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From CrossFit to Cirque du Soleil

Morning Chalk Up

August 26


Happy humpday and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. The big news yesterday was that CrossFit announced the athletes who would make up the inaugural Athlete Advisory Council, Patrick Clark has more. And, Tommy Marquez talked with Games athlete Tim Paulson about the toll this long, strange season has taken on him.

  • And, don’t miss Spenser Mestel’s investigation into “accuracy,” the second of the ten components of fitness in our Wednesday series.

Keep those quote suggestions, story tips and PRs rolling in at [email protected].

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“Habits will form whether you want them or not. Whatever you repeat, you reinforce.” – James Clear


Thorisdottir, Root, Maddox & Hobart Named to HQ’s Athlete Advisory Council

  Thorisdottir, Root, Maddox & Hobart Named to HQ’s Athlete Advisory Council  

On Tuesday CrossFit HQ announced that Annie Thorisdottir, Meredith Root, Neal Maddox and James Hobart have been named the founding members of the inaugural Athlete Advisory Council. First mentioned by new CrossFit owner and CEO Eric Roza during last Wednesday’s Community Town Hall, the four Games veterans will help HQ gain insight and input from athletes on the wide range of issues affecting the sport of CrossFit.

The Founding Athletes: With a combined 27 years of Games experience between the four athletes, each provides varying degrees and expertise in the sport of CrossFit.

  • Thorisdottir: “Iceland Annie” is one of just three women that have won multiple “Fittest Woman on Earth” titles, winning back-to-back in 2011 and 2012. Overall she has podiumed at the Games five times in her ten trips to the Games. This year she qualified for her 11th trip after placing second in the World-Wide Open but withdrew in February due to pregnancy. Thorisdottir is still at the top of her game as evident from her Open finish, she is just three years removed from her third place finish at the 2017 Games.
  • Root: Placed 30th in her lone Games appearance in 2018. She has four Regionals appearances and has also competed in Sanctional competition. One of the sport’s more out-spoken athletes when it comes to nutrition and sport performance, she is a biological engineer, CrossFit coach and co-owner of Tactic Functional Nutrition with partner and fellow Games athlete Alex Parker. She knows the toll that the athletes put their bodies though due to her knowledge of nutrition and how it correlates to performance.

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10 Months And Counting: The Toll Of The 2020 Season

  10 Months And Counting: The Toll Of The 2020 Season  

Three weeks ago the dust was supposed to be settling on the 2020 CrossFit Games marking the end to the longest season in the history of the sport. Thanks to the still evolving landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re on September’s doorstep and still two months away from a definitive conclusion to the season.

Athletes and coaches geared up for the long haul when the Open began last October but nobody could have predicted what would unfold in the 10 months since. The unprecedented twists and turns of a sport hampered by a global pandemic and (for a moment) tarnished by unsavory behavior by it’s owner have certainly taken their toll.

Tim Paulson qualified for his fourth consecutive CrossFit Games via the Open this year following an early exit from the 2019 Games after being cut after the first event. His path towards redemption from an uncharacteristically poor performance has been arduous to say the least.

  • Paulson: “Mentally, it’s been a pretty brutal year. Nothing will compare to the defeat and growth that came after my performance at the 2019 Games, but the combination of being a gym owner in a state (New York) who still has gyms closed, and dealing with that stress of training for a Games that has proven to be a moving target, has been something else.”

It should come as no surprise that many other athletes share Paulson’s sentiment, but he also has the distinction of being one of the handful of athletes who didn’t immediately shut the engines down after the Open for an off-season. Paulson podiumed at the Filthy 150 to kick off the Sanctionals season, and had plans to stay active before the rest of the season got shut down.



Not That Fit: Landing Triple Backflips with Cirque du Soleil Acrobat Jon Vellner

  Not That Fit: Landing Triple Backflips with Cirque du Soleil Acrobat Jon Vellner  

After my convo last week with Icelandic strongman, Stefán Sölvi Pétursson, I’m feeling bulkier but #NotThatFit overall. There are still nine components of fitness to master, and today I’ve chosen one of the most mysterious: accuracy.

According to CrossFit coaching legend Ben Bergeron, accuracy is the ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity. For me, this means being able to, say, jump off one side of a seesaw, do two flips and two twists, and land on the other, or to hit a twisting cartwheel directly into a 540 that you land into a forward roll. These are but a few of the steazy tricks from Jon Vellner, a former trampolinist, Canadian national team aerialist, and Cirque du Soleil performer and brother to CrossFit Games silver medal holder Pat Vellner.




Eric Roza’s Vision for the Future CrossFit

On this episode of Pursuing Health with Julie Foucher-Urcuyo and Dani Urcuyo, new CrossFit CEO, Eric Roza sits down to discuss how and why he bought the company, and about CrossFit’s new mission to become “The world’s leading platform for health, happiness and performance.”

  Morning Chalk Up  



Donate to Santa Cruz Fire Aid

The Santa Cruz Fire Aid has been created by LIFEAID to help support those in their community who have been devastated by the wildfires in the area this past week. (The fires have now spread to over 70,000 acres and are still less than 10% contained.) Check out the GoFundMe page to learn more and find out how you can help donate supplies or funds to those in need.



Why Representation at the Highest Level Matters in CrossFit

On the Open Gym podcast, Patrick Cummings talks with SayKay and Cam Brown, co-owners of CrossFit HCS. They also started Robin Hood Fitness, a nonprofit aiming for a “redistribution of health.” They talk about their hopes for the future of diversity in CrossFit.

Listen on Spotify    Listen on Apple Podcasts    More Listening Options...


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  Morning Chalk Up  


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Buy one case of O2, get a free JUNK x O2 headband. Buy two cases of O2, get the headband plus a free HOMAGE x O2 face mask. Buy four or more cases, get the headband, mask, and free bag of Puori protein.



Congratulations to Mat C., who was the first and only person to correctly answer who is the only athlete that won a Gold Medal as a Team Member and as a Master. The correct answer was Lisa Mikkelsen – Team: CFG11 with CrossFit New England, Master: CFG12 & CFG13.

  • Today’s question: Which Team/Affiliate has won the second-most Games Team Events?

Submit your answer.





Highlighting Ms. Health and Fitness Competitors

Yesterday we published a story profiling Tricia Will, the owner of South Tampa CrossFit and a competitor for the Ms. Health and Fitness $20,000 prize. We found her and her pledge to use the money to “pay it forward” inspiring. We have since learned of several other Ms. Health and Fitness competitors across the CrossFit community who are also inspiring. Here are a few that you all wrote in about, check them out to learn more and support them.

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