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CrossFit sobriety partner expands to Canada

Morning Chalk Up

October 11   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Two Games athletes currently serving drug suspensions from CrossFit compete in two non-licensed events.
  • Dr. Sean Pastuch argues why your gym isn’t charging enough.
  • CrossFit’s sober support partner is expanding to Canada.
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“Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards.” - Vernon Sanders Law

  CrossFit Athletes Currently Banned from Official Competition Competed in Non-Licensed Events 

CrossFit Athletes Currently Banned from Official Competition Competed in Non-Licensed Events

As CrossFit athletes look for more earning opportunities in off-season competitions, two athletes — Janelle Stites and Alanna Fisk Colon — who are currently serving multi-year drug bans from competing in CrossFit, were allowed to compete in two off-season, non-licensed competitions hosted a couple of weeks back. One athlete walked away cashing out with $4000 after taking the top spot.

The details: Janelle Stites recently competed at the 2021 Heart of America Team Competition and Alanna Fisk Colon competed as an individual at the Pensacola Beach Brawl.

  • This past summer, Janelle Stites, a member of On Track’s fifth place team that qualified for the Games through the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge, was disqualified due to a USADA ban in weightlifting from 2019 that remains in effect until January 21, 2023.
  • In the winter of 2020, Alanna Fisk Colon tested positive for a banned substance after competing at the 2020 Wodapalooza CrossFit Festival.
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Sophie Shaft, 5th at the 2021 CrossFit Games 16-17 division, officially joins Team WIT and will be represented alongside fellow teen athlete Emma Lawson.

RX Smart Gear jump ropes are now being used by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Julie Foucher and Jason Khalipa are now confirmed to compete in the Rogue Invitational legends division.

Thuri Helgadottir is confirmed to compete at CrossFit Mayhem Desert Heat.

Noah Ohlsen spent the day bodybuilding with three time Mr. Olympia winner Chris Bumstead.

South Korean’s national champion, Kim Seok-beom, discovered CrossFit after a brief stink playing professional football in Ireland. Now he coaches and trains full time back in South Korea.

  • Kim: “When I was 19, I had a dream of joining an overseas professional league. I tried to go to the UK first, but my plan got cancelled because of visa issues. So I changed my mind and went to Ireland, and played in the Ireland Premier League.”
  • “I find CrossFit extremely interesting and challenging. When you’re doing CrossFit, you have to master a great variety of movements without falling behind in any aspect while the possible record is limitless. The tension of having to compete all the time, and the impossibility of fully mastering the sport, makes me love the sport.”

FITAID is now being sold nationwide at CVS and Costco stores.

  Your gym isn’t charging enough and your gym’s owner is afraid to raise rates 

Your gym isn’t charging enough and your gym’s owner is afraid to raise rates

Whenever the Morning Chalkup posts an article talking about gym owners raising rates, the chorus of comments on Instagram is about how people would quit their gym in two seconds if their gym owner ever did that. I have news for you, with rare exception, your gym owner is struggling. They are not charging you enough to pay themselves, they are working long, hard hours, they can’t even give you everything they want to, and they’re afraid to raise rates and live a secure life because they believe if they do, you’re going to leave and you’re going to take your friends.

Your gym owner is not crushing it.

I’ve had the privilege of working with hundreds of gym owners over the last two years, almost all of them have one thing in common: they’re afraid to raise rates. You might be thinking that they’re afraid to raise rates because they want to keep as many members as they can so that they can make as much money as they can. You would be wildly mistaken. The reason why gym owners are afraid to raise their rates might shock you.

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  The Phoenix Expands to Canada 

The Phoenix Expands to Canada

The Phoenix, a non profit organization that offers a sober active community to thousands across the United States, has moved into Canada. On October 25,  All Level CrossFit in Windsor, Ontario, just across the river from Detroit, MI, will hold their first class affiliated with the organization, offering a workout to anyone meeting The Phoenix’s cost of membership: 48 hours of sobriety.

One big thing: This move to Canada may be the first of many international expansions for The Phoenix.

  • “Our goal is to make our organization accessible in any country,” said Gavin Young, Sr. Partnership and Engagement Manager for the organization. “Right now the focus is expansion north-ward to Canada and we want to make that a focus in 2022.”
  • However, we also want to evaluate chapters in other countries as well to see how we can support growth elsewhere around the world,” he added.

Remind me: The Phoenix offers sober communities through a range of activities, including CrossFit, yoga, running, biking, and book clubs. The only cost, for each class, is 48 hours of continuous sobriety.

  • Since 2006, the organization has collected over 58,000 members in their sober communities, reaching 30 U.S. states.
  • It is not required to be in recovery to attend a class affiliated with The Phoenix, but the nonprofit, which they say offers a “welcoming, safe and supportive community to recover and heal,” has been particularly impactful with addiction recovery communities.

Moving North: The Phoenix “accidentally became international” when COVID forced their programs to go virtual.

  • “We had planned to start piloting our virtual offering in Q1 of 2020. Right as the pandemic hit and quarantine shut down in-person programs around the country we were able to stand up our full suite of virtual classes within 48 hours. By pivoting into the virtual space, allowed us to become international… people from Canada started viewing our content and attending classes,” he explains.

