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Morning Chalk Up

February 11   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. In today’s edition:

  • Six nurses at Chagrin Falls CrossFit in Ohio have leaned on each other through the pandemic, now they tackle the Open.
  • How to be a good Open citizen, and perform your best.
  • SafeGYM training helps affiliate owners create an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ athletes.
  • How well do you know Mat Fraser? Take the quiz and be automatically entered to win a $50 Rogue gift card

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

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“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” - Joseph Pilates

  Six Chagrin Falls CrossFit Nurses Lean on Each Other through the Pandemic, Will Tackle the Open Together  

Six Chagrin Falls CrossFit Nurses Lean on Each Other through the Pandemic, Will Tackle the Open Together

Melissa Bowdren isn’t sure how she caught COVID-19 at the end of December 2020. The 45-year-old nurse manager at a hospital in Cleveland, OH diligently wears her PPE on every shift and always feels protected.

Luckily, the single mother to a teenage daughter didn’t have a bad case, quarantined herself for two weeks and then was right back at work and training at Chagrin Falls CrossFit, a place that has been her lifeline during the last twelve months.

  • “CrossFit has been a source of sanity for me during this time,” said Bowdren, who usually attends 5 AM classes before her 12-hour shifts in a COVID ward. “When everything else is uncertain and stressful, it helps me focus on something good and healthy for myself.”

The big picture:  Bowdren is just one of six nurses committed to their fitness at Chagrin Falls CrossFit, all of whom say their gym, and each other, have been their saving grace in recent months.

  • Manon Desjardins, 43, is a nurse in the prenatal ICU cardiac department. The mother of two small children is also currently taking her masters degree to become a nurse practitioner.
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Is Your Gym Prepared for the 2021 Open?

Is Your Gym Prepared for the 2021 Open?

You may be considering passing on the Open this year, but that would be worse than a no rep during Karen. To help you plan the Open, Zen Planner, UpLaunch, and SugarWOD have teamed up to create the ultimate guide to running a successful Open at your gym. In this free guide, we’ll share:

  • Tips for getting people to sign up.
  • How to prepare your gym and manage the competition.
  • A weekly Open checklist.
  • Pre-written emails, texts, and social posts you can use to promote the Open to leads, members, and former members.

Download our free guide today and start crushing your 2021 Open prep!


  • Aimee Cringle, 20th Fittest Woman in the UK in 2020 joins apparel company Gymshark as the first female CrossFit athlete brand ambassador on their roster. Gymshark previously tapped the Buttery Bros, Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers, as brand ambassadors as well.
  • Nienke van Overveld, the Fittest Woman in The Netherlands just released her first cookbook, “What Nienke Eats.” It consists of 21 protein-rich, plant-based recipes and is available in a hard copy in Dutch and an e-book in English.
  •  IKONICK x Fraser: Recently retired five-time CrossFit Games champ, Mat Fraser partnered with the artists at IKONICK, a Los Angeles digital art company to create the Mat Fraser collection of art pieces based on his training mantras. And, he appeared on their vlog three weeks ago to discuss training and his advice on getting started in fitness, staying disciplined and his competition mentality.
  • ICYMI: NBC News recently reported on how gyms and fitness studios were the hardest-hit by COVID-19 and were the first businesses to close due to government restrictions. The story featured several Community Gyms Coalition members while highlighting the struggles that gym owners are facing and outlining why federal relief is needed in order for gyms to survive.
    • Dale King, owner of a CrossFit gym in Portsmouth, Ohio, told NBC News: “Gyms are the forgotten pieces. We talk about payroll protection programs and restaurants and everyone kind of understands that because everyone goes to restaurants and bars.”
  • O2 is celebrating Coach appreciation week. Nominate a coach now to receive a free 4-pack of O2+, or if you are a coach, nominate yourself. The free 4-packs will begin shipping on February 15, so nominate your coach now.
  • New App from BTWB: The new Beyond the White Board app is live now and has tons of new features. Rather than listing them out, it’s safe to safe that it’s an entire redesign from the new home screen to the logging and tracking features, calendar, social functions and more.
  • PRVN Fitness is hiring a Digital Media Specialist. Submit your resume or get more details via email.
  • Correction: Yesterday we announced that beam has released a new line of hydration products and referred to it by an inaccurate product title. The new line is called “elevate” and features “balance” (probiotic), “performance” (energy), “recovery” (collagen).
  How To Be a Good Open Citizen: Leave It All On the Floor, Except For the Doubt  


How To Be a Good Open Citizen: Leave It All On the Floor, Except For the Doubt

As the Open draws closer, thousands of athletes across the globe are starting to lace up their sneakers and prepare themselves for some of the toughest workouts they’ll take on this year. But while these athletes might not be strangers to the intensity of these workouts, for many, it will be the first time they perform a workout under the bright lights of the competition floor, and more importantly beneath the watchful eye of a judge.

