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Jimmy Lubonski Talks 365 Days of Murph for First Responders

Morning Chalk Up

April 13   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Jimmy Lubonski doing 365 days of Murph for first responders’ mental health awareness
  • CrossFit Carnivore member and children survive tornado after tragic year
  • Can anyone beat CrossFit Mayhem Freedom?
  • Five way too early thoughts about Semifinals
  • Olivia Kerstetter’s big decision: Teen or Indy?
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“We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier.” - Walter Savage Landor

  Police Officer Doing 365 Days of Murph for First Responders' Mental Health Awareness  

Police Officer Doing 365 Days of Murph for First Responders' Mental Health Awareness

Washington, DC area police officer Jimmy Lubonski thought he was in good shape back in April of 2020. He was bodybuilding, had about five percent body fat and clocked it at a lean 185 pounds, cut from days on end at the gym.

However he got a rude awakening one day on the job when he was in pursuit of a suspect.

“I got into a foot chase with a suspect that lasted about a half mile,” said the 32-year-old. “And then we went down and we were struggling on the ground and I noticed I was out of breath. And that had not happened to me since I was 15, 16 years old. So I was like, ‘Wow, these beach muscles are not functional, at all.’”

Lubonski, who has been a cop for a decade, said it was a big eye opener for him and he said a couple guys on his squad did CrossFit and they had said before that he would love it. However he was still a skeptic at that moment.

“I was like, ‘No way I’m not going to put myself through pain like that, I work out by myself.’ And then the (foot chase) happened and I was like ‘Wow, there is something to being functionally fit as opposed to having muscles that just look good.’”

Then Lubonski went online and started looking at all the old CrossFit videos and demonstrations to try and figure out how to do the movements, watching hours of YouTube, teaching himself how to do “sub-par” CrossFit in his garage given gyms at that time were closed due to COVID. Lubonski said at that point, CrossFit seemed like the perfect fit.

“Minimal equipment, and I need to stay fit for work and I obviously see problems with my performance, so CrossFit seemed like a super good fit to do in my garage with 250 pounds of bumper plates, two dumbbells and a pull-up bar.”

Once gyms opened back up last year, Lubonski reached out to the owner of CrossFit Kent Island in Stevensville, MD (where he is now a part-time coach) and hesitantly headed off to the box. He said working out in his garage at home, and then transitioning into a group setting, was a bit of a mindset shift, however he finally took the leap in June of 2020.

“I was probably a little bit insecure to be completely honest with you so I would go to open gym and kind of program my own workouts not wanting to jump into the class, and then probably about two weeks in and I got a little bit more comfortable and a wheelhouse workout showed up for me with lots of gymnastics, and there was a guy there who was like, ‘Hey, why don’t you do this workout?’ And I thought, ‘Okay, today is the day.’ And it was awesome. I got a bit of a taste of other people cheering you on and suffering together with other people and I was hooked.”

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Bethany Shadburne, who sadly had to withdraw from the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games season due to back issues, is the latest guest on Morning Chalk Up staffer Preslie Hirsch’s podcast Hey Preslie where she talks about motivation, mindset and body image.

The Cass Crew Challenge presented by TYR Sport is set to kick off April 28 – May 1. Winners of this challenge will receive prizes from TYR Sport and all proceeds will be given to the Will Moorad family and helping Cassandra Moorad recover from breast cancer financially.

In case you missed it, CrossFit has increased its cost for Level 1 and 2 Certificate Courses.

Magic mushrooms, which some athletes are starting to experiment with concerning micro dosing and training, has now been linked to long-term improvement concerning depression. 🤔

  CrossFit Carnivore Member, Children Miraculously Survive Tornado that Destroys Family’s Home  

CrossFit Carnivore Member, Children Miraculously Survive Tornado that Destroys Family’s Home

Last Tuesday, Sydney Morstad went down for an afternoon nap with her 3-year-old and 7-month old and put her phone on vibrate, with no idea that a tornado was headed directly for her house in Bonaire, GA.

“My dad called me multiple times to take cover, but I didn’t hear the phone,” said 34-year-old Morstad, a four-year member of CrossFit Carnivore.

“Then my son got up to use the bathroom and I looked out the window and I have never seen rain and wind move so fast in my life. It sounded like rocks were hitting my house. I heard this loud whistling and it sounded like a plane or train was crashing into the house,” she explained.

“I put my hands over my head and thought, ‘We’re going to die.’”

The next thing Morstad remembers is coming to, covered in debris, soaking wet, with sand in her ears, coated in leaves, dirt and insulation from the house, and she had no idea where her children were.

Morstad looked over and saw her 7-month old a few yards away, lying face up under a slab of wood, and shortly after that, she discovered her 3-year-old had been thrown 10 to 15 yards as the house was knocked completely off the slab.

Miraculously, all three escaped the tornado, rated an EF-3 with winds of 160 mph, with nothing more than some legions, scrapes and bruises.

“It’s a miracle…But we lost absolutely everything other than a few clothes I managed to salvage here and there,” she said, adding that she isn’t sure what their long term plan is, or where they will go.

And as if almost dying in a tornado and losing everything you own in a matter of seconds isn’t enough, Morstad has been through even worse in recent days. Her husband, Josh Morstad, was tragically killed in a car accident last summer when she was seven months pregnant with their second child.

