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How Good is Sara Sigmundsdottir When She’s Healthy?

Morning Chalk Up

July 14   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Passion project for CrossFitter as special needs gym opens
  • Sara Sigmundsdottir goes full beast mode when she’s healthy: an analysis
  • The Bottom Line discusses what it will take to beat Tia-Clair Toomey
  • CrossFit Affiliate owner launches non-profit for marginalized youth
  • Do athletes need to be full-time to compete at the highest level?
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“We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” - John Dryden

  Maggie Spezia Opens a Gym for those with Special Needs to Combine Passions  

Maggie Spezia Opens a Gym for those with Special Needs to Combine Passions

Maggie Spezia knew she wanted to work with special needs children ever since she was in the second grade.

Spezia followed through with her dream and began working as a special ed teacher when she was 24 years old.

Then when the pandemic hit, “everything kind of changed,” said Spezia, now 34.

Having been an active CrossFit athlete since 2010, Spezia’s wheels started to turn about how she might be able to combine her passion of working with people with special needs with her passion for fitness. Her answer was to start a gym dedicated entirely to training kids and adults with special needs.

“I ran the idea by my husband. ‘Do you support me if I quit teaching and combine my two passions and put them together?’” she asked.

Her husband Kyle Spezia didn’t hesitate to provide his blessing, and Spezia was off to the races.

“In May 2021, I quit teaching and I opened the doors in June 2021,” Spezia said of how she opened Endless Fitness in Katy, TX one year ago.

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Delicious Protein-Packed Bars...Without The Junk

Delicious Protein-Packed Bars...Without The Junk

The key to quality output? Quality input.

And BodyBar is resetting the bar in terms of quality input.

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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Brian Friend and Justin LoFranco about the barrage of athletes notifying the community they had tested positive for banned substances and what this means for the sport.

Number hit: Dark Horse, online help for rowing, just passed 200K subscribers on YouTube.

TYR alert: The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games will have a TYR House at the CrossFit Connex, August 1-7, and will have free workouts plus the chance to check out and try on new swag. 😎

Drop the donuts, pick up the barbells: A new piece in The New York Times (paywall) showcases a study that concludes that you can’t out train a poor diet, nor can you rely on simply a good diet.

  Sara Sigmundsdottir Dominates When She's Healthy  


Sara Sigmundsdottir Dominates When She's Healthy

Coming off a very underwhelming performance in the Last Chance Qualifier last week many people seem to be asking the question of whether six-time CrossFit Games athlete, two-time CrossFit Games podium finisher, three-time worldwide Open winner, and three-time Sanctional winner, Sara Sigmundsdottir, should hang it up and retire from competitive CrossFit.

But is that the question we should be asking?

When Sigmundsdottir has been healthy her career numbers are nearly unmatched; but we haven’t seen a fully fledged Sigmundsdottir at the Games since 2017. We’ve tracked her performances in all competitions when she competes healthy:

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  Sara Sigmundsdottir Dominates When She's Healthy  

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  CrossFit Affiliate Owner Sharon Thielmann Starts Non-Profit to Help Marginalized Youth  

CrossFit Affiliate Owner Sharon Thielmann Starts Non-Profit to Help Marginalized Youth

It broke Sharon Thielmann’s heart when she witnessed some kids turn up at her CrossFit gym, but were turned away because they came from families who didn’t have the funds to pay for the program.

“They saw other kids doing it, but they weren’t able to afford it. Let’s face it, CrossFit isn’t cheap,” said 64-year-old Thielmann, a 13-year CrossFit veteran from North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Having struggled with addiction and mental illness herself, Thielmann knew just how big of a difference CrossFit can make in a person’s life.

“I am an addict and I needed another avenue, and CrossFit was it and it changed my life 100 percent. CrossFit saved me, and I was like, ‘OK, if it can save an adult it can definitely save kids,’” she said.

Inspired by her friend Adrianna Kara, who runs a charity gym in Seattle dedicated to helping marginalized youth, Thielmann’s answer was to create a non-profit aimed at creating fitness and mentorship opportunities for marginalized youth and teens, a dream she was finally able to pursue when she retired two years ago.

Today, Harbourside Youth Foundation is finally a reality.

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  CrossFit Affiliate Owner Sharon Thielmann Starts Non-Profit to Help Marginalized Youth  

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Your Stiff Lower Back

Is there anything worse than suffering from lower back pain? It can derail both your workout and the rest of your life. Say goodbye to back pain and try these two moves to reduce stiffness and get back to moving freely.




Drop In at TYR HOUSE at CrossFit Connex in Madison

Traveling to Madison? Get in a free workout programmed by the biggest names in the community, grab some food, enter exclusive giveaways, and get tips from #TeamTYR’s top athletes at TYR HOUSE from August 1st-7th. You'll also be able to try on and demo TYR’s elite new footwear line before anyone else.



All The Ways to Use a Kettlebell

You know you can lift it, and swing it, maybe even press it, but there are also so many ways you can use your kettlebell to help during recovery. Check out this short video by Kelly Starrett to learn all the methods for using a kettlebell.



A Free WHOOP Strap 4.0 and Extra Month's Membership

WHOOP measures your body's data over 100 times a second to provide personalized feedback on your recovery, strain, and sleep. Morning Chalk Up readers can get a free strap and an extra month's membership when you sign up at the link below.



Grilled Peaches With Six Different Toppings

Looking for a summer sweet-tooth satisfier? Try these juicy grilled peaches with six different topping ideas. Learn exactly how to grill peaches with this easy tutorial, then finish them with one of the sweet or savory topping ideas. Delicious and healthy.


Share Your CrossFit Story


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.


  • Irvin Landa has started a CrossFit related fundraiser for his 1-year-old son, who suffers from a rare disease
  • Joshua Al-chamaa is most definitely ready for the team portion of the CrossFit Games
  • Moorea Spoljaric PRs her squat clean and jerk and back squat, and gives a shout out to her legs 🏋🏼‍♀️
  • Danielle Brandon gives a shout out to none other than carbs, lots of them 🍝
  • Workout of the day is a doozy with Charles Ingell of CrossFit Vauxhall
3/1 - 3/31: Sit Ups For Pups (Everywhere, Anywhere Online)
3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (oceanside, ca)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
4/13: Queens of Oly East Tennessee (Bulls Gap, TN)
4/13: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20: Barbells For Bullies: Community Workout Savannah (Savnnah, Georgia, US)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Masiphumelele (Kommetjie, Cape Town, South Africa)
4/20: Festivus Games (Goderich, Canada)
4/20: Festivus Games (Clermont, FL)
4/20: Festivus Games @ The Gym – CrossFit Kilo (Cedar Falls, IA)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CBM Sirens (Caledonia, MS)
4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
4/20: Embrace the Challenge (Mentor, Ohio)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)
4/26 - 4/28: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)

See all upcoming events

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