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Empowering Women through CrossFit

Morning Chalk Up

January 30   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Erin DiNicola uses the pandemic lockdowns to reassess priorities, opens CrossFit Mt. Pleasant.
  • Long-term gym closures intensify member loss for affiliates, impede fitness for athletes.
  • Oak Park-Home of CrossFit LA dropped social media and is more profitable than ever before.
  • Congratulations to the winner of the Ultimate Open Prep Giveaway, Beth S.

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

QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“They'll tell you that failure is not an option. That is ridiculous! Failure is always an option. Failure is the most readily available option at all times, but it's a choice. You can choose to fail or you can choose to succeed.” - Chael Sonnen

  Erin DiNicola Reassesses Priorities in 2020, Opens Affiliate Dedicated to Empowering Women  

Erin DiNicola Reassesses Priorities in 2020, Opens Affiliate Dedicated to Empowering Women

After doing her first CrossFit workout — Murph — when she was working as a diplomat in Afghanistan in 2012, Erin DiNicola returned to the United States, pumped out four kids, including going through a stressful high risk pregnancy with twins, in less than four years.

At the same time, she and her family found themselves constantly moving around the country because of her husband’s job with the US Army. Before she knew it, DiNicola had fallen off the fitness wagon, had gained weight and was drinking too much, she explained.

  • Then everything shut down last March because of the global pandemic, and DiNicola finally had the “time and space to step back and take stock of my personal and professional priorities,” said DiNicola, now 40.
  • She committed to dialing in her health and nutrition, which included eliminating alcohol from her life, and returned to CrossFit “a little older (and) a lot wiser and ready to become the best version of myself that I could be for my two daughters and two sons,” she said.
  • One thing led to another, and after being alcohol-free and losing 25 pounds in 2020, DiNicola was back training  “at the level I wanted to,” and had a new priority: To open a CrossFit affiliate.

One big thing: CrossFit Mt. Pleasant, in Mt. Pleasant, SC will officially open its doors this February, is dedicated to empowering women, especially mothers. DiNicola and her friend turned business partner are doing this by offering childcare “to make it accessible for moms who wouldn’t otherwise be able to make it to class,” DiNicola explained.

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  • Sean Sweeney on taking risks at the 2019 CrossFit Games: “I think about this moment all the time when I’m in training. If I could go back it time, I would not change what I did. Sometimes you have to believe in yourself and bet on yourself no matter what. You will not always win, but you will always grow. Without taking these chances I would not be where I am today.”
  • Pics Du Jour: This week Camille Leblanc-Bazinet posted a series of pictures in response to the question “Show me yourself at your strongest.” They are all from the initial days and weeks after her daughter, Zoe, was born. She and Dave Lipson spent most of those days in the NICU, as Zoe was born prematurely.
    • Leblanc-Bazinet: “It’s easy to show yourself when you have success or praise but I really believe that my strongest is and has always been when you are in the darkest of the place you’ve ever been and you make the decision to move even though your world is falling apart. It takes so much courage and strength to really face adversity in the eye and say not today! Not only for one day but over and over again as you build yourself back up into a new and better version of yourself.”
  • LIFEAID x USA Weightlifting: LIFEAID just announced a new multi-year partnership with USA Weightlifting.
  • Bear Handlin, founder of Born Primitive released a letter thanking customers for helping them to give back through community and charitable donations in 2020.
    • Handlin: “Here at Born Primitive, selling great workout apparel isn’t our only goal. Equally important is our desire to support causes that are meaningful to us, which will always be one of the cornerstones of our existence. Thanks to your amazing support and in alignment with our brand promise, we were able to donate over $445,000 to charities and local gyms in 2020. Our support spanned a wide variety of causes, including those supporting our military/first responder communities, cancer research/prevention, COVID relief, and our beloved gym owners who are the foundation of our fitness community.”
  • MUST READ: The Open is coming. And, Two Brain Business just released an e-book called “How to Host an Intramural Open at Your Gym” to help you prepare your affiliate community and provide some great ideas on how to make the best use of this event to grow your business.
  Long-Term Gym Closures Intensify Member Loss for Affiliates, Impede Fitness for Athletes  


Long-Term Gym Closures Intensify Member Loss for Affiliates, Impede Fitness for Athletes

A year ago, Alex Cibiri had a booming affiliate with close to 300 members. But after being closed for eight of the last 11 months, he is down 100 members.

  • “Every week we stay closed, you lose one or two it seems, no matter what you do,” said Cibiri, who has owned and operated Element CrossFit in Mississauga, Ontario for the last 12 years.

Why this matters: Cibiri’s story of client loss is a common one for affiliates whose physical locations have been closed more than they have been open in the last year, and especially for gyms that are still closed today. And it’s not only affecting the bottom line, it’s hurting the clients, as well.

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Good News is our weekly round-up of positive stories around the affiliate community. Are you opening a new gym, expanding a current location, offering new classes, or is your box running a fundraiser? Send us a tip to be featured.

