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CrossFitters in China Getting Back On Their Feet

Morning Chalk Up

April 11

Fully Amped

Good morning and welcome to the weekend edition of the Morning Chalk Up. Neil Fischbein, manager of Waxman’s Gym, a USA Weightlifting facility in Lawndale, CA helped lobby for an LA County eviction moratorium order and encourages CrossFit affiliates to consider a similar strategy. And, Brittney Kleyn provides an update on the Chinese affiliate landscape as they emerge from lockdown. Today:

  • Weightlifting gym lobbies for eviction protection and offers some potentially helpful advice to CrossFit affiliates.
  • Crossfitters begin to emerge from lockdown in China.
  • Two years ago, Erik Brinkman fell four stories from a hotel balcony, CrossFit saved his life.

 If your affiliate is closed, please let us know here.



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“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired, morning, noon and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.” – George S. Patton


Weightlifting Gym Lobbies Local Government to Protect Renters, Encourages CrossFit Affiliates to Follow Suit

  Weightlifting Gym Lobbies Local Government to Protect Renters, Encourages CrossFit Affiliates to Follow Suit  

When his gym in Lawndale, CA was mandated to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Neil Fischbein took matters into his own hands to lobby his local government to protect renters.

Fischbein reached out to his Mayor directly, and the two spoke on the telephone.

  • “(Los Angeles County) had already been contemplating protections, so we discussed the importance of adding commercial protections, which they did,” said Fischbein, who manages Waxman’s Gym, a USA Weightlifting gym that works with countless CrossFit athletes. Prior to that, Fischbein worked in the legal field, including a role as a project manager at a law firm.

Eviction Moratorium for LA County: Shortly after Fischbein spoke with his Mayor, the County passed an eviction moratorium that states, “no landlord or commercial property owner shall evict a residential or commercial tenant for nonpayment of rent, late charges or any other fees accrued if the tenant demonstrates an inability to pay due to financial impacts related to COVID-19, or following COVID-19 precautions.”

  • Further, tenants will have six months to pay what they owe once they’re back up and running.

The same can’t be said for other regions: Currently, different cities, counties and states have taken different approaches to the issue, Fischbein explained.

  • “Decisions (in different areas of the country) range from do nothing protection all the way up to waiving rent requirements….In certain locations, landlords have mortgage protections, so they’re given temporary relief on their mortgage too,” Fischbein said.
  • “The problem is it can be very confusing sifting through all the information,” he said, which is why he has been sharing his research with other USA Weightlifting Gyms across the country.  

Seven steps for affiliate owners: Following these suggestions could help you protect your affiliate. Note, the following is not formal legal advice.


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CrossFitters in China Getting Back On Their Feet

  CrossFitters in China Getting Back On Their Feet  

While it was only two and a half months, it feels like a lifetime ago when we first reported gyms were closing amid the coronavirus outbreak in China.

In a follow-up story a few days later we reported on members of CrossFit Tianfu using chairs and household items for thrusters, never thinking in a few short months, we’d all be doing the same.

But as the rest of the world deals with the peak of the pandemic, things in China are slowly getting back to normal. We caught up with Max Ma, director of the Asia CrossFit Championship, to see how he and his members are adjusting.

  • “The current situation is pretty stable here in Shanghai,” Max Ma, told the Morning Chalk Up.

What it looks like when cities reopen: In China, businesses are no longer under government-mandated operational closures, including gyms. While people are out and about again, most are still wearing masks. Max said many gyms have implemented ongoing health and safety measures including temperature checks on arrival.

  • “We ask everyone to sanitize their hands once they’re in the gym and we clean the gym every hour.”

Thankfully, business is better than better, Max said, and he is otherwise optimistic.

Advice for struggling affiliate owners: “For business owners, I would say do all the little things to generate cash flow,” Max said.


How Fitness Helped Erik Brinkman Survive a Four-Story Fall

  How Fitness Helped Erik Brinkman Survive a Four-Story Fall  

The Accident

It was 3 a.m. on February 11, 2019, the first day of Erik Brinkman’s honeymoon in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.

His wife was sleeping soundly after a great day together when Brinkman went outside for a smoke.

A series of tropical storms had hit the Playa Del Carmen region in recent days, leaving the polished marble floors at the resort particularly slippery.

Suddenly, as Brinkman was walking along the uncovered balcony, he slipped and fell, tumbling over the low railing and falling four stories.

Alive but in shock, Brinkman let out a string of screams that woke his wife, Arianna Torabian, who soon found her half-conscious husband and his mangled body.

