Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The past several days have been very trying for our country and like you, we’ve felt anger, fear, frustration and sadness. The CrossFit community and the Morning Chalk Up champion inclusivity and togetherness; racism and violence strike at the core of those virtues. We remain committed to highlighting voices that need to be heard and contributing discourse in support of those who need it. Today:
In the second installment of our frontline worker spotlight series, meet Joshua McGee, a CrossFitting helicopter flight nurse who has been transporting COVID-19 patients in critical condition.
The Masters Fitness Collective Championship is coming together and set to go in August, but the hosts need top-40 AGOQ masters athletes to fill out an important survey, learn more below.
Games athlete Dani Speegle crushed her Titan Games debut, Patrick Clark has more.
“One of the most difficult things is not to change society — but to change yourself.”– Nelson Mandela
Frontline Worker Spotlight: Meet the Virginia Flight Nurse who Transports the Sickest of the Sick
Joshua McGee, a flight nurse of 20 years and a coach at CrossFit Parable in Chantilly, VA has spent the last two months working with the most critically ill COVID-19 patients.
“We have been flying patients from smaller hospitals to ones with more resources. Basically these people are so sick they’re at the endpoint of what that hospital can do for them. They have nothing else to offer these patients, so we’re their last-ditch effort to save them,” McGee said.
Though working with highly contagious COVID patients has been stressful, McGee said it has quickly become almost routine.
“At first, it was super nerve-racking. I’d constantly be wondering, ‘Is my PPE working? Did I touch something with this pair of gloves? You’re on edge the whole time,” he said.
“But like a lot of things, the more we did it, that anxiety of doing transports kind of went away, and now it’s the new norm.”
In the early days of the pandemic, McGee said he would text his wife to let her know he was going on a COVID flight.
“She was always like, ‘Oh my God, be careful.’ Now, I don’t even tell her. She just assumes I’m probably flying a COVID patient,” said McGee, who has also continued to coach two or three Zoom classes a week out of his garage at home for CrossFit Parable.
“I have young kids—9 and 11—so I still worry a bit, but I’m doing everything we are being taught to do,” he added.
McGee said he is willing to do such a stressful, challenging, and potentially trauma-inducing job because he knows someone needs to.
“Inside a gym, people share the common bond of sweat and hard work. How can our CrossFit community take those bonds beyond the walls of the gym?
Don’t be silent. So many are worried about saying the wrong thing, but the black community would rather you say the wrong thing and allow yourself to be educated, than say nothing at all. There are people in our community that are hurting. To not acknowledge the movement taking place is a dismissal of their feelings and hardships. If you take offense to #BlackLivesMatter, ask yourself why.
Don’t look back and regret sitting idle because you were uncomfortable. Let’s help bridge the gap between the world inside our gyms and out.”
Calling All Masters Athletes: This Survey is Your Ticket to Compete this Summer
The Masters Fitness Collective Championship is making huge strides in organizing an in-person, invite-only elite masters competition this summer. The event is set to take place August 20-23 in Fort Wayne, IN.
One big thing: Robert Petras and the organizers of the Masters Fitness Collective Championship are trying to reach all of the top-40 finishers in the 2020 AGOQ (in all masters divisions, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59 and 60+) to complete a survey about their willingness to compete in the event. Ten athletes in each division will compete, but if top-ten athletes are unable/unwilling to travel, organizers will backfill according to the AGOQ leaderboard. Completing the survey will allow
the hosts to get formal invitations sent out more quickly.
The details: Here’s what we know about the event so far, with more information to be released soon.
The four-day competition will include a swim/run event off-site on the first day, the following day’s events will all take place at the Grand Wayne Convention Center. The competition will be programmed by CJ Martin of CrossFit Invictus.
The organizers have secured some big-name sponsors, including Born Primitive, Bear KompleX, Rx Smart Gear, and Hi-Temp Weight Equipment. More sponsors are coming on-board daily.
There will be athlete services staff and a livestream for friends and family to watch.
Podium finishers in each age group will win prize money.
Complete the survey and/or share it with other AGOQ top-40 athletes in your circles.
About the Masters Fitness Collective: Founded in 2019, the MFC is a platform devoted to bringing masters athletes all over the world together. Its goal is to help masters athletes make life long connections and become a resource for the masters fitness community.
Dani Speegle Dominates in Her Titan Games Debut
It didn’t take long for Dani Speegle to make her presence known in her Titan Games debut on primetime television on Monday night. Billed as a “social-media star” she proved she was more than that and showed the world what the CrossFit community already knew, that she’s one of the fittest women on the planet.
Event 1, “Nuts and Bolts:” Speegle would take on NCAA women’s basketball referee Nadi Carey in her best-of-three showdown. Their match-up was the final for the women’s side of the Central Region. The women’s version of the event featured a wall with 1,200 lbs of weight that they had to remove before attempting to pull the wall down, releasing a lever. The first athlete to pull the lever wins.
Right from the get-go, Speegle showed her strength as she had no issue removing every plate from the wall while her competitor struggled. Speegle became the first athlete in the competition to remove every plate and the result was little effort used to pull the wall down. She pulled the lever to claim the victory. Speegle – 1, Carey – 0.
Event 2, “Lunar Impact:” Starting on opposite ends of an elevated, crescent-shaped platform, each athlete had to scale a two-story ladder and then run atop the platform to a metal wall located at the middle and push against their opponent on the opposite side of the wall until one is forced off the platform.
Speegle beat Carey up the ladder and made it to the wall first and held the early advantage, coming within a foot of eliminating her. Carey rallied and pushed back at Speegle and turned the tide to her favor. Both athletes came to a standstill at the middle of the platform. Speegle found her second wind and slowly pushed back at Carey before finally pushing her off the structure for the victory and securing a chance to compete on Mount Olympus. Speegle – 2, Carey – 0.
Keto is one of the hottest topics in health and fitness right now, and there is so much conflicting information out there. In this video that’s been viewed over 346,000 times, Michael and Adee Cazayoux of WAG discuss their 90 day keto experiment. If you’re interested in trying it out or just want more info, these two are one of the fitness industry’s most trusted duos!
EZ Muhammad on the Current State of Affairs in the United States
On this episode of Fitness with Friends, Sean Woodland and Tommy Marquez speak with Elijah Muhammad, two-time Games athlete and owner of CrossFit Unorthodox in Des Moines, IA. EZ has been vocal on social media and this conversation will hopefully provide a jumping-off point for more conversations.
36 Easy Dinners that are Ready in 25 Minutes or Less
When you have to get dinner on the table fast, these are the recipes you need in your arsenal. Each one can be ready in 25 minutes or less and there’s something for every craving, too — salmon dishes, chicken dinners, pastas, salads, and more. It doesn’t much easier!
Congratulations to Wing L., who was the first to correctly answer who are the only parent and child to have both won a CrossFit Games Championship. The correct answer was David Hippensteel and Heather Hippensteel. David (Masters 60+: 2016, 2017, 2018) and Heather (Team – CrossFit Invictus: 2014).
Today’s question: Who won the most Regional Individual Events (female or male)?