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GoFundMe Set Up for Reno CrossFit Dads Who Lost Lives in Plane Crash

Morning Chalk Up

March 6   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Reno CrossFit community in shock as plane crash claims lives of two members
  • Nick Mathew is chock full of confidence as 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games season gets underway
  • The Barbell Saves Project looks to help sober people stay on the right path through community and CrossFit
  • CrossFit’s Livestream numbers tell a tale of growing interest in the sport
  • TYR has made its first lifting shoe and it’s a Squat University graduate
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“Everything has been figured out, except how to live.” - Jean-Paul Sartre

  Reno Community Loses Two Long-Time CrossFit Dads in Plane Crash as GoFundMe Set Up  

Reno Community Loses Two Long-Time CrossFit Dads in Plane Crash as GoFundMe Set Up

On February 24, long-time CrossFit athletes Ryan Watson, a flight paramedic, and flight nurse Ed Pricola lost their lives in a plane crash that was transporting a patient to Salt Lake City, UT.

Though it’s not clear what caused the crash, one of the plane’s wings was found two miles away from the plane, “and they think it might have been torn off in the wind,” said Alvie Hafen, the head coach at Upstate Nevada in Reno, adding that it was “super stormy that day.”

An investigation is ongoing.

About Watson: Watson, 27, was a member of Upstate Nevada, a non-profit affiliate in Reno, and was on his first paramedic shift back after taking some time off after his wife Kailey Watson gave birth to the couple’s first child, Carter, in January.

About Pricola: Pricola, a former marine, was a 32-year-old father, who had two young children—Riley and Everett—with his wife Lauren Pricola, and was a long-time member of Double Edge Fitness in Reno.

A devastated community: Hafen had the pleasure of knowing both Watson and Pricola well. He coached Pricola at Double Edge Fitness for a number of years before moving to Upstate Nevada, where he was coaching Watson up until the accident.

  • “It has been rough. Ryan asked me about three months before his son was born what it was like to be a dad. And I told him it was the best, most rewarding, but fucking hardest thing ever. He laughed and was super excited to be a dad,” Hafen said, wiping away tears.
  • “I know both their wives pretty well…How do you tell your kids their dad isn’t coming home?”

Stepping up to help: The Reno CrossFit communities have set up GoFundMe’s for both Watson and Pricola in hopes of helping with funeral costs, housing costs, and any other future costs to “offset some of the burden” on their wives, Hafen explained.

  • As of March 2, Watson’s fundraiser had raised more than $242,000, while Pricola’s had raised more than $72,000.
  • Upstate Nevada also has plans to host a workout in honor of both Watson and Pricola, although the details haven’t been ironed out just yet, Hafen said, as it’s still super fresh.

Though very much deep in grief, Hafen offered these words about his two friends: “Ryan and Ed were the best of us. They lived to serve those around them. Their dedication to their families is unmatched. The world is a little less bright without them in it,” he said.

The families have asked that their privacies be respected at this time.

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Onto the next: The deadline for submitting scores for the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open workout 23.3 is 5pm PT time today, and then the leaderboard will be finalized Wednesday. Then we are onto quarterfinals, and once again Morning Chalk Up will have you covered as the online event goes March 16 – April 2 where the top 10 percent of athletes and 25 percent of teams will throw down for semifinal spots.

Super interesting: Is there a correlation between body weight and performance in the CrossFit Open? WOD Science has the answer. 🤓

HQ update: CrossFit has updated its list of athletes serving sanctions for drug violations and masters athlete Jeff Adams is the latest to be added to the list.

Interesting read: A nutritionist from Japan, where people live really long lives, shares the five foods he eats every day.

  Nick Mathew's 2023 Season In One Word: Confidence  


Nick Mathew's 2023 Season In One Word: Confidence

With a newfound sense of belonging after offseason competitions and a Rookie of the Year award under his belt, up-and-comer Nick Mathew is excited to explore the limits in his sophomore season.

Mathew, who gained a ticket to the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games through a backfilled spot at Granite Games, felt hesitant (and a bit star-struck) when he arrived in Madison last summer. Not fully sure if he belonged, Mathew says he limited himself during the competition and was just excited to take part. His coach, Matt Burk, has been a huge source of confidence for Mathew.

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  Former Addict Offers Free CrossFit Classes to Those in Recovery  

Former Addict Offers Free CrossFit Classes to Those in Recovery

There are many paths that lead one to owning an affiliate, and Rob Best’s is an unlikely one — a powerful story of resilience and redemption at that. The Arizona-native’s gym, The Barbell Saves Project, is a non-profit organization in Phoenix dedicated to providing individuals in recovery a completely free place to embrace community, feel supported in their sober lifestyle, and improve their lives through movement and exercise.

After spending most of his 20s addicted to opiates and in an “out of control spiral”, Best was finally able to get sober at thirty-one.