One big thing: The pressure of competition can be intense during the Open, especially when you factor in the fact that each one of your repetitions is being meticulously monitored by a judge.

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  SafeGYM Training Educates Affiliates and Coaches on How to Create Inclusive Experiences  

SafeGYM Training Educates Affiliates and Coaches on How to Create Inclusive Experiences

To help gyms better serve LGBTQ+ members, Erin Pustarfi has created the SafeGYM Training toolkit, a resource designed to educate coaches and trainers on gender identity and fitness.

The big picture: As a longtime CrossFitter, Pustarfi says she didn’t see “efforts to ensure LGBTQ+ members’ inclusivity” from coaches and members.

  • She explains this using her own experiences: “I identify as a gay woman and upon signing up to my current CrossFit gym I didn’t know how open and vocal I could be about my sexuality. If there was something as seemingly simple as a Pride flag hanging in the gym I would’ve known that I was in a space where I was welcomed and wouldn’t have to hide who I was.”
  • “Many coaches do not know how to approach some uncomfortable conversations around gender identity and fitness, and this toolkit educates them on how to better accommodate their clients,” Pustarfi says.

The toolkit: SafeGYM is divided into six sections — three educational and three focused on adjustments and changes — and covers topics like LGBTQ+ terminology and history, allyship, and advocacy. The action-based teachings help identify what changes gyms and coaches can make to be more welcoming, including strategies for language and behavior adjustments.

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  SafeGYM Training Educates Affiliates and Coaches on How to Create Inclusive Experiences  

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30-Minute Teriyaki Salmon Bowls

Around here, rice bowls are the central pillar to easy meal prep. Make up a bunch of rice, some lean protein choices and then add in the veggies (and maybe some sriracha for a kick) and your macros are on lock. Give this recipe from PaleOMG a try a fast and easy meal.




Download UpLaunch’s Free Year of Social Media Posts for Your Gym

Are you struggling to post regularly on your gym’s social media accounts? Out of new ideas? Feeling uninspired? If so, download UpLaunch’s FREE YEAR of social media posts for your gym! They’ve included copy and images sized to fit Facebook and Instagram. These are yours to use as is, or you can customize them for your gym!



Stock Up On Reebok Gear

Now through February 21, you can get an extra 10% off the 40% Reebok sitewide sale with our exclusive code. To snag the savings all you have to do is use the code "EXCLUSIVE" at checkout. (US Subscribers Only and some exclusions apply.)



Lower Back Pain in the Deadlift

Stick with this video. It takes a minute to get into the diagnosis and prescription for deadlifting with back pain, but Dr. Aaron Horschig has some critical advice on how to determine where your lower back pain originates and how to use stabilization and strength exercises to correct it.



The Ready State's 14-Day Mobility Challenge

The key to unlocking power and potential through mobility work is consistency and if you commit to 14 straight days of mobility work and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win 12 months of Virtual Mobility Coaching for free. This challenge will focus on the squat. Over the course of the 14 days you will improve hip, knee, and ankle mobility, with a focus on hip external rotation and hip, knee, and ankle flexion. (And even if you don't win, you've already won.)


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.

7/9 - 7/10: Rex Rumble 11 Double Down (Ocala, FL)
7/9: Rex Rumble at CrossFit zoo (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)
7/16: Buckeye Games Individuals/Masters (Medina, OH)
7/17: Warrior Affiliate League Summer Classic (Whittier, CA)
7/23: Palm City CrossFit Fairgrounds Throwdown (Stuart, FL)
7/23: Buckeye Games Team Competition (Medina, OH)
7/30: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Fernandina (Yulee, FL)
7/30: No Grit No Glory (Barbell for Boobs) (Byron, IL)
8/13: The Mortal Games 2022 (Sunrise, FL)
8/20: Summer Smashdown (Tucson, AZ)
8/27: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Sango (Clarksville, TN)
8/27: The MFLH Fight For The Fittest 2022 (Ronkonhoma, NY)
8/27: Dawg Days of Summer (Portsmouth, OH)

See all upcoming events

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