“It has been a terrible year. That’s why we moved into my parents place right now. It’s the closest thing to home for my 3-and-a-half year-old. We’re trying to make life as normal as possible for him right now. He lost his house and his dad in the same year,” she said.

Stepping Up. And Stepping Up Again

Although nobody can stop the pain Morstad and her children are going through right now, the community at CrossFit Carnivore has made a world of difference in recent months.

“I love CrossFit, but Josh love, loved it. After his death, they did a memorial WOD for him. Anyone could come, not just members of the gym, and it was a huge turnout. They presented me with money (more than $6,000) and a huge framed picture of my husband after a WOD he had done. They gave us so much stuff, did so much for us,” Morstad said.

The CrossFit Carnivore community stepped up again after this most recent tragedy by collecting clothing, gift cards and cash donations, quickly raising more than $3,000 in cash and gift cards.

Further, on Sunday they held an Easter-themed fundraiser that was open to the public, where they charged $10 for children to have their picture taken with the bunny, raising $8,000 in the process.

“They have been one of the top things that stands out in my head in the last year. They have come through for us, both times,” Morstad said.

“They have just really showed up for us.”

Donate to the Morstad family here.

  CrossFit Carnivore Member, Children Miraculously Survive Tornado that Destroys Family’s Home  

VIDEO: Can Anyone Beat Mayhem?

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  Five Way Too Early Thoughts About Semifinals  


Five Way Too Early Thoughts About Semifinals

The 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games Semifinals are starting to take shape, the emails are out and the questions are already flying fast and hard. First, a quick refresher:

Remind me: Semifinals are scheduled to take place from May 20 to June 12, broken down into four weeks, as follows:

  • The Torian Pro (Oceania), the Lowlands Throwdown (Europe) and the Syndicate Crown (North America) from May 20-22.
  • The Mid Atlantic CrossFit Challenge (North America) and the Fittest in Cape Town (Africa) will go May 27-29.
  • The Far East Throwdown (Asia) and the Granite Games (North America) June 3-5.
  • Finally, the CrossFit Copa Sur (South America), Strength in Depth (Europe) and the Atlas Games (North America) from June 10-12

The Games field will include the top five men and women from each North American and European semifinal, the top three from Oceania, top two from Asia and South America, with Africa represented by their top finisher.

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  Five Way Too Early Thoughts About Semifinals  

VIDEO: Olivia Kerstetter’s Big Decision: Teen or Indy?

Watch Now...


Should Leaderboards be Anonymous?

Grabbing your phone after a WOD to see where you place compared to all the other classes at your gym may seem like a rite of passage...but is it helpful? Hear Ben Bergeron take on this question and many more on the Chasing Excellence podcast.




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The Ultimate Cardio Conversion Chart

Workout calling for a rower, but only have an Echo Bike? Need to sub out a run because of injury? Anything but Assault Bike? CrossFit Invictus has you covered with the ultimate conversion chart.



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Three Exercises for a Killer Core

Becoming an adult is when you realize your core is more than just about getting abs. Training gets a whole lot more enjoyable as well. Try out these three drills to build some serious core strength and save a thousand crunches for time for another day.


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

  • Congratulations Angela Montano of CrossFit Route 1 in Saugus, MA on the clean PR of 195 pounds/88.5kg.
  • 🔥Congratulations to Caleb McClure of CrossFit Power and Grace in Bloomington, IL on the 260 pound/118kg snatch PR, just three days prior to his 17th birthday.
  •  🦘 Congratulations Marcus Harrell from CrossFit Praus in Fort Wayne, IN on the 50.5 inch (1.28m) seated box jump.
  • Martin Feiferlik, owner of CrossFit GTPS in Plzen, Czech Republic back squats 485 pounds/220kg for a new PR.
  • Congratulations to Becky Johnson from Nashville, TN on the 5RM back squat at 315 pounds/143kg.
9/23: Ladies of Power: Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
9/23: Warrior Games 2023 (Suffield, CT)
9/23: Thrive Throwdown (Lynchburg, VA)
9/23: Warrior Games 2023 (Suffield, CT)
9/23: The Gulf Coast Games (Pinellas Park, FL)
9/23 - 9/24: Madrid Fitness Challenge (San Lorenzo del Escorial, Madrid, Spain)
10/6 - 10/8: Marbella Championship (Marbella, Spain)
10/7: Battle of Branded One at Redstone CrossFit (Littleton, CO)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/13 - 10/15: Midwest Championship (Rochester, MN)
10/14: Strength and Speed (Feasterville, PA)
10/14 - 10/15: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/14 - 10/15: 059 Classic (Modena, Italy)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/20 - 10/21: AAYMCA CrossFit Throwdown (Anderson, SC)
10/21: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/27 - 10/29: Oslo Throwdown (Oslo, Norway)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – NASH (Nashville, TN)
10/29 - 11/19: CHLKDUP BOX LEAGUE – BHAM (Birmingham, AL)
11/4 - 11/5: Costa Barcelona Fitness Challenge (Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona, Spain)
11/4 - 11/5: Hold Fast Competition Individual (Gerenzano, Italy)
11/11: War of the Masters (Elkton, MD)

See all upcoming events

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