Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. CrossFit legend Chris Spealler tested positive for COVID-19 and shares his story. And, gym owners are working hard to pay their coaches as the quarantine continues. Today:
Chris Spealler tested positive for COVID-19, but is on the mend.
CrossFit affiliate owners are working hard to make sure their coaches get paid.
Brittney Kleyn has some insight into governmental assistance for gym owners.
“Preparation and practice isn’t just for muscle, it’s also for your mind. Know your stressors and build habits that address them preemptively,”– Marc Angelo Coppola
CrossFit Legend Chris Spealler Tests Positive for COVID-19, But is on the Mend
Eight-time CrossFit Games athlete Chris Spealler, and a man who is often considered a legend of the sport, announced on social media on Tuesday that he tested positive with the novel coronavirus. He has been experiencing symptoms for four weeks, and although he’s on the mend, he’s still not 100 percent.
Spealler as a CrossFit athlete: Always a fan favorite, Spealler’s accomplishments in the sport are especially remarkable considering his five-foot-five, 143-pound frame. A true pioneer of the sport, Spealler competed in the first six CrossFit Games — from 2007 until 2012 — and then again in 2014. In 2017, he placed third at the Games in the men’s 35-39-year-old division. He also won the Spirit of the Games Award in 2010.
“Initially I was hesitant to share this with anyone due to the uncertainty and fear around the virus, but I think it’s important for us to do our part and take things seriously with a level head,” wrote the longtime CrossFit Park City owner from Utah.
In just two hours on Tuesday, Spealler’s post had gathered 397 comments, many of them prayers from other Games athletes, like fellow eight-time competitor Stacie Tovar and 2011 and 2012 Games athlete Jenny Labaw.
“Get well. Healing blessings to your entire family,” offered Cheryl Brost, who competed at her first CrossFit Games as an individual woman in 2010 and has competed at the Games five times in the master’s division.
Later on Tuesday: Spealler went live on Instagram and revealed his wife and two children have also contracted the virus, each of them experiencing different symptoms. So have people within his gym community.
For Spealler personally, it began with a dry cough that lasted a couple of days. Then he went for a 5 km “casual run” and noticed he was more winded than usual and couldn’t catch his breath.
A few days later, Spealler got tested. Two days later, he found out he was positive for the novel coronavirus. Though he quarantined himself from his wife and kids, his wife soon started seeing symptoms as well, including body aches. Shortly after, his children started to experience a dry cough and fatigue.
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A Look at How Affiliates are Paying Their Coaches During the Pandemic
Being an affiliate owner right now isn’t easy — That’sa gross understatement.
And one of the pressing concerns most small gym owners are facing is how to continue to pay their coaches through economic loss and utter uncertainty about how deep this thing will go.
After surveying three dozen CrossFit affiliates or small gym owners, and a handful of coaches, it became apparent that opinions about how to proceed with coach pay are diverse and polarized.
Pay coaches at all cost: “If the community is loyal to you, you are loyal to the trainers…We continue to pay, payroll or not. After this shit is over, you (will) earn loads of goodwill for a long time in your staff,” wrote Peter-Jan Kops, the owner of CrossFit 071 in the Netherlands, in the CrossFit Affiliate Owners Only Forum on Facebook.
Be realistic and make hard decisions: “Things to consider: If you are leaving everyone on, that is great, but keep an eye on virtual class attendance. Most of us will be closed through April, at least, and attendance will drop. Contacting every client everyday doesn’t necessarily take a full staff. Watch your cash flow now, as Chris Cooper (the owner of Two-Brain Business) suggested,” wrote Joe Thiede, the owner of Train Harder CrossFit in Odessa, Fla.
Thiede added: “It’s very possible (your coaches) could collect full pay by filing for unemployment. It’s an uncomfortable conversation to have, but you have to base it on fact. You might need to lay people off now so they have a gym to come back to later.”
Some of the common approaches affiliates are making in the trenches right now include:
Pay as normal: “We are still paying all of (our coaches) for their regularly scheduled classes, even though no one is coaching quite a full load. We moved to an almost full schedule online, haven’t lost members, so haven’t reduced pay at all,” said Alyssa Royse, the owner of Rocket CrossFit in Seattle, Wa.
Pay only full-time coaches: Other owners, such as Alex Cibiri, the owner of Element CrossFit in Mississauga, Ontario, are continuing to pay full-time coaches only. Cibiri’s full-time coaches receive a base salary plus commission on any upsells, such as for additional personal training. This hasn’t changed, although upselling clients has become a lot more challenging right now. Cibiri also had a handful of part-time coaches, who have other full-time jobs, and are no longer coaching for him at the moment.
While the CrossFit community rallies to raise funds for affiliates struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, several governments globally are offering stimulus packages to ensure small businesses can weather the coronavirus storm.
Globally, 78.8% of the 14,790 are closed and with no word on when many will be allowed to reopen, the grim reality is many may not.
If you’re wondering whether your gym could be eligible for a government lifeline, here’s a list of what’s available across the globe.
The Paycheck Protection Program: applies to those self-employed and independent contractors, who can receive up to two and a half times your total payroll expenses. There’s more information here.
EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loans) is available for those unable to pay bills, rent and all the necessary operating expenses. With SBA’s loan, businesses could be eligible for up to $2 million, all the details are on the SBA’s website.
Australia and New Zealand
Australia announced a $130 billion stimulus package to pay out businesses $750 (AUD) a week ($1,000 a fortnight) for each worker they keep in a job.
Your box could be eligible if:
You’ve lost 30 percent of your income and your coaches or staff were employed as of March 1.
The JobSeeker package includes casual staff as well as sole traders.
It’s also good news for coaches from New Zealand living and working in Australia (and there’s a fair few of them!) they’re also eligible to receive the handouts.
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We get it, you are cooking so many meals at home and maybe you’re getting a little tired of it. Here’s a super easy delicious and healthy dinner recipe for when you’re just not feeling it. The ginger and soy sauce transforms the scrambled eggs into an entrée that you can serve over rice or greens or fried bread with quick pickles.