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Khan Porter’s Mental Health Struggles — Powered by Element 26

Morning Chalk Up

December 17   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Amanda Barnhart just announced she’s joining the Reebok team, and to celebrate we’re giving away a signed pair of Nano X’s as well as a Morning Chalk Up RX+ membership and a signed t-shirt.

In today’s edition:

  • Khan Porter Battles Mental Health Demons, Prepares for 2021.
  • CrossFit Helps 61-Year-Old Retired Bull Rider Reclaim Glory.
  • The Rise of Training Think Tank.

We love seeing your story tips, quotes and PRs roll in. Keep sending them to [email protected].

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“Find your weaknesses. Make friends with them, then beat them to death.” - Chris Spealler

  Khan Porter: Battling Demons, Dark Days and Mental Health Struggles During COVID-19  


Khan Porter: Battling Demons, Dark Days and Mental Health Struggles During COVID-19

The quest towards sound mental health is a long, winding journey. Australian Khan Porter knows this better than most. As a kid, doctors threw the book at him when it came to diagnoses: anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder. The list goes on.

Seven years ago, the 31-year-old started taking his mental state seriously, getting professional help and developing tools and tactics to combat what at times felt like a mind hardwired to feel uncomfortable and out of place in his surroundings. Despite his leaps and bounds towards a healthy mind over the better part of a decade, Porter fully admits that 2020 and an unprecedented global pandemic still threw him for a serious loop.

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  CrossFit Helps 61-Year-Old Retired Bull Rider Return to Rodeo Glory  

CrossFit Helps 61-Year-Old Retired Bull Rider Return to Rodeo Glory

Two years ago, 61-year-old Wayne Boney never could have imagined returning to bull riding. But after two years of doing CrossFit five days a week at CrossFit Mayhem in Cookeville, TN, that’s exactly what he did this year. And then he went on to place third at the 2020 Military World Rodeo Championships on December 5 in Hope Mills, NC.

  • “One of my bull riding students at school kept asking me to come out on the senior tour and start riding bulls with him. I kept putting it off because I didn’t want to have that conversation with my wife. Finally, I broke down and talked to my wife,” he said, laughing.
  • “Had it not been for my involvement in CrossFit during the last two yearrs — without the level of fitness it gave me, I never would have even thought about it,” he added.

Not his first rodeo: A 20-year US Air Force veteran, Boney started riding bulls at the age of 16. He became a five-time World Champion during his career, taking a bare back title, a bull riding title, and two all-around titles along the way. He retired in 2000 before returning to the senior tour this year.

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  Corpus Animus: The Rise of Training Think Tank  

Corpus Animus: The Rise of Training Think Tank

If you polled 100 people in the CrossFit community to name some of the “training hubs,” of the sport and you will likely get answers like Boston, Cookeville San Diego, cities that lay claim to highly touted training programs like Invictus, CompTrain, or CrossFit Mayhem.

Alpharetta, Georgia is most likely not on the list, but as the home to Training Think Tank, the small, northern suburb of Atlanta has played host to some of the sports biggest names, as Training Think Tank has steadily established itself as a premier program for CrossFit Games athletes in the space.

Max El-Hag founded Training Think Tank in 2013, but the genesis of his journey began in 2009 when he was introduced to CrossFit in 2009 as a means for conditioning for Jiu-jitsu and combat sports. The son of an Olympic Judoka for Egypt, El-Hag transitioned into the sport, competing at both the 2010 CrossFit Games on a team, and the 2011 South East Regional  as an individual while diving head first into the training methodology.

  • El-Hag: “My natural mind is pretty analytical, it’s how I think about things, so naturally I was reading up on how energy systems affect certain things, I started working with Glenn Pendlay in the southeast and learning about weightlifting, I looked into the movement culture and found Ido Portal and tried to understand how to navigate gymnastics training and what the foundations were.”
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A Stronger Leg Drive in the Snatch

The foundation of a strong snatch is the leg drive and the no-foot snatch is a great drill to help build power, as long as it's done correctly. The key is to exaggerate the drive while keeping your feet planted firmly as this video from Catalyst Athletics shows.




Doing Dry January with Ritual Zero Proof

Following what was likely the drunkest year of all time, many of us are trying Dry January. And a dry month is made much easier when you can still mix a satisfying cocktail at the end of a workday. You make the resolution, we’ll help you keep it! Use code MCUHOLIDAYS for 15% off two or more bottles.



Julie Foucher's Most Memorable Regional Performance

The last time Julie Foucher took the competition floor was during the 2015 Central Regional and she says it was simultaneously "devastating and beautiful." For Throwback Thursday, here's the video of Foucher coming back after tearing her Achilles tendon to complete the handstand walk in the next event.



Master Your Weakness With Brent Fikowski

Do you have weaknesses like double unders, snatches, handstand push-ups, bar muscle-ups and ring muscle-ups? If so, start chipping away at your weaknesses with Brent Fikowski and his Train Your Weakness programs. All programs are built to be added into your current training and only take a few minutes each week.



Slow Cooker Beef Stew

The days are shorter and colder now, which means it's the perfect time for slow cooker recipes. This beef stew recipe from Ambitious Kitchen will warm you from the inside out. It's cooked to perfection with dry red wine, garlic, fresh herbs and tender potatoes and carrots.


Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.


Our community round-up today features a new, official burpee world record and two holiday 5k races sponsored by CrossFit boxes:

  • Alison Brown sets a New Burpee World Record: In Listowel, Ontario, Canada, personal trainer Alison Brown, seeking to inspire her son, took on the chest-to-ground burpee world record in the Guinness Book of World Records. She totaled 730 burpees in one hour, beating the previous record by 21. Although she took on the challenge in July, the Guinness Book just verified the record. Learn more and watch the video.
  • MoTown CrossFit Virtual 5k: Through December 19, MoTown CrossFit in Morganton, NC is hosting a virtual 5k. Registration is free, but participants are asked to make a donation to Operation Blue Christmas, a joint collaboration including Morganton Department of Public Safety, Burke County Sheriff’s Office, the NC State Highway Patrol and the Burke Fraternal Order of Police.  Operation Blue Christmas is meant to help families who have fallen on hard times and/or struggling due to illness, loss of job, or circumstances out of their control. Register now.
  • CrossFit FXT 5k with the Grinch: On December 12, CrossFit FXT, in Enterprise, AL, hosted a 5K and Fun Run with the Grinch. All proceeds went to help local downtown businesses bring fun events to the community and the local Shop with a Cop program.
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5/20 - 5/21: Tough As Nails (Lubbock, TX)
5/21: Luminate The Day (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21: Hollister Showdown (Hollister, CA)
5/21: Barbells & Beers (Berkeley Heights, NJ)
5/21 - 5/22: The Halo Games (Seattle, WA)
5/21: North East Hungergames (East Windsor, CT)
5/21: Mayhem in the Mountains (Colorado Springs, CO)
5/21: SlaughterFest 2022 (Salem, OR)
5/21: Masters Of The Midway: Individual (Cary, IL)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Delaware (Middletown, Delaware)
5/21: Code 3 Clash (Eagle, ID)
5/21: Spring Splash 2022 (Fuquay Varina, NC)
5/21: Luminate the Day (Grand Rapids, MI)
5/21: Big Impact Games – CrossFit Fox Valley – Regional Qualifier (Kaukauna, WI)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx South Dakota (Rapid City, SD)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Arkansas (Little Rock, AR)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Eau Claire (Eau Clare, WI)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx SoCal (Van Nuys, CA)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Louisiana (West Elmwood, LA)
5/21: Girls Gone Rx Atlanta (Roswell, GA)
5/21: PAINKLLR Venice Beach (Venice Beach, CA)
5/21: Reload Athletics Spring Throwdown (Watertown, CT)
5/26 - 5/27: Gold Star Murph 2022 (Southern Pines, NC)
6/3 - 6/5: Northern California Classic (Sacramento, CA)
6/3 - 6/5: Atlantic Coast Classic (Daytona Beach, FL)
6/4 - 6/5: Whiplash: The Welsh Open 2022 (Same Sex Pairs) (Merthyr Tydfil, United Kingdom)
6/4: Love’Em or Leave’Em 10 (Saugus, MA)
6/4 - 6/5: Tandemonium (Palmer, AK)
6/4: Goose Games (Chicago, IL)
6/4: Average Joe’s Competition (Sheridan, WY)
6/11: Costa Rica Riptide Rowathon (Mokena, IL)
6/11: Hi Temp Games (Albany, GA)
6/11: Kanna Fest (Ambler, PA)
6/11: Battle on Bridge Street III (Phoenixville, PA)
6/11: Mind Games (Okemos, MI)
6/18: Back Lot Bout – RX, Intermediate, Scaled (Saint Charles, MI)
6/18: Oz Fest 2022 (Junction City, KS)
6/18: Beat The Heat 2022 (Hays, KS)
6/18: Atlanta Masters Classic (Snellville, GA)
6/18: Wodmania (Urbana, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: Best of the West (Rock Springs, WY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, CA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: The Heat 5.0- Co-ed Partner Competition (Marysville, OH)
6/18 - 6/19: The Garrison City Gauntlet (Dover, NH)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/18 - 6/19: The CS&F Summer Classic (Cumming, GA)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Maryland (Dunkirk, MD)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx NorCal (Petaluma, NC)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Winchester, KY)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx Tennessee (Mc Minnville, TN)
6/18 - 6/19: Emerald Coast Throwdown (Pensacola, FL)
6/18: Girls Gone Rx West Fargo (West Fargo, ND)
6/24 - 6/27: I Got Your Six (Charleston, SC)
6/25 - 6/26: BILT Summer Classic (Welland, CA)
6/25: Independence Games VIII at The Pit Fitness Ranch (Three Rivers, MI)
6/25: Northwest Arkansas Basement Brawl (Fayetteville, AR)
6/25: Summer Bash 2022 (Zanesville, OH)
6/25: Ocean State Summer Threesome (Smithfield, RI)
6/25: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Muster Station (Sanford, FL)
7/9: Rex Rumble at CrossFit zoo (Ocala, FL)
7/9 - 7/10: Rex Rumble 11 Double Down (Ocala, FL)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Fayetteville (Spring Lake, NC)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx San Antonio (San Antonio, TX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx West Texas (Snyder, YX)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx South Sound (Puyallup, WA)
7/16: Girls Gone Rx Wilmington (Wilmington, NC)

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