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CrossFit and Chicago Catholic Schools

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Today’s edition is brought to you by O2.

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“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau

First Communion, Confirmation, Confession and CrossFit


Allyn Doyle is a regular face at CrossFit Defined in Chicago, IL. A natural athlete, she played cross country, basketball and softball in high school before becoming a Varsity Cross Country team member and captain at Saint Anselm College. So when she became Vice Principal of St. Sylvester School she knew one of the first changes she wanted to make was in physical fitness.

She removed traditional P.E and instead offered CrossFit to the entire school population, all 260 students.

“Although I loved traditional gym class with all the sports we got to learn, I knew there were others who despised it. Traditional sports weren’t their thing and traditional PE didn’t give them an opportunity to explore another avenue for health and wellness. With childhood obesity on the rise, I felt it was important to reach more students; to show them that fitness can be more than what we typically think of as ‘sports.’  I want the kids at my school to see fitness as a natural extension of the learning they are already doing,” Doyle told Morning Chalk Up.

And she brought in help, Coach Danny Wright from CrossFit Defined. Not only was Danny a coach at Doyle’s box, he was also her boyfriend and was working in the Charter school system. It was an easy transition from the beginning. “Danny was helping the students here understand that fitness was more than traditional sports. It was movement, it was playing, it was doing handstands and making good nutritional choices at school and at home,” said Doyle.

They didn’t have any real CrossFit equipment at St. Sylvester when the program started. Coach Wright was using plastic hockey sticks instead of PVC pipes and wooden blocks instead of dumbbells. They used dodge balls instead of wall balls and owned a tangled mess of jump ropes.

Continue reading…

Rx Smart Gear Auctioning Skateboard Signed by Castro, Froning and 30 Others


A custom-made skateboard signed by more than 30 CrossFit Games athletes including Dave Castro, Tia-Clair Toomey, Rich Froning, Annie Thorisdottir, Julie Foucher and Chyna Cho, went for $5,000 on an eBay auction. Over the past five years, Rx Smart Gear CEO David Newman had been collecting signatures on this custom-made skateboard and decided to auction it off to support the Keala Foundation, who run three CrossFit gyms on the island of Kauai providing free CrossFit for kids 17 and under.

“We really believe in the Keala Foundation mission and this is a simple and fun way to help support it,” Newman wrote in an email to supporters.

Rx Smart Gear has been long-time supporters of the Keala Foundation and their annual Ultimate Hawaiian Trail Run, an event which has raised hundreds of thousands to help support local efforts to lift kids out of poverty through fitness.

Things To…


WATCH: Mat Fraser’s Pursuit For Better 
Pursuit for Better tells the story of Mat Fraser, four-time CrossFit Games Champion, as he prepares for a record-setting 5th world title in the summer of 2020. A story that takes a very raw and intimate look at not just Mat’s unbreakable spirit when it comes to his sport, but one that goes deeper into the moments that truly shaped him long before CrossFit.


LISTEN TO: Ben Bergeron on Open Gym 
Open Gym, Morning Chalk Up’s latest podcast, is hosted by Patrick Cummings and aims to elevate the entire CrossFit affiliate community. Last week we welcomed Ben Bergeron, who asks you to discover if you’re playing a finite or an infinite game.


EXPERIENCE: Water-soluble CBD
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EAT: Warm Lentil Salad with Bacon and English Peas
Sweet peas, crispy bacon, tangy mustard, and fiber-packed lentils all come together in this deeply satisfying salad that’s perfect for both meal prep and entertaining a crowd. Make it as part of your meal prep for the rest of the week, or make it for a holiday party this weekend.


Today’s edition of the Morning Chalk Up is brought to you by


O2 + CBD is Finally Here

O2+ CBD is finally here! The reviews from our partners and presale consumers have been overwhelming.

“Peach Pear flavor is killer.” — James Hobart
“So good!” — Graham Holmberg
“I’ve been using this nightly and my sleep has been phenomenal.” — Al K.

Grab our O2+ CBD four pack sampler and get 50% off our original O2 Sports Recovery sampler when you use code “SAMPLETIME” at checkout.

