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Jacob Heppner Won’t Qualify for Regionals

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Today’s edition is fueled by FlapJacked, the Official Breakfast Sponsor of the Morning Chalk Up. While we don’t know what’s coming in Week 5 of the Open, we do know it will probably hurt! Which means you will need some Protein Cookies to recover. So FlapJacked is hooking you up. SAVE 15% and get them just in time to submit that final score. You’ve earned it!


“Courage is not having the strength to go on; it is going on when you don’t have the strength.”  — Theodore Roosevelt



The story.

Four days ago, Alexis Johnson posted a throwback photo from January 2013 when she weighed a staggering 88 pounds. Alexis had struggled through four dark years of an eating disorder. Every so often she shares old photos like this and this to share her struggles with others
to let them see how far she’s come and hopefully be a light to other athletes who struggle with eating disorders and body image. 

I love that, but where do the roids come in?

Because of course, no one could achieve these gains after five years of eating healthy, working your a-double-s off every day, and pushing your body to its limit without the use of some good ‘ol fashioned pump juice – AKA steroids.

That’s at least what the Internet trolls were out saying. Here’s one: “My wife is a PhD in biochemistry. Also in the fitness industry…not an attention seeking steroid eating insta whore though. Only idiots believe the woman in this pic isn’t on steroids…not that anyone needs a PhD to know this woman is on anabolics….lol wtf.”

So how’d Alexis respond?

She called their bluff.

“For the remainder of my CrossFit Games career, I offer you the following – at any time that you wish, you can pay to drug test me. If I test positive, I will refund you for the test and give you $5,000. If I don’t, you must donate $5,000 to the charity of my choice.”

We asked Alexis if anyone had taken her up yet. “I wish” she said. If anyone does, we’ll be sure to let ya know. 



What to tell your friend who noticed that doing handstand push-ups “differently” for the past 51 weeks made 18.4 a little more challenging…

There’s a link. A new study showed that there’s a link between your stamina and your risk for dementia. Good news for you fit ladies, women with high stamina had an 88% lower risk of dementia than women who were moderately fit, which is big difference. For 44 years, researchers examined more than 1,300 women. And you know what was used to determine their stamina? A bike erg.



WATCH: Inside the Leaderboard

Who won 18.4? Who’s leading overall in each division? What’s coming up next? Tommy Marquez answers these questions and more.



HEAR: Rich Froning, Cleared Hot

Rich Froning, who needs no introduction, joins Andy Stumpf on the Cleared Hot Podcast and talks a little bit about his meniscus injury, coming in second, and building the most iconic Affiliate on the planet.



EAT: Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders with Honey Mustard Dip

Delicious Baked Paleo Chicken Tenders made with a mix of almond and coconut flour and baked to perfection. These easy chicken tenders are perfect for an easy weeknight dinner.



Today’s edition of the Morning Chalk Up is fueled by


  • SAY HI TO NO. 5 — CrossFit Fortius opened their fifth location in five years. The new facility is located right in downtown San Diego
  • 12 YEARS YOUNG — At just 12-years-old, Elle Hatamiya can deadlift nearly two times her bodyweight and she’s also competing in Olympic Weightlifting. BTW, she won the 2016 USA Weightlifting National Youth Championships in two age groups. P.S. How is that possible? Oh, and she got her start doing CrossFit to help with her gymnastics. You could say it was love at first barbell. 
  • REMEMBERING RYAN — Coach and co-founder of Tongass CrossFit in Juneau, AK perished while climbing the week of March 7. Him and a friend were making a first ascent of the North Face of Main Tower in the Mendenhall Towers. The entire Tongass CrossFit family gathered on March 17th to remember Ryan and support his family financially. 

CHALK UP IN 2 MINUTES (a highlight reel around social media of CrossFit pros and average joes)

Dave Castro’s 18.5 clue

Jacob Heppner Won’t Qualify for Regionals — “My 18.4 score was 104 reps. Most of you know that I love HSPU, HS Walking, and pretty much anything inverted. If these movements existed in a Regionals or Games workout then I usually came out top 5. Unfortunately, a problem arose from the new standard, height + 1/2 forearm length. Now for all you folks claiming ‘If an athlete doesn’t like the new standard then they need to fix their body positioning and get better upside down’ this is where you realize that isn’t always true.

