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CrossFit Athlete Survives Six Days on a Ventilator

Morning Chalk Up

April 24

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Today is the first day that gyms in the state of Georgia are allowed to re-open, but many of the affiliate owners we spoke to think it’s too soon and plan to hold off a while longer. And, the Morning Chalk Up has joined forces with Reebok to #LiftUpMyTrainer, learn more below. Today:

  • Georgia allows gyms to re-open.
  • Nominate your CrossFit coach or trainer to be spotlighted on
  • CrossFitter Darryl Chajon survived six days on a ventilator fighting COVID-19 and won.

Is your affiliate closing permanently? Please let us know.

Do you have story tips, PRs, out-of-the-box workouts? Hit us up at [email protected].



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“Life is a storm that will test you unceasingly. Don’t wait for calm waters that may not arrive. Derive purpose from resilience. Learn to sail the raging sea.” – Author Unknown


Georgia Gyms Approved to Re-Open Today, Many Owners Say It’s “Too Soon”

  Georgia Gyms Approved to Re-Open Today, Many Owners Say It’s “Too Soon”  

When President Trump distributed his guidelines for opening America back up again on April 16, gyms were specifically mentioned in phase one of the plan, giving the 6671 closed affiliates across the United States a glimmer of hope.

  • Phase One: Specific Types of Employers — “GYMS can open if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.”

Driving the news: While gyms located in other states are making initial preparations to open in the near future, Georiga takes center stage as Governor Kemp lifted restrictions on gyms and can begin reopening “with Minimum Basic Operations” as early as today. Affiliates have been closed for less than a month after a statewide shelter in place order was issued on April 2.

One big thing: CNBC reported on Tuesday that Beijing gyms were ordered closed again amid fears of a resurgence in coronavirus cases. What happens in Georgia to COVID-19 cases after some businesses reopen will affect the rest of the country as governors consider how to re-open their states.

Stat de jure: There are 237 CrossFit affiliates in the state of Georgia currently closed that are now legally able to re-open.

  • Georgia also has the 11th most coronavirus-related deaths with 862, as of Thursday.
  • We have yet to track a single Georgia-based affiliate that’s permanently closed in our closure survey.

The narrative: Despite the green light, several Georgia affiliate owners expressed that it’s still too soon and are setting their sights on early to mid-May for possible reopening. Comments have been circulating on Facebook groups and in comments as owners discuss the new policy direction across the state.

  • Emily Bridgers of CrossFit Terminus: “We definitely feel like it’s too soon and are waiting at least a couple weeks to consider opening back up. May 11th will be the earliest re-opening date but we will continue to monitor the situation. Our coaching staff and many of our clients are not comfortable going back yet, and we do not want to further contribute to the spread of the virus until we see more of a downward trend.”

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The Morning Chalk Up and Reebok Join Forces to #LiftUpMyTrainer

  The Morning Chalk Up and Reebok Join Forces to #LiftUpMyTrainer  

CrossFit coaches are so much more than just trainers — life rafts, life coaches, counselors, cheerleaders, dear friends, and closer than family. Now, more than ever, they’re stepping up to keep us moving. Every single one of you has had a trainer make an impact in your life and here’s your chance to show him or her some love.

Morning Chalk Up x Reebok: As part of this #PermissiontoPause campaign, Morning Chalk Up has partnered with Reebok to provide CrossFit athletes the opportunity to nominate their trainer to be spotlighted on

How #LiftUpMyTrainer works:

  1. Nominate your CrossFit coach or trainer by April 28 at 11:59 PM Pacific.
  2. The Morning Chalk Up team will review all submissions and nominate one trainer by April 30 to be spotlighted on
  3. That trainer will be outfitted in Reebok gear and profiled on the Reebok Home Workout Hub. And, he or she will get the opportunity to create a short workout (10-30 min) to be featured on the Reebok HQ Fitness YouTube channel.

Support the Morning Chalk Up’s Journalism


Morning Chalk Up is, and always will be, a community-driven publication with the goal of bringing athletes and affiliates closer together.

Over the past four years, we’ve built a newsroom for times like these: to be an independent voice able to give readers insight into exactly what’s going on in the community around us. And that’s why we’re asking you to become a support member. More than ever before, we need your help to keep all this going. By becoming a Morning Chalk Up supporting member you’ll help ensure that we can continue to be an independent voice for this community and sport we love. 

If you’ve enjoyed our work and want to support it, please sign up.


CrossFit Athlete Survives Six Days on a Ventilator

  CrossFit Athlete Survives Six Days on a Ventilator  

Darryl Chajon laid on his hospital bed unable to breathe.

Six doctors and nurses surrounded him, sprinting frantically as they pushed him down the hall toward the ICU. One of them was on the phone to his wife Claudia Chajon.

