Welcome to the weekend edition of the Morning Chalk Up. Earlier this week, Eric Roza appeared on the Pursuing Health podcast with Julie Foucher-Urcuyo and discussed the role of Berkshire Partners in the recent CrossFit acquisition, Tommy Marquez breaks it down. And, the CrossFit Games online phase is a few weeks away, Patrick Clark begins the conversation about how difficult it might be to create a fair test of fitness.
Also, don’t miss Wykie Etsebeth’s interview with Sara Sigmundsdottir and Emily Beers profile of the Functional Life Performance Foundation.
“Strength is only built from difficulty.”– Shane Trotter
Denver-based athletic chalk maker has a new product aimed at getting climbers back in gyms as the nation grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, but it works well for CrossFitters missing the community chalk bucket. Friction Lab’s Secret Stuff Hygienic Chalk Cream combined hand sanitizer and liquid chalk and has been proven to kill
Comptrain has released a beta version of an app for those using their programming. New releases and updates will be rolling out weekly.
Amazon is getting into the wearable fitness tech game with the “Halo,” a wrist-worn tracker that will not only monitor your sleep, cardio output, and body fat, it also tracks the emotional tone of your voice and creates 3D model of your body.
CrossFit HQ announced the inaugural members of its Athlete Advisory Council. The first four members include: Annie Thoridottir, Neal Maddox, Meredith Root,and James Hobart.
Tony Kurz pulled double duty at the Master’s Fitness Collective Championship last weekend.
Roza on the Role of Berkshire Partners in CrossFit LLC
Eric Roza joined the Pursuing Health podcast and provided some key insights Tuesday into the role of Berkshire Partners within the CrossFit organizational structure and their involvement in the operations of the company. The Boston-based private equity firm joined forces with Roza to purchase CrossFit from Greg Glassman.
One big thing: Roza laid out the process of how Berkshire Partners came to be a part of the acquisition, including their future involvement in the newly formed board of directors, and was quick to dispel the notionthat Berkshire, or anyone else, was secretly in control of the company and not in it for the long term success of the company.
“My first intuition was, I had a couple Financial Partners I’d already talked to about the deal and I decided I’m not going to have them in the deal right now,… I want to control the way this whole thing works, it has to be native to what’s authentic to me but I also don’t want to put a lot of process and friction into this thing with a big investment firm out of the bag, they can come in later.”
Berkshire Partners were brought into the fold once most of the deal was already done, giving them a more hands-off approach to the acquisition and decision-making process going forward, which according to Roza means that Berkshire’s involvement is an intentional “long-term time horizon.”
“The way that will manifest in the near-term would be ‘well you know… we want to build all these great apps for CrossFit as an example and do all this great technology to help the boxes run their businesses better, but COVID is worse than we thought so let’s wait,’ that would be a more of a short-term outlook like you have to hit these numbers in the short-term that’s not the investors we have or the board that we have.”
Could 2020 Games Go “Outside the Box” During Online Stage?
During the August 14 Fitness with Friends episode from the Talking Elite Fitness podcast, reigning, four-time CrossFit Games champion Mathew Fraser discussed the Zoom call this year’s Games athletes had with Dave Castro and Justin Bergh. During that interview Fraser said the athletes were asked if they had access to a 400-meter track.
Why it matters: Fraser responded that most athletes on the call said they did, however others voiced their concerns of running outdoors simply because the conditions they live in were not favorable.
Functional Life Performance Foundation Seeks to “Remove Barriers” to Access CrossFit
When Ron Webb and his wife Kellee Webb heard about a gym member who had run into financial hard times, they decided to fund her membership so she could keep going to CrossFit Equality in Houston, Texas.
“Then a couple other folks at the gym also started doing this. Usually we would tell the owner not to tell the member who was helping out, but just let them know that someone wanted to help pay,” he said. “Just within our little box, we were seeing all types of opportunities to help.”
This led Webb to start thinking bigger. “We were doing good for individuals, but I realized we could also do good for the community as a whole, to make us stronger. We wanted to see as many people as possible benefit from CrossFit the way we have,” he said.
Webb’s answer was to found a non-profit — The Functional Life Performance Foundation — in January, 2020 whose mission is “to remove barriers for individuals wanting to improve their health and fitness.”
One big thing: In the first 90 days of the Foundation’s existence, they raised $5,000 through donations, which have since been spread out to 25 different individuals in need.
The details: The Foundation is in the process of building three different types of programs.
The first program is for individuals who want to improve their fitness.
This week Men’s Health published nine tips to be a better rower for CrossFit workouts based on an interview with Kristi Eramo O’Connell and Patrick O’Connell. The tips can help you correct your body positioning for more efficiency, better endurance and improved performance.
In this Crash Course, you will learn how to calculate your own macros and actually stick to them without restricting the foods you love. This is an interactive course with guidance and an awesome community of like-minded people.
MisFit Athletics is back at it again this week with two tips that will help you string together bigger sets of butterfly chest-to-bar pull-ups. It’s all about the work you do behind the bar and avoiding the sternum-slam at the apex.
This recipe brings together all the textures — crunchy carrots and cabbage, crispy tofu and a spicy, soft kimchi. It’s a twist on the classic egg roll without the deep fried exterior. And, not only is this take-out alternative made in one pan for easy clean-up, it’s also gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free.
Here are a few fundraisers we are watching right now:
Barbells for Bullies:As Many Rescues as Possible is Barbells for Bullies’ way to help rescue dogs and leverage fitness as a force for social good remotely during the pandemic. This fundraiser/competition will run September 1 to September 15 in four states — Colorado, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania — and online competition. It only costs $20 to enter and all the net proceeds go to rescue organizations in those four states. The event is sponsored by Crossover Symmetry, GOWOD, Born Primitive and more. Check out all the info and links to sign up.
OUT Foundation: The OUT Foundation has partnered with Athletes Unlimited for their inaugural softball season. You can help donate to the OUT Foundation and their support for LGBTQ+ athletes by texting “OUT” to 44321 or by donating at their website.
Hope of Glory 5k: The Hope of Glory Ministries in Greenville, NC has partnered with CrossFit Greenville for their annual 5k race. This year the event will take place in-person on October 10 with a 5k option, a 5k cross-training option and a 5k walk. There will be staggered start times and a virtual option as
well. Proceeds support Hope of Glory.