Let’s admit we’ve all at least seen that one person who really struggled to hit the standard and it wasn’t because they had bad positioning, but instead was due to their anatomy. The issue lies in the forearm length measurement. Instead of taking the whole arm length, which I admit would be difficult, only the forearm was measured. This creates the possibility that certain athletes, like myself, could be a statistical outlier in our ratio of forearm length comparative to bicep/total arm length. Meaning having really long forearms when compared to overall arm length.

I’ve watched my video many times and believe me I couldn’t get any closer to the wall or get my hands any narrower. I just happened to be one of the few athletes that had to stretch and press as much a possible to get barely over that dreaded line.

I would be lying if I told you the thought didn’t cross my mind of shorting a few measurements, bending my knees when measuring my height, or cutting a few 1/8’s off my elbow measurement. But when it’s all said and done I just wouldn’t be able to live knowing I cheated someone else out, regardless if I agree with the new standard or not. Crossfit isn’t life and I’d rather be known as a man of integrity than a great athlete.”

— Heppner is currently 195th in the North Central region after finishing 5th, 4th, 122nd, 3rd and 1772nd in 18.1 – 18.4. 

The Redeemed and the Dominant — There will be a special screening of the new documentary tonight in Reykjavik, Iceland. Also, a few folks in the Netherlands are using the new documentary to raise money for the Dutch Cancer Society. And if you’re located in the LA area, the Arena Cinelounge Sunset will be showing it on Saturday night, one night only. 

Under the Radar Screen: Alethea Boon Got Injured“18.3 = 1 rep…Sport is a fickle thing. You work hard day in day out knowing that in one second it can all disappear and you train with a willingness to lay it all out on the line all in the pursuit of being the absolute best you can be. Why? Because you just love it! Breaking barriers and seeing just how far you can push mentally and physically. When injury strikes you are disappointed but not surprised…Not a spring chicken and forced to choose between 2 sports the choice was made for me once I felt those two pops in my tendon at the park…Come
April I look forward to taking the platform to compete and after that I will rest, recalibrate and gain a clearer picture of what I want and need to do. But for now it is time to sharpen the focus for [Commonwealth Games] and as a result 1 rep for 18.3 will have to do. Peace out CrossFit 2018 season will see ya next round.”

— Back Story: Boon ruptured her achilles during the 2016 CrossFit Games. She rehabilitated and fought back to qualify in 2017. She also placed 26th in the world on 18.4. 

Greg Glassman on using fitness jargon“Clients likely do not know what ‘modality’ means. Many don’t remember the difference between a snatch and a clean, so it’s pointless to throw jargon at them, especially jargon that was not intended for mass consumption. Clients don’t want modalities. They want health and weight loss. Keep it simple. No one wakes up in the morning (and says), ‘I want to increase my work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Let me look through the phone book. Oh, these guys do it!’”

Perspective Shift — “I decided (randomly) last night I wanted to record myself doing a movement. I wanted to see what it looked like, I suppose. Anyway, at first I did not like what I saw, seeing my body….but then I stopped myself because I remembered my body is MOVING. Last year at this time my knees hurt walking up stairs and I could barely bend over to put socks on. But last night I back squatted 165 lb. Who knew I was capable of that?”



“Mental Stamina and Training for Life” by Tammy Valentine, Morning Chalk Up

CrossFit, like most sports, is a magnet for cream of the crop individuals. These are the folks that give a damn about their health, their nutrition, their families, and their athletic performance. This elite group of individuals truly care about community, dignity, and helping one another be better, as friends and athletes.

A regional competitor once told me she’s a bad mom when she doesn’t make time to train and eat clean. Rightfully so. And with all the cliche mumbo jumbo about the “Process, not perfection, it’s all about the journey” yada yada,  it raises the question, “Why is it so heartbreaking for this different breed of individuals to accept when every lift isn’t a PR?”