“Honey, are you OK?” Claudia asked her husband of 25 years.

“I can’t breathe Claudia. But I’m OK. I love you,” 47-year-old Darryl replied.

The doctor interrupted: “Do you give permission to your wife to make decisions about your life?”

This was the last time the long-time CrossFit athlete, who trains at Crossfit CLE in Cleveland, Ohio, would speak to his wife for six days. His COVID-19 symptoms had become life-threatening, which meant he would be put into a medically-induced coma in the ICU to allow doctors to attempt to save his life.

The first symptoms: Darryl started to feel ill on March 24. It started with a fever and a “massive headache,” he explained.

By March 29, he was having trouble breathing, and his headaches were so bad it felt like his head was going to explode. That’s when Claudia took him to the hospital.

  • “At the time, they were only testing you (for COVID-19) if you were 61 or older and had shortness of breath,” said Darryl, who has no pre-existing conditions that might make him more susceptible to getting taken down by the virus.

Instead, he got X-rays to examine his lungs. His X-rays were clear of pneumonia, but he was told to go to a drive-through testing facility the next day to get swabbed for COVID-19. He tested positive, and his symptoms were worsening by the hour.

  • “I went back to the hospital on the 31st. My body was shutting down,” he said.



Training Think Tank Quarantine Classic Recap

Check out this recap video on the Training Think Tank Quarantine Classic with Max El-Hag, Mike McGoldrick and Brannen Dorman. The trio recounts all the workouts, announce the winners and encourage people to buy Quarantine Classic t-shirts at the TTT website.

  Morning Chalk Up  


40% Off For 4 Days Only

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  Morning Chalk Up  


Going Back to Cali and Jerks at Your Gym

On this episode of Talking Elite Fitness, Tommy Marquez and Sean Woodland discuss the announcement that the CrossFit Games are planning to return to Aromas, CA. What would they like to see at the competition if and when it happens? And, everyone has seen bad behaviors inside the gym. Find out which ones are the worst in this week’s edition of Podium Picks.

  Morning Chalk Up  



Fast Acting CBD

Knock out muscle fatigue, fight inflammation, and get deeper sleep with Prospera Naturals fast-acting CBD. Available in Every Day and Extra Strength, these premium hemp tinctures offer versatile dosing for your ideal CBD serving day or night. For one day only use the code “CHALK25” to get 25% off.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Sesame Garlic Roasted Asparagus

Give this flavorful garlic roasted asparagus a try. It’s deliciously seasoned with sesame oil and sesame seeds then cooked to crunchy perfection right in the oven. This easy recipe comes together in just 20 minutes for the best Spring side dish!



Congratulations to Katie K., who was the first to correctly answer which male and female athlete won the most Regionals as an individual. The correct answer was Ben Smith and Annie Thorisdottir who both won six Regionals.

  • Today’s question: Which athlete has won the most worldwide Open workouts (male or female)?

Submit your answer





Community Round-Up

Here are some fundraising and affiliate support efforts we are watching around the CrossFit community, as well as a new Zone Diet ebook and an honor WOD:

  • LIFEAID: The functional beverage company LIFEAID will be delivering more than 25 pallets (65,000 cans) of FITAID Zero Sugar to hospitals around the world to help fuel doctors and nurses during their daily rounds. Help them get in touch with your hospital by sending your hospital’s contact information including name of hospital & location, name of contact & role, contact’s email and phone number to [email protected].
  • Rumble Roller: After more than 10 years of working closely with gyms and fitness professionals and developing strong relationships, Rumble Roller wants to give back to the communities that have supported them. They are announcing an affiliate program where gyms will receive 18% commission on all sales generated through their platforms. Visit their website and click on “Become an Affiliate.” 
  • CrossFit SOAR: The folks at CrossFit SOAR continue to take care of their community, this time dropping a $1,000 check at Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children, in Paterson, NJ, who are providing meals and necessities like soap, formula, toiletries, and clothes for anyone who needs it.
  • CrossFit Wonderland: When this box in Quebec, Canada was mandated to be closed by the provincial government, the owner, Caroline Lambray, realized that the best way to keep her athletes on the straight and narrow was to shift focus to nutrition. In doing so, she developed the “CrossFit Wonderland Cooking Ebook, Vol. 1,” based on the zone diet. Now they are making it available to the broader community. 
  • Honor WOD “Heidi: Blended Athletics has created an honor WOD for RCMP Constable Heidi Stevenson who was killed in the line of duty in rural Nova Scotia this past weekend. The workout is designed to be completed with minimal equipment and is programmed as follows:
    • AMRAP 23: 23 air squats; 23 push-ups; 23 KB swings; 23 jumping lunges; 23 sit-ups; 23 box jumps.
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