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CrossFit Announces Online Competition To Raise Cash For Affiliates

Morning Chalk Up

March 28


Good morning and welcome to the weekend edition of the Morning Chalk Up. The coronavirus pandemic has dominated the news again this week and has shaped all of our stories today. First, CrossFit HQ announced that it is developing an online competition to benefit affiliates, more details forthcoming. And, how are local affiliates working to retain members in these uncertain times, Emily Beers has more. Today:

  • CrossFit HQ announces a “Support Your Box” campaign.
  • Affiliate owners get creative to retain members during lockdowns and mandatory closures.
  • First-time Games athletes are keeping everything in perspective during the pandemic.

Stay safe and healthy, and send us your story tips, at-home WODs and PRs at [email protected].



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“Bad things happen in life… but it’s how you respond that counts.” – Dabo Swinney


CrossFit Announces Online Competition To Raise Cash For Affiliates

 CrossFit Announces Online Competition To Raise Cash For Affiliates 

CrossFit HQ teased thousands of garage-CrossFitters on Thursday March 26, revealing that an worldwide online competition was in the works.

In the announcement, HQ outlined how that have been approaching the financial predicament facing affiliates worldwide amid closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • CrossFit has stopped or reduced fees from affiliates wherever their governments have mandated closures. “We cannot ask our affiliates to pay fees when they are prohibited from keeping their doors open, regardless of the steps they are taking to continue to serve their local communities,” HQ said.

It’s our turn to give back to them,” the initial release from HQ said.

  • “This is an opportunity for all of us to come together and respond to the present uncertainty by lifting each other up and unifying our global community for the benefit of affiliates everywhere.”

We reached out to HQ for more details and learned that the specifics of the “online gathering” are still being decided.

  • Head of CrossFit Games Publishing, Jonathan Haynes, told the Morning Chalk Up: “All of headquarters are moving fast to create a grassroots online gathering for the CrossFit community.”
  • “We made the initial announcement to tell our community that we’re singularly focused on an event that benefits them and that details will be rolled out rapidly. We have been connecting with as many affiliate owners as we can. Their perspectives have been positive and their feedback helpful,” he said.

What we do know: All registration proceeds from the online competition will be distributed to affiliates in need.

Depending on how many athletes sign up and at what cost, there is a potential to raise a significant sum for affiliates worldwide.

  • For example, between the two Opens in 2019, a combined 450,386 individual athletes signed up to participate. Of course, the context is entirely different in this scenario.

CrossFit HQ told the Morning Chalk Up the goal is to work as quickly as possible, and have this online event up and running as soon as possible.

  • “We’re not strangers to rallying the community for charitable causes, and this is a unique opportunity for HQ to specifically support affiliates as they support their members and one another,” Haynes added.

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How Affiliates are Working to Retain Clients with Closed Doors

 How Affiliates are Working to Retain Clients with Closed Doors 

In the last seven to 10 days, dozens upon dozens of CrossFit affiliates around the world closed their doors because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Where we are one week later: In a sample size of close to 50 CrossFit affiliates, the majority have reported one to five membership holds or cancellations so far. A handful of others have reported between five and 10 holds or cancellations.

Better news: Eight affiliates we spoke with said they have had zero cancellations or holds thus far, meanwhile, Theo Tsekouras, the owner of CrossFit H-Town in Houston, TX has even had some members volunteer to pay for other members who have been hit hard already. Also, both Mary Hollis, the owner of Caffeinated CrossFit in Mableton, Ga. and Dave Henry, the owner of CrossFit London in Ontario, have picked up new clients who approached them after their Globo gyms closed down.

The most common remote services these affiliates are now offering include:

  • Daily at-home programming
  • Online Zoom group classes
  • Team fitness challenges (aka QuaranTeam Challenge)
  • Equipment borrow/rental

Though many affiliates have experienced positive outcomes so far, most have only been closed for seven to 10 days, and Tsekouras and others are aware of what could happen should this pandemic cause closures for many more weeks, or months.

  • “I’m a realist and fully expect if we go into month two, people will hold and cancel. It’s a large monthly payment,” he said.

