Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The Age Group Online Qualifier starts tomorrow and our own Chad Schroeder takes a look at some key stories to follow. And, Brittney Kleyn profiles how some communities are working with hearing-impaired athletes. Today:
Teens and Masters get ready.
Disabilities are no deterrent in the CrossFit community.
A big merger in the field of recovery: Hyperice acquires NormaTec.
“Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’”– Mary Anne Radmacher
Age Group Athletes Seek Records and Recognition in 2020
The Age Group Online Qualifier (AGOQ) happens this week from March 12-16, and it’s a great time to highlight some storylines to follow leading up to the 2020 Games.
Doors are Open near the Top
There are many notable past multi-Games Masters Champions not competing this season either due to injury or taking the season off: Susan Clarke (4x), Mary Beth Prodromides (4x), Gord Mackinnon (3x), Amanda Allen (3x), Stephanie Roy (2x), Kevin Koester (2x), Helen Harding (2x), Cheryl Brost (2x), Susan Habbe (2x), Shaun Havard (2x).
For the 16-17 Divisions, the door is now open as well at the top with 3x Champion Dallin Pepper (only Teenage with three Championships) and 2x Champion Chloe Smith having aged-out of the Teenager Divisions.
New Age Group Games Season Schedule
The restructuring of the Games season which started after the 2018 CrossFit Games had significant impacts to the age group athletes. With the 2020 Games season, the changes go into full effect. The most significant is that age group athletes have to compete at three different times over a span of 10 months, meaning that they have basically no down time throughout the year (granted making the Open top 200 is not difficult for elite age group athletes). They essentially have to be ready to compete year-round unlike Individuals and Teams who have multiple routes and timelines to qualify for the Games giving them the ability to lay out an optimal schedule and perhaps work around an injury. Age group athletes still are competing under the previous model of Open-AGOQ-Games, but it is now stretched over a 10-month timespan compared to the previous 6-month timespan.
Masters Longevity and Consistency
Injuries and the wear and tear of elite training takes its toll on athletes. This happens even more in the Masters ranks due to longer recovery times and frequency of injury. It is extremely impressive to see some Masters make it back year after year to the Games.
Additionally, some Masters opt to sit out their last year in the upper end of their age division and comeback stronger and healthier when they age-up to their new division.
The average age of the Top 200 Masters Age Group Qualifiers in each Age Division is around the 2nd year of the five years in the Division.
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Watching him work out, he looks like any other hard-working competitor.
The only difference? Michael is deaf and can’t hear the cheers from the crowd, including his friends from CrossFit Spirit in Ohio, who wanted to find a better way of communicating with him.
Michael’s wife, Kim told the Morning Chalk Up: “Being deaf, Michael seems to notice things that others don’t see,”
“He is encouraging to other members with his “perfect form” and ability to learn new skills with ease…He has a keen sense of pointing out ways to adjust foot or hand placement to improve ability, and enjoys making people laugh and smile.”
The members at CrossFit Spirit in Hinckley, Ohio have taken it upon themselves to enroll in a course in American Sign Language (ASL). The classes are run once a week, after the WOD, for 16 weeks, so members have a better way of communicating with Michael in the box, as opposed to writing everything down.
Member Edith Page said: “Michael is not just part of our Crossfit community but he is family to us.”
Nancy Earhart said: “Michael’s athleticism defines him at Spirit, not his deafness…now we have a newfound language with him.”
Becky Uhler said: “Just the number of people in our community attending the class shows how committed we are to rallying around Michael.”
Michael Sladick told the Morning Chalk Up, it makes him proud to be a part of a community of CrossFitters, who’s efforts to better themselves, goes beyond just fitness.
Disability is clearly no deterrent in CrossFit.
We’ve seen this through the Adaptive Training Academy’s Logan Aldridge and Alec Zirkenbach and stories like Amy Van Dyken’s becoming more of the norm (albeit no less motivational).
Wodapalooza has paved the way for CrossFit Sanctionals to officially support inclusive opportunities for adaptive athletes to compete alongside able-bodied athletes.
The roster this year included Kym Dekeryrel who became WZA’s first completely blind athlete.
Recovery and performance technology brand Hyperice announced the acquisition of NormaTec, one of the industry leaders in pneumatic compression recovery systems. Both companies are well-known in the functional fitness industry for helping athletes enhance performance, reduce risk of injury and extend career longevity through their unique technologies and products.
One big thing: The acquisition is the first major combination of two leading companies in the athletic performance, recovery and wellness field.
As part of the acquisition, the two companies will combine workforces, integrate product offerings, accelerate international business, advance manufacturing competencies and product development initiatives.
NormaTec, which is best known for its full-length compression boots, arms and hip recovery systems, is popular among athletes to enhance the body’s natural ability to recover.
Hyperice is best known for its innovative vibrating foam rollers and massage guns that have gained more popularity not just in the athletic and fitness world but for everyday recovery in normal life activities.
“As the global health and wellness space continues to grow and evolve at a rapid pace, so does our desire to innovate and collaborate,” said Gilad Jacobs, Founder and CEO of NormaTec Recovery. “Combining our talents will help accelerate our ability to provide comprehensive recovery solutions. This acquisition is an absolute game-changer for the performance and wellness industry. ”
Jacobs will join Hyperice’s leadership team and Board of Directors as Chief Innovation Officer as part of the acquisition.
The acquisition was seamless as both companies were familiar with each other, having collaborated within the sports performance and military markets since 2016.
The bottom line: Combining NormaTec’s compression systems with Hyperice’s innovative percussion, vibration and thermal technology will give high-performance athletes a single source for their recovery needs. The combination of their research, innovations and education within the athletic industry will bring further advances in the recovery and performance field that will benefit high-performance athletes.
The two companies have already combined for their first product launch, called “wellness pods,” it offers a physical experience that includes the full systems of Hyperice and NormaTec devices.
They have also combined their research and development departments to study, create and educate further methods to optimize human performance, longevity and health.
The combined companies plan on implementing “wellness pods” globally by the end of 2022.
“This is a remarkable day for our consumers, partners and both organizations, as we now strengthen our position of leadership from both coasts as one collective team,” said Jim Huether, CEO of Hyperice. “By joining forces, we will have the most talented, dynamic, and inspiring team on earth. We continue on our relentless mission to help people move better and live better, worldwide.”
Road to the Mid-Atlantic: Chase Long and Team Karhu Omega Earn a Spot
The Morning Chalk Up is the official media partner of the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Championship, April 17-19, and in this episode, Armen Hammer profiles Chase Long and Team Karhu Omega as they made their way through the MACC team qualifier.
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The Clydesdale CrossFitter and Friends Wake-n-Cake with Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers
Host Scott Switzer and co-host Amy talk with Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers, AKA the Buttery Bros. about their new film “The Fittest,” their YouTube vlog, how the layoffs at CrossFit HQ affected them, where they are now and what their goals are for the future. This episode is full on non-stop laughter.
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Stick with us here, this one gets a little funky. This recipe uses “gunpowder spice” to help create a gluten-free version of crunchy fried chicken. This version swaps chickpea flour and sesame seeds for wheat flour, and, once fried, you dust it with lime zest, coconut and crushed red pepper flakes. Be sure to fry the chicken to a deep brown to create superior crunch.
Max Lucas does a 51 inch box jump for a 3 inch PR.
SANCTIONALS NEWS AND NOTES
The Atlas Games has announced its seventh and final workout andhas released an App that allows everyone to follow the updated leaderboards, schedule, events, vendors and more. Available for download on the Apple App Store and Google Play.