.

To prepare for the ride, Hurst bought her first bike last summer at the CrossFit Games and has been biking twice a week, all the while continuing to CrossFit, but she intends to increase this number to three days a week as she gets closer to the race.

  •  “This bike ride alone, without diabetes, is hard enough for a lot of people, and I think I’m adding another layer on top of it, which is managing my blood sugars, which is something I struggle with on a daily basis,” she added.

Hurst’s diabetes story: Hurst, a Level 2 CrossFit coach, was first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when she was just 9 years old, and it immediately changed her life.

  • ‘I went from (being) a kid who had no worries, to a kid who had just inherited a lot of responsibility,” Hurst began. “It impacted me in a really big way. I think it definitely expedited my awareness of the importance of health and fitness and within that, it made me really focused on my nutrition and my fitness and how it affects the body.”
  • That being said, she soon became so consumed with nutrition and fitness that she developed an easy disorder that led her to be in and out of the hospital throughout High School.

Finding CrossFit in 2011 was eye-opening for her, as all of a sudden she was “surrounded by a community of people who made me look at my body in a different way,” she said. This allowed her to “get out of that stage of my life,” and embrace being fit and strong.

And although today, Hurst looks like an incredibly fit, strong CrossFit athlete now, she explained diabetes can be a bit of an “invisible disease.”

  • “On the inside, I’m constantly planning my next step of thinking, ‘Ok, what do I need to eat? How much insulin do I need? What’s the workout today, and how is that going to impact blood sugar?’” Hurst explained.
  • “It’s a constant balancing act to make sure your blood sugars are within a healthy range.”

On the other hand, dealing with Type 1 diabetes has also given Hurst a “grittiness that allows me to see challenges as an opportunity,” she said. This same grittiness is what allows her to excel at CrossFit, and commit to riding 100 miles on a bike this fall.

Hurst’s Message: Hurst’s message to others who find themselves diagnosed with an incurable disease like Type 1 diabetes is simple: Take everything in stride.

  • “My (Dexcom) sends blood glucose readings to my phone every five minutes and not all of them are good, so it’s easy to feel like I’m letting myself down, at times, every five minutes,” she said.
  • “However, if I let every blood sugar get to me, I wouldn’t be able to appreciate the progress I’ve made over the years. Every blood sugar, every workout, and every conversation with someone dealing with something similar gives me the motivation to keep going.”

Donate to Hurst’s cause here.

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Iceland's Sara Sigmundsdottir Joins Team Kineon

Iceland's Sara Sigmundsdottir Joins Team Kineon

Introducing the newest member of the Kineon Labs team: Six-time CrossFit Games athlete Sara Sigmundsdottir!

Sara has had some serious injuries the past few years, which is why she trusts the Move+ Pro for her recovery.

“I have to rely on my body to be able to perform,” said Sigmundsdottir. “When you are in pain, your body does not allow you to commit fully to training.”

Sara uses the Move+ Pro for 30 minutes a day while she meal preps, walks her dog, drives in the car… all the while she’s recovering. It’s her favorite thing about the device!

Ready to live pain-free and feel your best like Sara? Try the Move+ Pro for 30 days risk free!


🏋️‍♀️ USA Olympian and silver medalist, Mattie Rogers, is now officially part of the Reign Body Fuel team!

Semifinals Schedules Confirmed: The three four-day Semifinals (North American East, North America West and Europe) will still use a three-day schedule for all divisions. Teams will compete Thursday-Saturday, Individuals will compete Friday-Sunday. In the four other regions, Teams and Individuals will compete over the same three-day schedule, Friday-Sunday. H/T @known_knowable

ICYMI: With a new training partner, a new coach, a new home and a new mindset, Anikha Greer is ready to take on the 2023 CrossFit Games season.

💪 🧠  Fit Body, Fit Mind:  The Washington Post reported on two important new studies of how physical activity impacts our brains. In one of the studies, scientists delved into the lives, DNA and cognition of almost 350,000 people to show that regular exercise leads to much sharper thinking. In the other study, researchers found that just six minutes of strenuous exertion quintupled production of a neurochemical known to be essential for lifelong brain health.

  Capt. Matthew O'Neil Uses CrossFit to Set Positive Example for Texas Airmen  


Capt. Matthew O'Neil Uses CrossFit to Set Positive Example for Texas Airmen

Why do CrossFit?

There are multiple reasons that are unique to each participant. United States Air Force Captain Matthew O’Neil uses CrossFit to set a positive example for his fellow service members.

One big thing: Capt. O’Neil is the 17th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron general dentist and the physical training leader for the 17th Medical Group at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas. He helps fellow Airmen maintain their level of physical fitness using varied workouts during Flight PT, and he also does CrossFit while taking a direct approach to improving his own physical fitness.