While launching a new chapter of The Phoenix in Detroit, Young realized Windsor was visible from the city. Attempting to plan for a non-COVID world, he sent an email out to some affiliates in Canada, hoping there would be a way, in the future, for people from Windsor to attend The Phoenix classes in Detroit.

Instead, John Mack, the owner of All Level CrossFit, reached out about hosting classes in Windsor.

The details: Now an affiliated gym with The Phoenix, Mack and his team will host regular, free workouts for anyone meeting that 48-hour sobriety mark.

  • “As a gym, [The Phoenix] resonates with us because we have a coach who did battle substance abuse and used CrossFit as a way of pulling herself out of that,” Mack said. This coach, Kerry Jach, will be leading The Phoenix classes at All Level.
  • “If you saw Kerry and knew Kerry… she’s a ridiculous athlete. She’s 50 years old and missed qualifying for the games by like 20 spots. To know she was at a rock bottom point and CrossFit was one of the things that have helped her get out of that, I think that’s a powerful story to share,” Mack continued.

Mack says the classes will be structured with accessible and fun workouts and hopes to pull in participants from all areas of his community, not just those in recovery.

  • John has identified Windsor as an area of need,” Young says. “He understands this exercise methodology and our organization’s goal of creating community through exercise is a very effective tool.”
  • “I know specific members who have battled addiction and who are still in whatever programs they’re in … there are people that this resonates with and this is something that hits close to home for most people,” Mack said.

“I think [The Phoenix] will spread in Canada,” he continued. “I think once they get the ball rolling, there’s going to be so many others.”



Noah Olsen Lives a Day as Mr. Olympia

Filmed days before Mr. Olympia 2021, Chris Bumstead takes Crossfit star Noah Ohlsen under his lat for a day. Aside from a masterclass in eating, posing, and bodybuilding, Chris talks life and legacy as he prepared to add a third Mr. Olympia Classic Physique title to his name.




The Training Journal Designed By US Special Forces Members

The Black Book Training Journal was created by active US Special Operations Forces, guys that demand the highest performance. Shooters worked with coaches, PTs, nutritionists, and cognitive coaches to create the perfect training journal to track your nutrition, workouts, and progress.



Your Pistol Squats

Craving for pistols in workouts but feel they slow your WOD down? Here are some scaling options for pistols that will make you the fastest gunslinger in the box (and help you work on proper technique).



A Free WHOOP Strap 4.0

Start tracking your body's performance with a free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and first months membership. WHOOP measures your body's data over 100 times a second to provide personalized feedback on your recovery, strain, and sleep. Giving you the data you need for your top performance.



The Top Five Mistakes CrossFitters Make on The Rower

If you want the rower to kick your butt a little less next time it shows up in your workouts, make sure you aren't making any of these common rowing faults.


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.

  • 🎂 Happy birthday Camille Leblanc-Bazinet (Sunday).
  • Congratulation Matthew Ovenden from CrossFit Kemptville in Kemptville, Canada on the 230 pound/104kg Snatch PR.
  • Congratulations adaptive athlete Brett Palser from CrossFit 1904 in San Diego, CA on the 502 pound/228kg seated deadlift.
  • 🇧🇷 Guilherme Malheiros hits two 290 pound/130kg clean and jerks touch and go.
  • We’re not sure what’s more impressive, the strength of the heels or the strength of the athlete.
  • Congratulations Royce Dunne on the 375 pound/170kg clean and jerk PR.


CrossFit Decimate in Colorado Springs, CO is teaming up with The Phoenix and Redemption Road CrossFit on October 16, to raise money to support peer-coaching certifications at the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility.

2/4: Valentine’s Day Massacre (Tucson, AZ)
2/4: The 2023 Winter Classic (Danbury, CT)
2/4: GOAT Youth/Teen Fitness Competition: Individual, Age Groups 10-17 (Olyphant, PA)
2/4 - 2/5: Modena Challenge: Intermediate and Rx (Modena, Italy)
2/10 - 2/12: Fittest if the Coast Championship (Charleston, SC)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/11: Valentine’s Day Crush (North Hollywood, CA)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash at THRIVE CrossFit 103 (Staten Island, NY)
2/11: The Big Chill (Chillicothe, OH)
2/11: Cupid’s Clash (co-ed pairs) (Staten Island, NY)
2/12: The 2023 RCF Winter War (Londonderry, NH)
2/18: Moultrie South Georgia Classic (Norman Park, GA)
3/1 - 3/31: Barbells For Bullies: Sit Ups For Pups (Online Event, United States)
3/18 - 3/19: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, Canada)
3/25 - 3/26: Costa Dorada Fitness Challenge (Tamarit, Tarragona, Spain)
3/25: No Weak Links (Marcy, NY)
3/30 - 4/8: Nine27 Athletics Spring Showdown (Online, Virtual)
4/1: 2023 Cougars & Cradle Robbers Throwdown (Salem, MA)
4/2: CFC Clash (Tallahassee, FL)

See all upcoming events

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