As athletes, one of the most important muscles to develop is the one that sits right between our ears. Our brains require training just as much as accessory or skill work to help us propel to the next level. Games Athletes, Mat Fraser and Katrin Davidsdottir have been crowned the Fittest in the World, but there is something else they have in common; their coach, Ben Bergeron. Bergeron is known for his no-bullshit, mental toughness coaching philosophy that can help anyone become a champion of their own life. His secret? Amalgamating a calculated process of unpacking the assets that make athletes better people.



3/22: CrossFit Open 18.5 (Worldwide)3/23: The Redeemed and the Dominant: Fittest on Earth is released

3/24: 4th Annual St. Paddy’s Day Competition (Norwood, MA)

3/30: Last Day to Sign Up for Northern Italy w/ VoyEdge RX

4/7: Battle of the Badges (Anaheim, CA)

4/7: The Revolution (San Antonio, TX)

4/7: GenX Masters Comp (Salem, MA)

4/7: Lt Col William “Wild Bill” Schroeder Memorial Competition (San Antonio, TX)

4/13 – 4/15: The Railyard Games (Albuquerque, NM)

4/14: Battle for the Mountain (Dawsonville, GA)

4/14: Appalachian Games (Asheville, NC)

4/14: Deuces Wild by Warrior Affiliate League (Baldwin Park, CA)

4/14: Atlas Blarney Stone Competition (Denver, CO)

4/14: RISE of the Masters (Statesboro, GA)

4/14: CrossFit Forte FORCE For Families (Nashville, TN)

4/14 – 4/15: Mid-Atlantic Affiliate Challenge (Columbia, MD)

4/14 – 4/15: WOD Wars Fitfest (Dunedin, FL)

4/14 – 4/15: Funky Town Throwdown (Ft. Worth, TX)

4/19: Teens and Masters Qualifier (Invitation Only)

4/20 – 4/22: Athens Throwdown (Athens, Greece)

4/21: Festivus Games (Nationwide)

4/21: Mayhem for MSR (Cookeville, TN)

4/21: Loganville Lockdown (Loganville, GA)

4/21: FoxWOD (Panama City Beach, FL)

4/21: Swamp Challenge (Gainesville, FL)

4/21: Mucctown Throwdown (Winnemucca, NV)

4/28: Battleground SoCal (Wimington, CA)

4/28: Girls Gone Rx (Cincinnati, OH)

4/28: Salem Slaughterfest (Salem, OR)

4/28: 3rd Annual Appletown Throwdown (Cornelia, GA)

4/28: Beastette Bash at CrossFit Ananda (Arlington, TX)

4/28 – 4/29: Walter’s Cup Throwdown (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

4/28 – 4/29: Battle of the Bluffs (Council Bluffs, IA)

4/28 – 4/29: King City Throwdown (Tupelo, MS)

5/4 – 5/5: Tough As Nails (Lubbock, TX)

5/4 – 5/5: No Gutz No Glory (Denver, CO)

5/4 – 5/6: European Masters Throwdown (Budapest, Hungary)

5/5 – 5/6: Tribal Clash (Quarteira, Portugal)

5/5: Cinco de Mayo Classic (San Antonio, TX)

5/5: The Locomotive Games III (Youngstown, OH)

5/5: Granite Games Throwdown (Southaven,  MS)

5/5: Battle of the Boro (Goldsboro, NC)

5/5: New WODs on the Block (Grand Rapids, MI)

5/5: The Crawfish Challenge (Columbia, SC)

5/11 – 5/12: Beast Mode Games (Greenville, SC)

5/11 – 5/12: Midwest Monster (Joplin, MO)

5/11 – 5/12: Reebok’s Ready for Action – Fittest in Israel (Israel)

5/12: Barbells for Bullies (Danbury, CT)

5/12: The Mountain Meltdown (Park City, UT)

5/12: The 5th Element (Bedford, NH)

5/19: Raising the Bar for Recovery (Medina, OH)

5/19: East Coast Battle (Hanover, MD)

5/19: Barbells in the Burbs (Carol Stream, IL)

5/19: Gladiator Games (Concord, NC)

5/19: The Pillage of Palm Harbor (Palm Harbor, FL)

5/19 – 5/20: GameDay Mankato (Mankato, MN)

5/26: Beauty is a Beast 2 (Indian Rocks Beach, FL)

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