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CrossFit Teens Reveal Depth of Social Media Harassment

Morning Chalk Up

May 3   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Last week we addressed the harassment female CrossFit athletes receive online. But it’s not just adults, CrossFit teen girls experience it too.
  • As COVID restrictions ease up and more people are vaccinated, gym owners are seeing an uptick in new memberships.
  • At the top of the African Semifinal leaderboard it’s Michelle (Basnett) vs. Michelle (Merand).

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

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“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.” - Tom Bodett

  CrossFit Teens Face Harassment Online and In the Gym, Further Expose Ugly Trend  

CrossFit Teens Face Harassment Online and In the Gym, Further Expose Ugly Trend

“Whether or not I’m wearing baggy clothes or booty shorts, they will always look. If I’m dancing or if I’m deadlifting I will always feel their eyes on my ass,” 18-year-old Emma Spath proclaims, citing a recent incident in which a fellow female gym-goer told her to stop dancing between sets because men will look at her.

Spath, who has been doing CrossFit at CrossFit West in Soquel, CA since they were 11-years-old, can recount many times in their (Spath uses the pronouns she/they) career that inappropriate sexual behavior has ruined an otherwise normal moment in the gym. She’s just one of a growing number of teens that are experiencing sexual harassment in CrossFit, and they’re getting fed up.

The Teen Division Emerges

The teen division in the Games began in 2015 and since then, 189 athletes ages 14 through 17 have had their moment on the biggest stage in the CrossFit universe. And while only a small fraction of teens have made it back to the Games in the individual division, succumbing to either burnout, starting new athletic journeys, or getting their ticket to Madison snatched away by the hands of COVID-19, elite CrossFit teens are becoming some of the biggest influencers in the sport.

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Crossfitter uses Engineering Background to Design the Kuhlwhip

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  • In a recent interview with the Clydesdale, Fitness & Friends podcast, Matt Chan reveals that he had to give back everything he won on the Titan Games.
    • Matt shared, “You know there is one thing I have to say, I didn’t get to keep the trophy, and I really, really wanted to keep that trophy!” Matt goes on to say, “You know what’s funny is I got nothing, I walked out of there with nothing. Eventually, obviously, I got a pretty sweet check in the mail. I walked away, they took our uniforms, they took everything, I think I got a plastic water bottle with a T on it, that’s it.”
    • See this clip and more from the Morning Chalk Up’s newest partner, the Clydesdale, Fitness & Friends podcast.
  • Win Awesome Gear has pledged that 10% of proceeds for the month of May will be donated to Rock Steady Boxing, a nonprofit organization that gives people with Parkinson’s disease hope by improving quality of life through fitness.  To help, head over to Win Awesome Gear for a chance to win a home gym and 10% of what you spend will go to Rock Steady Boxing.  Use code “CHALKUP10” for a discount on your purchase.
  • The Big Fish Foundation announced its second annual fundraiser will take place June 18-20 and will feature six Games veterans and others working alongside veterans on teams rotating throughout a 30-hour challenge.
    • The Big Fish Foundation is looking for five veterans — One from each branch of service to participate and represent their perspective branch and five veterans to volunteer in support of the event. Travel stipends will be made available and all accommodations, meals and expenses will be covered.
  • MUST READ: Last week GQ Magazine published the newest installment of its “real-life diet” series — “The Real-Life Diet of CrossFit Pro Rich Froning, Who Nerds Out on Macros and Single-Origin Coffee.”
    • Froning on why intermittent fasting works for him: ” It makes me eat. Which may sound silly, but I used to eat in the morning, then get super busy, maybe take a shake or two, and then not eat again until the night when I’m done training for the day. So this actually makes me eat after that first training session and I notice a big difference in how recovered I feel.”
  • Now live: Granite Games volunteer applications. Apply now to serve as a Granite Games volunteer in athlete relations, judging, media, medical, volunteer relations or equipment crew.
  • Pre-Order the new Buttery Bros documentary, “Resurgence,” recounting the 2019-2020, COVID-disrupted CrossFit Games season.
  Hopeful For the Future, Some Affiliate Owners See Uptick in Membership  


Hopeful For the Future, Some Affiliate Owners See Uptick in Membership

“There’s a lot of hope.”

Kevin Beamon, owner of Mecka Fitness in Pittsburgh, PA, sums up the feelings of many affiliate owners with this statement. After months of lockdowns, changing regulations, and fighting to bring communities back together, some CrossFit boxes are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The big picture: With vaccine distribution up and restrictions loosening in some states, many gym owners are seeing a rise in membership — both new and old — and sensing that, as Dakota Cardosanto of Broad Street CrossFit puts it, “good times are on the way.”