Join us in the evolution of recovery.

Chalk Up Community

  • SHORT FITNESS SURVEY — Cierra Carter is a doctoral student at Florida Institute of Technology and CF-L1 trainer at CrossFit Rise Above in Melbourne, FL. Carter is collecting data for a dissertation in clinical psychology on grit and exercise and is looking for anyone age 18 and older to answer a brief survey.
  • TOY DRIVE FOR BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB — OC Athletix in San Clemente is holding a holiday toy drive for their local Boys and Girls Club. Bring an unwrapped toy to contribute. 

CHALK UP IN 2 MINUTES (a highlight reel around social media of CrossFit pros and average joes)

Emma Gibbons gets a split jerk and overhead squat PR at 205 pounds • Bronisław Olenkowicz does a four part snatch complex at 220 poundsBarbella Box and Splendies are holding a giveawayGriffin Roelle strict presses 225 pounds for three.

Confirmed for Mayhem CrossFit Classic — Ben Smith is confirmed for the Mayhem CrossFit Classic, the Sanctional being held next month in Cookeville, TN.

Confirmed for Rogue Invitational…Sara Sigmundsdottir

WOD on the Waves Returns in 2020 — WOD on the Waves, the luxury cruise experience geared towards fitness enthusiasts, announced yesterday its booking options for its second annual ultimate fitness cruise. The four night, five day Caribbean cruise aboard Celebrity Infinity departs from Miami on April 16 and heads to Nassau, Bahamas and CocoCay before returning to Miami.

— Here is the Itinerary and experiences so far. 

What This Coach Learned Putting On an Event for Five Years — Todd Nief, owner of South Loop Strength and Conditioning in Chicago, IL has produced the South Loop Games for five years now. He recently posted ten things he’s learned as he went.

— “It is much harder to program for intermediate and scaled divisions than to program for elite divisions. The abilities of competitors in intermediate and scaled divisions are often much more variable than the abilities of athletes competing in an Rx division.

— “If you’ve worked with enough high level athletes, you probably have a decent idea of what a typical Rx competitor can do and what will be appropriately challenging for them. And, if you program for that avatar, you will probably get a good distribution of performances from the rest of the competitors in that division. Intermediate divisions are a different story, though.”


“The Shared Language of CrossFit,” by Justin LoFranco, Morning Chalk Up 

It’s Friday, 5:17 PM. I just got off stage at the 2019 CrossFit China Summit sharing four trends happening in CrossFit today with an audience of China’s most influential leaders in the affiliate community.

While we’ve enjoyed CrossFit locally and abroad for nearly two decades, China didn’t get their first affiliate until 2013. Six years later, there are 150 locations across China and two Sanctionals building stronger communities across the country.

As I listened to the half dozen other speakers espousing the virtues of functional fitness graciously translated from Mandarin through an earpiece, I was struck by the common language we share:

“We arrived at 5:50 AM. From a distance, I saw all the lights were on. Everybody in the gym was energetic which made me feel they were in a bright beautiful place separated from the dark outside world,” said one Chinese Level 1 Seminar Staff. “I had been looking for what I really wanted to do as I get older and I found CrossFit. The best time of the day is the training hours.”

CrossFit has only been in China for around six years, but the virtues are identical — the desire to help others achieve their goals, overcome obstacles, discover their best selves, and serve their community. CrossFit is unique in this approach to wellness.

“I think CrossFit trainers have great passion for CrossFit. They love CrossFit. For instance, a CrossFit trainer usually starts to work at 6 am or so if the first class is at 6:30 am…That means you have to get up before 5:30 am. You are the first one in, last one out. Almost every workday is a hard routine like this.”


12/11 – 12/14: Dubai CrossFit Championship (Dubai, UAE)
12/14: Syndicate Vault (Columbia, MD)
12/14: Inaugural 2019 Redemption Road Invitational (Limon, CO)
12/15: Strong New York (New York, NY)
12/18: 2nd Über Belles and Balls (Bandera, TX)
1/11: Unbroken Ocala (Ocala, FL)
1/25: Lost River Rumble II (Bowling Green, KY)

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