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CrossFit Connects People Everywhere

Good morning and welcome to the weekend edition of the Morning Chalk Up. This is Justin LoFranco, your Editor-in-Chief to bring you a quick wrap-up of the major news items throughout the week.

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“What are you avoiding just because you know the answer is painful?” — James Clear 

The Shared Language of CrossFit

By Justin LoFranco

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.”

I don’t think anyone except a few English-speaking friends in the room had ever read the Morning Chalk Up, but as they listened through a translated earpiece, nodding heads quietly as I spoke about CrossFit’s ability to reach underserved communities in the most populous country in the world it was clear that the common language we share goes far beyond border and language, it’s family of a deeper kind — the CrossFit variety.

Judge Awards Nearly $4 Million to CrossFit in Legal Fees
Justin LoFranco

On Wednesday, Judge Janis Sammartino issued another crushing blow to the National Strength and Conditioning Associaton in their years-long dispute with CrossFit, Inc. Sammartino awarded CrossFit $3,997,868.66 for attorney fees, granted their motion to terminate sanctions, and said “the NSCA’s actions constituted “extensive perjury,” and called them “inherently untrustworthy.”

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2020 CrossFit Games Dates for “Week-Long Festival”
Justin LoFranco

The 2020 Reebok CrossFit Games will be held from Monday, July 27 through Sunday, August 2. The event, which will last an entire week this year is up from the four-days programmed in 2019. CrossFit hasn’t specified which days competition will be held, stating only that start dates will be released as the event nears.

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From Games Athlete to Teacher – And How One School Is Using CrossFit To Support Its Kids
Niki Brazier

Every day during the lunch hour at CrossFit Gage, housed inside a high school in Ontario, Canada, kids aged 12 – 18 put down their handheld video games and silence their cell phones to partake in a lunchtime WOD. At the head of the class, is a world-renowned Games athlete: Carolyne Prevost.

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All Smiles For the CrossFit Cowboy
Tommy Marquez

Besides being the only athlete walking onto the competition floor with a Cowboy hat on, Sean Sweeney’s demeanor quickly makes him stand out, bellowing out jokes and sarcastic comments while waiting for an event to start. To some, it seems he takes nothing serious, but Sweeney contends it’s a necessary component to his performance.

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Why Roman Khrennikov Can’t Get a Visa
Tommy Marquez

Roman Khrennikov is easily the most prominent Russian athlete in the sport of fitness. After bursting onto the scene by winning the 2018 Europe Regional as a relative unknown, Khrennikov has now (unofficially) qualified for his third straight CrossFit Games. There’s one major problem: He’s yet to step onto the competition floor in Madison due to persisting issues obtaining a visa to the United States

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THINGS TO DO: Register Your Squad
The WZA Team Qualifier is live and WOD 1 looks super spicy. The good news is there’s still time to get in on the fun. Register your squad now and earn your chance to compete at Wodapalooza in Miami this February.

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With two Sanctionals this weekend, athletes everywhere are getting hyped with big lifts, local competitions, and all things CrossFit. Here are a few things to keep on your radar this weekend.

1. Sam Lubben cleans 400 pounds like it’s nothing.

2. Andrea Rodriguez back squats 305 pounds for a 5RM.

3. Remember that one time Bronisław Olenkowicz muscle cleaned more than you can deadlift?

4. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, consider doing Sit Rep, an online competition from Barbells For Bullies to help get service dogs to Veterans.

5. Episode 9 of A Fresh Cup of Fitness introduces the Dr. Adam Schulte of the Drop-In Doc, a full service medical clinic inside an affiliate.

6. Episode 2 of Open Gym with Patrick Cummings welcomes Ben Bergeron, who has been operating CrossFit New England for more than ten years. Bergeron explains why he knew, from the very beginning, he didn’t want to take money from investors or partners to grow the business.

Oh and let’s not forget…

Hope on the Horizon (Sonia Fernandez/The Current)

Defining CrossFit, Part Three (CrossFit)

Science Isn’t Broken (Christie Aschwanden/FiveThirtyEight)

Paleopathology and the Origins of the Paleo Diet (Dr. Michael Eades/CrossFit)

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