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Emily Abbott: The Only Way Out is Through

Morning Chalk Up

January 2   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • The Invictus Boston Invitational expands for 2021.
  • Emily Abbott on the past two years.
  • The COVID second wave is a mixed bag for gym owners.

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

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“You can get excited about the future. The past won't mind.” - Hillary DePiano


  • MUST READ: The South China Morning Post published an article this week on Eric Roza’s approach to growing CrossFit in China. From the Morning Chalk Up’s Editor-in-Chief, Justin LoFranco, “China is a very different marketplace and the approach will have to be unique to a different economic and social culture. Roza fundamentally understands the multinational landscape of scalable economies, and if he fully commits to growing Chinese CrossFit long-term, there’s nowhere to go but up.”
  • The CrossFit Open two ways…In an Instagram post yesterday, the CrossFit Games announced that athletes will have two options for competing in the Open this year: with basic equipment like a dumbbell, plyo box and barbell, or equipment-free.
  • Live long and prosper…A new study, one of the largest and longest to examine the relationship between exercise and longevity, shows that older men and women who exercise are less likely to die prematurely and if some of that exercise is intense (think Fran or Grace) the risk of early death declines even further.
  • Lois Butterfield, a visually-impaired athlete completed the amazing feat of running 2,020 miles in 2020. After logging all those miles, Butterfield, who is 64 years old is preparing for a new challenge, “I like doing different things to try to stay fit and my latest is CrossFit,” she said.
  • New Years’ resolutions can be tough to keep, the San Diego Union-Tribune hit the streets to ask people about their goals. 69-year-old athlete from CrossFit Easy Bay, Rich Hammett responded that he’s been walking 10,000 steps a day and wants “to lose 10 pounds by the middle of August.”
  • And finally…for those of you with fitness goals in the new year, here’s a list of ten fitness documentaries on Netflix to keep you motivated.
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  The Invictus Boston Invitational Expands For 2021 

The Invictus Boston Invitational Expands For 2021

In 2020, amidst a global pandemic and in the wake of the fallout from Greg Glassman’s comments that caused the disaffiliation of hundreds of CrossFit affiliates, Bern Prince, a coach at Invictus Boston, pulled off the first ever Invictus Boston Invitational. An event that brought awareness to the Black Lives Matter Movement and the racial injustices that people of color face.

Remind me: The event was a major success, bringing in some of the most influential black CrossFitters in the community, including CrossFit Games athlete Tola Morakinyo.

  • “In the summer when Greg Glassman showed his true colors and made insidious comments that almost destroyed our sport, we created the Invictus Boston Invitational where athletes, judges, volunteers, and just cool human beings gathered in unity to not only compete in a competition but show what real CrossFit is when all people are included and welcome,” said Prince.
  • The event worked to raise money and awareness for Campaign Zero, a non-profit organization that works to support the analysis of police practice as well as ending police violence nationwide.
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  Emily Abbott: The Only Way Out is Through 

Emily Abbott: The Only Way Out is Through

Emily Abbott was no stranger to success in the sport of CrossFit. After breaking through by winning the Canada West Regional in 2014, Abbott earned four consecutive trips to the CrossFit Games and had a career-best finish of 8th place in 2015.

In 2018, when she won the West Regional, it wasn’t a surprise to anyone. Yes, the field of competitors was strong, and winning was certainly impressive, but the fact that she’d qualified for the Games by winning her Region was not new for her, and a 5th straight trip to the Games seemed par for the course.

When CrossFit HQ released an announcement a month and a half later reporting 13 Regional athletes who had failed drug tests, Abbott’s name topped the list. She responded quickly, and the Morning Chalk Up reported on it.

Since then, there’s been little mention of her at all. For those curious about what happens to athletes like Abbott who had experienced success in the sport for a while and then had everything they’ve been working towards taken from them rather abruptly due to a failed drug test, Emily was gracious enough to share with us what these last two years have been like for her. She hopes that others who are going through a tough time (for any reason) can benefit from her story.

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  COVID Second Wave a Mixed Bag, Gym Owners Report 


COVID Second Wave a Mixed Bag, Gym Owners Report

Like all things in 2020, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic has provided more uncertainty and unpredictability for the small gym owner, and the overall experience has been anything but consistent across the board.

  • For some, the second wave has undoubtedly been harder on their business than the first, while others said their location has saved them so far during the second wave. And others still said that while the second wave has led to more lost members, their communities are actually stronger for it.
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Three Drills for Bigger Cleans

A fast and accurate turnover is important for bigger and stronger cleans and this series of drills from coach Greg Everett at Catalyst Athletics will help you learn how to get your elbows through and the bar into an effective rack position on your shoulders.




Become An Online Nutrition Coach

Want to become your own boss? Make 2021 the year that you do with Working Against Gravity’s Nutrition Coach Certification. Join the presale list now to get $200 off your certification, plus first access to join the cohort before the spots sell out.



The Hierarchy of Mindset with Ben Bergeron

Do you need to develop a killer instinct to reach the top of your chosen sport or profession? Coach Ben Bergeron answers this question while talking about the hierarchy of mindset on this episode of the Chasing Excellence podcast.



The Nano X For Just $65

For the next three days, the NANO X is just $65. To snag the deal use the code "LASTCALL65" before time runs out on January 4.



32 Healthy Dinner Recipes That Are Perfect for Meal Prep

As the new year dawns, many of us are looking to dial in our nutrition but don't always have the time to cook elaborate meals. This list of 32 healthy dinner recipes from Ambitious Kitchen is perfect for those busy weeks and includes plenty of one pan dinner recipes, slow cooker meals, and lots of vegetarian options.


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.

  • 52 Weeks of Murph: Congratulations to Joe Zimmerman, a CrossFit athlete at Broad Ripple Fit Club in Indianapolis, IN, who completed Murph every week in 2020 for a total of 52 by year’s end.
  • CrossFit Vacaville and Moreno Family Support Cancer Nonprofit: In 2020, Laura Moreno, a member of CrossFit Vacaville in Vacaville, CA passed away from cancer. The CrossFit Vacaville community held a fundraiser in her honor, raising $2,000 to donate to Pink Lemonade, a nonprofit that does yard work and cooks meals for cancer patients, and then, her husband, Joe Moreno, donated $10,000 as well.
  • North Carolina Gyms Looking for New Years Boost: In North Carolina, gyms were among the first businesses required to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result, many lost members and even had to close their doors. Gyms usually see an increase in business at the beginning of the year and CrossFit QC, who lost nearly 50% of their members, dropping from 50 to 30, are hoping for a big boost in January.
12/9 - 12/11: Fall Series Throwdown (Desio, Italy)
12/17: The Midwest Championship (Warrensburg, MO)
1/15 - 1/31: Athens Throwdown Qualifiers (Athens, Greece)
1/21 - 1/22: Modena Challenge: Beginner and Master (Modena, Italy)

See all upcoming events

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