This has certainly been the experience for Carlo Strati, the owner of CrossFit Varese in Italy. He has been closed since February 23, and with no end in sight, Strati’s members are no longer paying at all. Most of his members pay for three, six or 12 months up front. Right now, he’s not renewing any memberships as they become due, and his monthly payments have all been cancelled.

  • “They are paying nothing. I can’t ask them for money. This is a bad situation for all,” said Strati, who continues to offer workouts to his community through a private broadcast list on WhatsApp, hoping they’ll return when he can eventually re-open his doors.

First-time CrossFit Games Qualifiers More Concerned About Health than Living their Dream in Madison

 First-time CrossFit Games Qualifiers More Concerned About Health than Living their Dream in Madison 

New Zealand athlete Harriet Roberts has been chasing a CrossFit Games invitation as an individual since 2015.

She has come close to earning her ticket more than once: Roberts was 10th at the Pacific Regional in 2015, 6th in 2016, 9th in 2017, and 10th in 2018.

British athlete Zack George has had his sights set on the CrossFit Games for six years. Kendall Vincelette has been trying to qualify since 2015. And 16-year-old Anikha Greer has been dreaming about the Games since she was 13.

Greer missed out on CrossFit Games qualification by one spot in the Age Group Online Qualifier in 2018, and by five spots last year.

After many close attempts, this year, all four finally punched their ticket to Madison to compete at the 2020 CrossFit Games.

  • “It meant everything to win the UK in the Open,” said the 29-year-old George. “Six years of hard work had finally paid off.”
  • “A dream come true,” said the 28-year-old Roberts, who earned her ticket to Madison when she won the Pandaland CrossFit Challenge in Chengu, China in December 2019.

Short-lived excitement: Three-and-a-half months later, because of the unknowns cast on the CrossFit Games season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CrossFit Games are “very far from my mind,” said Roberts.

Disappointing as it is, Roberts said staying healthy, and her friends and family staying healthy amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic, is far more important than preparing to live her dream this summer.

  • “I am feeling grateful, happy and healthy. A time will come to focus on competition again, but right now, finding a routine, keeping the mind and body active and keeping in constant contact with all my loved ones is number one,” she said.

This doesn’t mean she isn’t training, of course.

Roberts lives with her best friend in Sydney, Australia and has adapted to garage training life.




Matt O’Keefe Talks with Mat Fraser, Pat Vellner and Brent Fikowski

CrossFit Games athletes Mat Fraser, Pat Vellner, and Brent Fikowski own an impressive amount of top finishes at the Games over the years and shared the podium at the 2017 CrossFit Games. What are they doing now with no upcoming Sanctionals on the calendar for a couple of months.

 Morning Chalk Up 



A Competition That You Can Finally Win

Ever wanted to program a comp that contains all of your favorite movements — and finally show everybody what’s up? What better way to connect with your fitness friends (and frenemies) while the world is on lockdown than to organize an at-home invitational. Let’s go ahead check that item off of the bucket list…

 Morning Chalk Up 


Coronavirus Chaos Continues — Where the Season Stands Now

The delays and cancellations continue amid the coronavirus pandemic. On Talking Elite Fitness, Sean Woodland and Tommy Marquez update the latest changes to the Sanctional schedule. Still, plenty of good things are going on in the CrossFit community. Rogue Fitness has joined the fight against the coronavirus and plenty of people are helping us stay fit at home. Plus, people are still putting crazy stuff on video for our enjoyment and Tommy gets his birthday present.

 Morning Chalk Up 


12 Easy Dinners to Make with Frozen Vegetables

Cooking with fresh produce might not be in the cards right now so, using frozen vegetables is the next best thing. Because vegetables are frozen at their peak ripeness, seasons are irrelevant too. Here are 12 easy recipes featuring soups, stews, chicken pot pie and more.





Top Trending Stories at the Morning Chalk Up

Here are five of the top trending stories from the past week:

  • Rogue Fitness joins the fight against coronavirus.
  • Brittney Kleyn talks with elite athletes about Games-level training, menstruation and women’s health.
  • A tribute to Giancarlo Agostino Di Maria, beloved CrossFit judge and community member.
  • Emily Beers profiles elite teen Emma Cary as she prepares for the CrossFit Games from home.
  • Tommy Marquez offers a viewer’s guide for “The Fittest” following its early release.

Bonus: CrossFit Games athletes deliver messages of hope to global community.

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