“I (tried) the 12-step program. I went and did all those other traditional programs. But the one thing that maybe separated my recovery from the others in my circles was I just for some reason gravitated towards exercise,” Best explained. “I didn’t know back then why, but I know now that there’s science to back up the effectiveness of fighting and combating anxiety and depression with exercise.”

He went on to share that he used to believe that “I’m not that type of person that exercises every day,” however, “I knew that statement was wrong. I knew I could do whatever I wanted to, wake up with whatever intention I wanted to, and that I can be whatever person I want to be every day. If I want to be the type of person who exercises every day, all I have to do is wake up and exercise every day.”

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  CrossFit Open 23.3 Livestream Numbers Demonstrate Significant Growth  

CrossFit Open 23.3 Livestream Numbers Demonstrate Significant Growth

Now that the 2023 CrossFit Open’s announcements are over, we can get a full picture of the livestream views and where the sport is at in terms of fans and followers.

In its second year at the new time slot (12 PM PT, 3 PM ET), the 2023 CrossFit Open announcements showed fantastic growth in viewership. Even with non-elite athletes taking on the workout first, the livestreams amassed many more concurrent views than previous years.

One big thing: Both maximum concurrent views (how many people were watching at once) and overall livestream views (after 24 hours) for 23.3 increased from last year. Furthermore, the total views after 24 hours for 23.3 further eclipsed the average views (after 24 hours) for all three announcements from 2022 (versus 23.3).

The details: The 23.3 announcement recorded a maximum concurrent viewership of 128,658 and a total view count (after 24 hours) of 588,000.

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  TYR’s First Weightlifting Shoe Looks to Smash the Market and Mold  

TYR’s First Weightlifting Shoe Looks to Smash the Market and Mold

Hailing from the aptly titled Squat University, Dr. Aaron Horschig knows a thing or two about lifting. He is a physical therapist, strength & conditioning coach, speaker and writer. After Horschig graduated with his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Truman State University in 2009, he then received his doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Missouri in 2012.

Horschig now works at Boost Physical Therapy & Sport Performance in Kansas City, MI and collaborated with TYR on their newly dropped TYR L-1 Lifter. He has previously worked with players from the NFL, minor league baseball players, European professional basketball players, Olympic weightlifters, numerous NCAA Division I & II athletes, international level youth soccer players, CrossFit athletes and youth athletes in a variety of sports.

He has also been involved in the sport of Olympic weightlifting as an athlete and coach for the past decade, so it’s safe to say, he was definitely the right man for the job. Horschig said at the end of the day, the goal was simple: make the world’s most anatomical lifting shoe known to man.

  • “I think the biggest thing is that our goal is to make a shoe that allows the foot to function as well as possible,” he continued. “So your goal with having any shoe is to find a shoe that does less to the foot. So, yes, this is going to elevate the heel because that’s our goal is to make a weightlifting shoe that optimizes your technique.”
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  TYR’s First Weightlifting Shoe Looks to Smash the Market and Mold  

Shoutout to the current leading gym (as of Friday’s tally) CrossFit Stealth with 9,056 reps, and current leading individual Aubrey with 695 reps. There’s still a lot of time left in March to accumulate more sit-ups for awareness of euthanasia in shelters. Anyone can do their part by doing their sit-ups, and/or donating to Barbells for Bullies

Sit-Ups for Pups.


This Giveaway from FITAID

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Three Wall Walk Tips from Christian Harris

If you are getting ready to redo 23.3 today, you are probably thinking about your strategy on these wall walks. Find the best way to be efficient on wall walks so that your shoulders aren’t toast.



FREE Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets for a Year

For a limited time, when you sign up for Butcher Box as a new member, you’ll not only get high quality, 100% grass fed meat, you’ll also get FREE gluten free chicken nuggets for a year. If you’re gluten free, this is the opportunity for you. But you better act now before it’s too late!



These Double-Under Tips

Speaking of redo’s, you’ll be doing quite a bit of double-unders during your Monday redo. If it’s your second time doing this workout, you know those pesky dubs can make or break your 23.3.

  • :tada: Happy five-year affiliate anniversary to CrossFit Contrivance in Apex, NC.
  • Barb from Double Diamond CrossFit in Greeley, CO proves it’s never too late to prioritize your fitness.
  • Congratulations to Misha Kharkovski from CrossFit Mt. Lebanon in Pittsburgh, PA on the 225 pound/102kg snatch (and the epic save).
  • Congratulations to Kyler Boucher from CrossFit 801 in North Salt Lake, UT on the 225 pound/102kg thruster PR.
  • :headphones: DJ Lucky Lou returns with the CrossFit Open 23.3 Official Mix to get you to six minutes and beyond. Give this a go for your redo!
12/2: Babes & Beasts WINTER GAMES 2023 (Port St. Lucie, FL)
12/2 - 12/3: Reindeer Rumble (Ocala, FL)
12/2: Battle at Bion (Tucson, AZ)
12/9 - 12/10: Space Coast Classic (West Melbourne, FL)
12/9: Wodamania (Singer Island Riviera Beach, FL)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)

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