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  The African Semifinals Battle (of the Michelles)  

The African Semifinals Battle (of the Michelles)

In a continent that only gets one berth to the CrossFit Games this summer, there’s only room for one Michelle. But both Michelle Merand and Michelle Basnett are hoping to finish atop the podium at the African Semifinals, the Fittest in Cape Town, in South Africa.

  • While their abilities on the leaderboard look similar — Merand edged Basnett out in the Open, but Basnett topped the Quarterfinals in Africa, while Merand was third — their similarities end there.

Michelle Merand: Merand, 31, was born and raised in South Africa and today owns FitBox TygerValley in Cape Town. A 2019 CrossFit Games competitor, when Merand found CrossFit in 2015, she was a drinker and a smoker.

  • “I really didn’t do anything athletic,” Merand said. “It was truly really one of those CrossFit saved my life kind of situations…and then I just kind of fell into a health and fitness routine.”
  • Her first Open competition was in 2015. She placed 38,492 worldwide. Since then, Merand has improved her rank on the leaderboard every year. Last year, she placed 204th in the Open, and this year she jumped to 127th worldwide.
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Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

5/20 - 5/21: Tough As Nails (Lubbock, TX)
5/21: Luminate The Day (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21: Hollister Showdown (Hollister, CA)
5/21: Barbells & Beers (Berkeley Heights, NJ)
5/21 - 5/22: The Halo Games (Seattle, WA)
5/21: North East Hungergames (East Windsor, CT)
5/21: Mayhem in the Mountains (Colorado Springs, CO)
5/21: SlaughterFest 2022 (Salem, OR)
5/21: Masters Of The Midway: Individual (Cary, IL)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Delaware (Middletown, Delaware)
5/21: Code 3 Clash (Eagle, ID)
5/21: Spring Splash 2022 (Fuquay Varina, NC)
5/21: Luminate the Day (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21: Big Impact Games – CrossFit Fox Valley – Regional Qualifier (Kaukauna, WI)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx South Dakota (Rapid City, SD)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Arkansas (Little Rock, AR)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Eau Claire (Eau Clare, WI)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx SoCal (Van Nuys, CA)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Louisiana (West Elmwood, LA)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Atlanta (Roswell, GA)
5/21: PAINKLLR Venice Beach (Venice Beach, CA)
5/21: Reload Athletics Spring Throwdown (Watertown, CT)
5/26 - 5/27: Gold Star Murph 2022 (Southern Pines, NC)
6/3 - 6/5: Northern California Classic (Sacramento, CA)
6/3 - 6/5: Atlantic Coast Classic (Daytona Beach, FL)
6/4 - 6/5: Whiplash: The Welsh Open 2022 (Same Sex Pairs) (Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom)
6/4: Love’Em or Leave’Em 10 (Saugus, MA)
6/4 - 6/5: Tandemonium (Palmer, AK)
6/4: Goose Games (Chicago, IL)
6/4: Average Joe’s Competition (Sheridan, WY)
6/11: Costa Rica Riptide Rowathon (Mokena, IL)
6/11: Hi Temp Games (Albany, GA)
6/11: Kanna Fest (Ambler, PA)
6/11: Battle on Bridge Street III (Phoenixville, PA)
6/11: Mind Games (Okemos, MI)
6/18: Back Lot Bout – RX, Intermediate, Scaled (Saint Charles, MI)
6/18: Oz Fest 2022 (Junction City, KS)
6/18: Beat The Heat 2022 (Hays, KS)
6/18: Atlanta Masters Classic (Snellville, GA)
6/18: Wodmania (Urbana, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: Best of the West (Rock Springs, WY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, CA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: The Heat 5.0- Co-ed Partner Competition (Marysville, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: The Garrison City Gauntlet (Dover, NH)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/18 - 6/19: The CS&F Summer Classic (Cumming, GA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, NC)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Tennessee (Mc Minnville, TN)
6/18 - 6/19: Emerald Coast Throwdown (Pensacola, FL)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/24 - 6/27: I Got Your Six (Charleston, SC)
6/25 - 6/26: BILT Summer Classic (Welland, CA)
6/25: Independence Games VIII at The Pit Fitness Ranch (Three Rivers, MI)
6/25: Northwest Arkansas Basement Brawl (Fayetteville, AR)
6/25: Summer Bash 2022 (Zanesville, OH)
6/25: Ocean State Summer Threesome (Smithfield, RI)
6/25: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Muster Station (Sanford, FL)
7/9: Rex Rumble at CrossFit zoo (Ocala, FL)
7/9 - 7/10: Rex Rumble 11 Double Down (Ocala, FL)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Fayetteville (Spring Lake, NC)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx West Texas (Snyder, YX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx South Sound (Puyallup, WA)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)
7/17: Warrior Affiliate League Summer Classic (Whittier, CA)

See all upcoming events

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