  • “I was in shock, so I don’t really remember any of that. I remember slipping, and the next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital 20 hours later,” Brinkman said.

The Aftermath

His chance of survival didn’t look good.

Brinkman’s injuries included two broken femurs fractured at their midpoints, a shattered pelvis, and four breaks in his sacroiliac joint. His left femoral head also busted off his hip joint, and he shattered both patellas, both feet and his left elbow. Finally, he had spinal damage, including fractures in his C2 and L5, as well as pulmonary embolisms — blood clots — in his lungs.

  • “Doctors told my family I was probably going to die. With the level of my injuries, it was almost for sure I had destroyed some vital organs,” said Brinkman, whose parents, brother and sister flew to Mexico the moment they heard about the accident.

Though nobody witnessed the accident, Brinkman’s surgeons reverse engineered his fall and deduced that he must have essentially landed straight up and down in a deep squat and then tumbled to his left side upon impact, which is why the injuries on his left side were more severe than his right, he explained.




FRAN: Episode One with Noah Ohlsen

Inspired by John Krasinski’s SGN (Some Good News) show, Jacob Heppner has created “FRAN” (Fitness Related Awesome News) to showcase positive uplifting stories, interviewing elite athletes and shining light on people doing good in the world. Stay tuned for a new episode each week!

  Morning Chalk Up  



Energy, Focus, and Endurance

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  Morning Chalk Up  


Ten Ways to Combat Stress on the Pursuing Health Podcast

On this episode, Drs. Julie Foucher Urcuyo and Dani Urcuyo open up a discussion on managing stress in difficult times. The coronavirus pandemic has placed us all under a tremendous amount of stress, so it’s a perfect time to put some of this advice and these techniques into practice.

  Morning Chalk Up  


Healthier Easter Recipes to Make at Home

Easter is coming up this weekend and these recipes are perfect for making and enjoying right at home. You’ll find everything from delicious brunch recipes and sweet treats to incredible, savory sides and main dishes. And, you can enjoy these delicious Easter recipes all spring and summer long.





United in Movement Update

The United in Movement charity event and competition is rolling on and here’s a quick rundown to bring you up to speed:

  • Following the 24-hour livestream, telethon-style opening, the first WOD was announced.
    • Workout 1: 7 Minute AMRAP — Line-Facing Burpees, over a 6″ line.
    • Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser took this one on in Mat’s Cookeville garage.
  • Sunday evening, Brent Fikowski and Pat Vellner faced off (virtually) in workout #2.
    • Workout 2: 12 Minute AMRAP — 80 Lateral hops over-the-Dumbbell; 60 Air Squats; 40 Dumbbell Shoulder to Overhead (50/35).
  • Monday evening, Lauren Fisher and fiancé Rasmus Anderson took on workout #3.
    • Workout 3: 20 Minute AMRAP — 20 Hand Release Pushups; 30 Goblet Squats; 40 Hand Release Pushups; 50 Dumbbell Lunges; 60 Hand Release Pushups; 70 Single-Arm Suitcase Deadlifts.
  • Tuesday evening, Noah Ohlsen and Chandler Smith threw down (virtually) in workout #4.
    • Workout 4: 9 Minute AMRAP — 30-20-10 of: Alternating Hang DB C&J and Butterfly Sit-ups; right into, 30-20-10 Alternating DB Hang Snatch and Butterfly Sit-ups.
  • Wednesday evening, the Buttery Bros, Marston Sawyers and Heber Cannon went head-to-head in workout #5.
    • Workout 5: Every 4 min (3 min on + 1 min rest) for 5 rounds of: 21/21 Alternating Lunge Jump, 15/15 Single-Arm DB Floor Press, 9 Reverse Burpees; In the remaining time within the 3min window: Max Broad Jumps (4ft for men, 3ft for women); Rest 1 min between rounds.
  • Thursday evening, the newest member of the Team Mayhem Freedom, Scott Panchik, wife Christin and special guest, baby Panchik (Christin is 16-weeks pregnant) took on workout #6.
    • Workout 6: 150 Single-Arm DB Thrusters, 5 Lateral Burpees Over-the-DB EMOM, 16 Minute Time Cap.
  • Friday evening, Katrin Davidsdottir took on her coach, Ben Bergeron in workout #7.
    • Workout 7: 10 Minute AMRAP — 2-4-6-8…etc… Single-Arm Alternating Devil’s Press, 30 Double-Unders.

So far, United in Movement has raised more than $203,000 and over 13,400 people are participating in the event.

Check out the United in Movement website and Instagram for more.

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