  • “We try to do – because I like the physicality of it – more the high intensity like what a CrossFit workout would be,” said Capt. O’Neil. “Just kind of more on a way beginner level.”
  • “Making sure that we offer the idea of scaling methods. So, we’ll typically do run-based stuff because running is one where most people express that that’s what they struggle the most with for the PT test.”
  • Flight PT generally includes a strength workout with some running. There is also an emphasis on push-ups and sit-ups given their pivotal role in the fitness test that all Airmen must pass, albeit with a CrossFit twist.
Continue Reading...
  I Trained in AIRWAAV for One Week, Here's What I Noticed  

I Trained in AIRWAAV for One Week, Here's What I Noticed

The AIRWAAV has taken over the CrossFit world and is a relatively new tool that top athletes have gotten behind. I recently gave it a go and I have to say, I did feel like I could beat Rich Froning in a workout.

Okay, maybe not that good, but you get the point.

As a person who doesn’t wear lifters, rarely wears a belt, and only recently found knee sleeves I was skeptical of the AIRWAAV mouthpiece and if it would really improve my training. I wore the device for a week’s worth of workouts and even gave some Team and Age Group Quarterfinals workouts a try while wearing it and was pleasantly surprised.

Here’s my breakdown of what I noticed over a weeks worth of lifting, metcons, and conditioning work.

Heavy breath (in a good way): One of the first things I noticed after wearing the AIRWAAV during a conditioning workout was my breath. It was an EMOM (every minute on the minute) that day and I was cycling from one machine to the next for roughly 30 minutes. I recall being on the machine and hearing myself breathe— something I hadn’t noticed before or at least didn’t think much of until now.

The AIRWAAV helped me cycle through my breathing in a much deeper way than before. I grew up playing sports and doing triathlon training for a short period and I was always told to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth to regulate your breath. But with the AIRWAAV I was thinking about that much less and just doing it naturally. My breaths were also much deeper, much like when you’re in a yoga class, but instead of a humble warrior pose I was sprinting on the rower.

Clear airways: I have always been a runner more or less throughout my life and I have always struggled to regulate my breathing when I’m going for a harder pace. I recently did a conditioning piece that involved an 800m run buy-in on the Air Assault Runner, followed by a 400m ski erg in a 10 minute window. Normally, I’d look at this workout and feel a sense of…pain and anguish. But instead I popped in my AIRWAAV and started my run.

Continue Reading...


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Anikha Greer’s Advice for a Leg Up on the Competition

“I would absolutely recommend AIRWAAV to anyone trying to get a little edge or leg up in their training or competing.” AIRWAAV Athlete and rising star, Anikha Greer, breaks down why the AIRWAAV mouthpiece is a crucial tool in her workouts.



Your Shoulder Press

A shoulder press might be the most straight forward lift you’ll see, but there are still ways that it can go wrong. Use these tips to improve your shoulder press and make it one of your favorite lifts!



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This Progression to Get Your First Pistol

We’ve all been there: you go down into a pistol squat super confident, only to end up on your butt wondering what just happened. Use these pistol progressions to start where you’re at and build to cranking out some pistols.


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

  • Louise Hawkins from the UK demonstrates the power of consistency.
  • Former NFL Linebacker Curt Maggitt pulls 10 calories in 11 seconds on a Concept2 rower.
    • PS we interviewed Curt when he took on the 2023 CrossFit Open. Read it here.
  • New Underdogs Athletics addition Bronislaw Olenkowicz clean and push jerks 330 pounds/150kg.
  • Raheem from Core City CrossFit Kids in Detroit, MI coaches himself through the strict press like a future Level 1 Trainer.
  • 🦘 Coach and Owner James Townsend of Lion Brave CrossFit in Clive, IA lands an 11′ 3″ (3.4m) broad jump.

🦏 Workout 4 Wildlife is a hosting an online competition and fundraiser taking place April 14 – 24. Registration is open now for $20, and one grand prize winner will receive an action-packed trip to Nambia worth $15,000.

  • Workout 4 Wildlife is a nonprofit organization that hosts online campaigns and fitness events to raise awareness for wildlife conservation.
  • Proceeds will benefit the Save the Rhino Trust, which monitors and protects the desert-adapted black rhino, and works to create a sustainable future for local communities in Nambia.
3/1 - 3/31: Sit Ups For Pups (Everywhere, Anywhere Online)
3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (oceanside, ca)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
4/13: Queens of Oly East Tennessee (Bulls Gap, TN)
4/13: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20: Barbells For Bullies: Community Workout Savannah (Savnnah, Georgia, US)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Masiphumelele (Kommetjie, Cape Town, South Africa)
4/20: Festivus Games (Goderich, Canada)
4/20: Festivus Games (Clermont, FL)
4/20: Festivus Games @ The Gym – CrossFit Kilo (Cedar Falls, IA)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CBM Sirens (Caledonia, MS)
4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
4/20: Embrace the Challenge (Mentor, Ohio)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)
4/26 - 4/28: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/27: Cap Crown Throwdown (Gladstone, Australia)

See all upcoming events

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