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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

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.

10/1: Lansing’s Strongest 2022 (Lansing, MI)
10/1 - 10/2: Fittest in the Fall (Indianapolis, IN)
10/1: Guava Games (Tampa, FL)
10/1: Masters Mayhem (Kilgore, TX)
10/1: WODtoberfest 2022 (Saint Clairsville, OH)
10/1: Battle of the Vikings (Frederick, MD)
10/1: North Dallas Rumble (Dallas, TX)
10/1: Warrior Games 2022 (Suffield, CT)
10/1 - 10/2: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/1: West Town Throwdown (Chicago, IL)
10/1: Legends of the Falls 2022 (Gadsden, AL)
10/2 - 10/16: CHLKDUP Box League – Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN)
10/2: The IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: Battle in the Berg (Newberg, OR)
10/7 - 10/8: Koda Iron Games (Lafayette, CO)
10/8: Mayhem & Massacre @ Infinite Fitness & Health (Wharton, NJ)
10/8 - 10/9: Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival (MACC FEST) (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Fall Brawl at CrossFit Lehigh Valley (Allentown, PA)
10/8 - 10/9: MACC FEST (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Rua Rumble II (Frankfort, IL)
10/8: Nightmare On Wod Street (Spring Lake, MI)
10/8: The X Games (Brooklawn, NJ)
10/14 - 10/16: 3F Throwdown (Poreč, Croatia)
10/15: Ragin Games 2022 (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/15: PAINKLLR Nashville (Nashville, TN)
10/15: Ragin Games (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: 7th Annual Kilo Crushfest (Hampton, VA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Omaha (Gretna, NE)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Dallas (Dallas, Texas)
10/15: Diamond K Classic (Birmingham, AL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Belleville (Belleville, Canada)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx San Diego (Alpine, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Iowa (Des Miones, IA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Southern Illinois (Highland Robinson, IL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Newport News (Newport News, VA)
10/15: Mid Atlantic Masters Classic (Abingdon, MD)
10/15: Bridgetown Throwdown (City of Industry, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Richmond (Richmond, Canada)
10/21 - 10/23: Battledrome Championship (Milan, Italy)
10/22: 8th Annual Crossfit Pittsfield Fall Brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Doomsday 2022 (Palm Springs, CA)
10/22: The Humble Games Fall Throwdown (Hanover, MD)
10/22: Goblin Gauntlet – CrossFit Sandy (Sandy, UT)
10/22: 8th annual fall brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Festivals Games – CrossFit 906 Ishpeming, MI (Ishpeming, MI)
10/22 - 10/23: Rep It Out (Sheffield, England)
10/22: Clash at the Creek 2022 (Knoxville, TN)
10/22: Festivus Games – Teams @ Crossfit Clan (Parsippany, NJ)
10/22: Ironclad (League City, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games (Waukesha, WI)
10/22: Scream and Clean 2 (Danbury, CT)
10/22: SE TEX Masters Fall Classic 2022 (Cypress, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games Pairs – Same-Sex or Mixed-Sex (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Black and Brewed (Huntsville, AL)
10/22: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Dreamland Games 3 (same sex pairs) (Portsmouth, OH)
10/22: 2022 Arsenal Throwdown (Pittsburgh, PA)
10/29 - 10/30: Chi-Town Throwdown (Elmhurst, IL)
10/29 - 10/30: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/29: Heartland Games (Kearney, NE)
10/29 - 10/30: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Black Hive West (Jacksonville, FL)
10/30 - 11/20: CHLKDUP Box League – Nashville (Nashville, TN)
11/1 - 11/21: MFLH X FFTF Partner Series Online Qualifier (New York, NY)
11/5 - 11/6: Reignited Games (Wilmington, NC)
11/5: Fall’s Fittest Partner Throwdown (Amherst, OH)
11/5: Best of the Wurst (New Braunfels, TX)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Salt Lake, UT)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
11/12: CrossFit Exodus Throwdown (Bridgeport, TX)
11/19: Babes & Beasts TURF Games 2022 (Port Saint Lucie, FL)
11/19: Cactus Classic 2022 (Phoenix, AZ)

See all upcoming events

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