  • Flash Mob-Style Marriage Proposal: In Panama City, FL, the owner and members of Panama City CrossFit joined together so that TJ Page could deliver a flash mob-style proposal to his now fiancé Amy McCormick.
  • Heart and Hustle CrossFit Grand Opening: In Houston, TX, Heart and Hustle CrossFit will open its doors on February 13 with a free community workout and open house.
  • CrossFit Battle Creek Opens New Location: In Michigan, Clay Moore, owner of CrossFit Battle Creek, and Ben Yarger, owner of Northside Training Systems, have partnered to open a new space in the Battle Creek plaza. The gym will feature CrossFit, strength and conditioning, and strongman.
  • CrossFit Kiel’s Coronox Dungeon Competition: David Hallmann, owner of CrossFit Kiel in Germany is running an innovative competition to help build community around his gym, which has been closed since November. It’s free to enter, and anyone anywhere can join. Participants will go through a fictional adventure game with five levels, each based around a workout.
  • Community Rallies Around CrossFit Morgantown: On January 23, the owner of CrossFit Morgantown, Jeff Giosi, tragically passed away from a genetic aortic aneurysm. Since then, the CrossFit community has rallied and a GoFundMe was set up to help the family. In the past week the campaign has received over $141k in donations.
  How Getting Off Social Media Helped an LA CrossFit Gym be More Profitable.  


How Getting Off Social Media Helped an LA CrossFit Gym be More Profitable.

When Kenny Kane, the owner of Oak Park-Home of CrossFit LA, realized the harm it was doing to himself and his clients, he took his business off of social media completely.

One big thing: It seems counterintuitive, but since leaving social media in 2018, his gym has been more profitable than ever.

  • “We are more profitable since being off,” said Kane.
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How Workout Music Can Boost Performance

Music's effect on athletic performance has been studied extensively, but the research has mainly focused on its effect on aerobic performance and repeated bouts of effort. However, now there's now data relating to maximal strength and power output. Learn more in this recap from T-Nation.




The Nutrition Made Simple Facebook Group

Are you looking for simple tips to help you become the healthiest version of yourself in 2021? Healthy Steps Nutrition has created a FREE Facebook group just for YOU! Join this group to learn easy recipes and simple tips to help you make health a way of life one step at a time.



A Free Open Gymnastics Guide

The team at Big Dawgs put together a free Open Gymnastics Guide to help CrossFit athletes improve and better understand their gymnastics skills in the few weeks left before the 2021 Open begins. Check it out now and get help on muscle-ups, handstand push-ups as well as chest-to-bar pull-ups and toes to bar.



Lightened-Up Cheddar Cauliflower Broccoli Soup

Cold winter days require warm comfort food and this deliciously creamy, lightened-up cheddar cauliflower broccoli soup is packed with veggies and an incredible, cheesy flavor! The recipe is a low-carb and healthy take on classic comfort food.


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.

5/26 - 5/27: Gold Star Murph 2022 (Southern Pines, NC)
6/3 - 6/5: Northern California Classic (Sacramento, CA)
6/3 - 6/5: Atlantic Coast Classic (Daytona Beach, FL)
6/4 - 6/5: Whiplash: The Welsh Open 2022 (Same Sex Pairs) (Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom)
6/4: Love’Em or Leave’Em 10 (Saugus, MA)
6/4 - 6/5: Tandemonium (Palmer, AK)
6/4: Goose Games (Chicago, IL)
6/4: Average Joe’s Competition (Sheridan, WY)
6/11: Hi Temp Games (Albany, GA)
6/11: Costa Rica Riptide Rowathon (Mokena, IL)
6/11: Mind Games (Okemos, MI)
6/11: Kanna Fest (Ambler, PA)
6/11: Battle on Bridge Street III (Phoenixville, PA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, CA)
6/18: Oz Fest 2022 (Junction City, KS)
6/18: Beat The Heat 2022 (Hays, KS)
6/18: Atlanta Masters Classic (Snellville, GA)
6/18: Back Lot Bout – RX, Intermediate, Scaled (Saint Charles, MI)
6/18: Wodmania (Urbana, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: Best of the West (Rock Springs, WY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: The Heat 5.0- Co-ed Partner Competition (Marysville, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: The Garrison City Gauntlet (Dover, NH)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/18 - 6/19: The CS&F Summer Classic (Cumming, GA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, NC)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Tennessee (Mc Minnville, TN)
6/18 - 6/19: Emerald Coast Throwdown (Pensacola, FL)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/24 - 6/27: I Got Your Six (Charleston, SC)
6/25: Ocean State Summer Threesome (Smithfield, RI)
6/25: Independence Games VIII at The Pit Fitness Ranch (Three Rivers, MI)
6/25: Northwest Arkansas Basement Brawl (Fayetteville, AR)
6/25: Summer Bash 2022 (Zanesville, OH)
6/25 - 6/26: BILT Summer Classic (Welland, CA)
6/25: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Muster Station (Sanford, FL)
7/9: Rex Rumble at CrossFit zoo (Ocala, FL)
7/9 - 7/10: Rex Rumble 11 Double Down (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)
7/17: Warrior Affiliate League Summer Classic (Whittier, CA)
7/23: Palm City CrossFit Fairgrounds Throwdown (Stuart, FL)

See all upcoming events

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