CrossFit Games Veterans Face-Off on The Titan Games
June 24 POWERED BY
Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. CrossFit Games veteran Margaux Alvarez faced off against Kelly Jackson, a veteran of the team division on Monday’s episode of The Titan Games. And, meet a husband-and-wife, doctor-and-nurse CrossFitting duo in this week’s frontline worker spotlight. Today:
Spoiler Alert: Titan Games recap below.
Luke and Candice Palmisano are Echo Park CrossFitters on the COVID frontlines.
“Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should be fun. This is your release.”– Samantha Briggs
CrossFit Games Veterans Face-Off in West Regional of The Titan Games
It was bound to happen, on Monday night, two CrossFit Games athletes competing against each other during The Titan Games. In front of a primetime audience of over 3 million viewers, former CrossFit Games athletes Margaux Alvarez and Kelly Stone went head-to-head for the chance to take on fellow CrossFitter and West Region Titan Kelly Valdez on Mount Olympus.
The match-up: Stone made back-to-back appearances at the Games as a team member of CrossFit Omnia in 2017 and 2018. At the 2017 Games, her team placed 13th. The Denver, CO native, and physical therapist finished 60th in the 2020 Open, the best finish in her career. Alvarez had made seven-straight Games appearances before stepping away from the sport this year to concentrate on her wine business, G.O.A.T. wine. The 2018 South Regional champion had her best Games finish in 2015, placing ninth. In 2019 she competed at the Games on Team Invictus X, placing seventh.
Event 1, “Nuts and Bolts:” The women started off the competition with a test of strength and strategy. Featuring a wall with 1,200 lbs of weight, the contest came down to both of those attributes.
The athletes were neck-and-neck as each deployed different methods to remove their weights to lighten the load. Stone elected to attempt to pull down the wall with 250 lbs still on, forcing Alvarez to abandon her strategy and do the same. Stone struggled to get her wall locked in and was forced to head back to the wall to lighten her load. Alvarez remained committed to pulling down her wall and used leverage to lock in her wall releasing the lever. She pulled it down to win the opening event. Alvarez – 1, Stone – 0.
Event 2, “Lunar Impact:” Facing a 1-0 deficit, Stone needed to win the second event to keep her chances of reaching Mount Olympus alive. Alvarez just needed to force her opponent off the crescent-shaped platform to move on to face Valdez in the last event of the evening.
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Frontline Worker Spotlight: Doctor-Nurse Couple on Finding Respite in Fitness and COVID’s Unspoken Collateral Damage
Both Candice and Dr. Luke Palmisano know what it’s like to ratchet up the intensity on a regular basis. The doctor-nurse power couple are regular members of CrossFit Echo Park in Los Angeles, CA, and also work in the emergency room at a hospital downtown. But one thing that’s prepared them both mentally and physically for the uncertain environment is fitness.
After a long shift wearing two masks and a face shield — an N95 and a surgical mask — being able to go home and workout in their home gym has made the days more bearable.
Candice Palmisano: “One hundred percent, working out has been a huge way to decompress.”
Luke Palmisano: “It has definitely been an interesting time and it all does start to take its toll, so fitness helps a lot.”
One big thing: Dr. Palmisano is also a Type 1 diabetic who’s A1C (average blood glucose levels) has been much better since he started doing CrossFit and reducing his refined carbohydrate intake.
“I just thank God for the preparation my wife and I have had with our health, exercise and mental capacity we have built through CrossFit. I think it has prepared us pretty well,” Luke said.
How COVID has changed the dynamics of the emergency room: Though Luke said he was in full support of the stay-at-home order in California, remaining at home, hasn’t come without other kinds of problems.
Domestic abuse, child abuse, psychiatric breaks, people having heart attacks at home and not going to the hospital: These are the type of events both the Palmisano’s said they have seen too much of lately.
They’re handling domestic abuse violence, depression and self-inflicted harm cases “several times a day”, compared to once a week before the pandemic.
“In many cases, people haven’t had access to their mental healthcare provider and they’re unable to cope. Maybe they’re not used to staying at home all the time with their children, or they lost their job,” Candice said.
The last few months have been difficult for the Palmisano’s, but “this is what we signed up for.”
Dr. Palmisano: “I didn’t sign up to be a doctor so I could only work with people who are sane and healthy…And I’m at a hospital that’s close to skid row so we see all sorts of stuff across the board normally. But it has definitely been hard,” he said.
Candice added: “I feel like every day I’m just privileged and honored to help the sickest and poorest people in the city. I knew as a young as a little kid this is what I wanted to do. To care for people.”
Cassidy Lance-McWherter Talk about Pregnancy
In this wide-ranging conversation, Games veteran and mom-to-be, Cassidy Lance-McWherter discusses her pregnancy journey with the Clydesdale, Fitness and Friends crew. The team also talks about training while pregnant and owning three affiliates.
Congratulations to Sergio H., who was the first to correctly answer which time cap has been used the most during the Open. The correct answer was 20 minutes, which has been used nine times. Sergio has now answered the Trivia question first five times.
Today’s question: How many Regions were there for the 2010 Games Season?
Drs. Julie Foucher-Urcuyo and Dani Urcuyo are building a primary care medical practice in Nashville, TN. They are looking for a full-time “Integrative and Functional Dietitian” to help round-out their staff of healthcare providers.
Foucher-Urcuyo: “We know nutrition lays the foundation for health and healing, and we can’t imagine building a primary care practice without the expertise of an integrative and functional dietitian.”