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Legally Blind, Sweden’s Mantyla Finishes 45th in Games Debut

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“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, an hour or maybe even a year but eventually it will subside and something else will take it’s place. If I quit however it will last forever.” — Lance Armstrong

Legally Blind, Sweden’s Mantyla Finishes 45th in Games Debut


Simon Mantyla had his best season yet in 2019. After taking 20th worldwide in the Open and second in Sweden, Mantyla made his individual Games debut last week in Madison.

Legally half-blind, Mantyla tried every sport growing up until he found one that worked for him: CrossFit.

Mantyla always wanted to be an athlete, but being blind in his right eye made gauging distance and depth near impossible for sports like basketball, baseball, and any sport in which a small object could potentially come at him without him noticing.

“So then I just made a decision when I was 13, I can’t beat them by being more skilled. I have to beat them by being more physically superior. So I just started to lift weights, run, like every day, I wanted to be physically better…I just trained every day. I wanted to prove them wrong, but also prove it to myself that I’m not going to let this define me. I am going to decide what I do with my body and I always wanted to be an athlete,” Mantyla told the Morning Chalk Up in an interview.

And then, in 2012, a friend asked Mantyla if he wanted to try this new thing called CrossFit.

So Simon tried, prioritizing CrossFit, and he excelled.

But it took several years of dealing with injury and illness for Mantyla to get to Madison and his Open placement illustrates that. In 2015, he was fittest in Sweden and 101st worldwide. In 2016, his worldwide placement fell to 282. “I managed to finish the Open with a decent result, I wasn’t really happy with it,” Mantyla told the Morning Chalk Up in an interview on the final day of the CrossFit Games.

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Armen Hammer catches up with Brent Fikowski in the hotel gym after Fikowski was cut after event 5 “Mary.”Brent tells Armen how it felt to be cut so early, how he feels about his performance, and that he vows he’ll never be cut again.


HEAR: Is CrossFit a Dangerous Fad?
Dr. Devin McFadden is joined by Dr. Sean Rockett and Dr. Robert Oh to discuss whether CrossFit is a dangerous fad or a fitness panacea. Does current data back-up the concerns many of us have regarding the safety of this sport? What are the common injury patterns that are found?


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

Chalk Up Community

  • SAVED BY THE BARBELL — You can still register for the second annual Saved by the Barbell fundraiser. All proceeds support school teachers, students, parents, coaches, trainers, and administrators of CrossFit programs in their schools and communities. If you’d like to participate as an affiliate, email [email protected] to be added to the list of host affiliates.
  • AED FUNDRAISER —  On August 3, CrossFit Excess in Vandalia, OH held the 4th annual fundraiser for AEDs in honor of Dale Cornett, who passed away from a heart attack in 2016. The box held an in-house partner workout called “Dale” to raise enough money to buy and donate four AEDs to another CrossFit gym. They are still hoping to raise funds for AEDs for 20 gyms.
  • VETWOD 2019 — The second annual VETWOD, an online-only functional fitness competition, will take place September 1- 21, with one workout per week. Proceeds benefit GallantFew, an organization that fights to ease the transition from active duty to civilian life.
  • NEW AFFILIATE — RTC Fitness in North Canton, OH opened their doors for business on the campus of Stark State College campus.
  • SPAIN WITH CODY ANDERSON — You can train in Mallorca, Spain with Cody Anderson and WODCAMPS from September 28 to October 5.
    Breakfast, lunch, dinner, local transportation, and lodging included and no specific fitness level required.
  • FEROCE IN THE PARK — Camille LeBlanc-Bazinet and Feroce Fitness will hold Feroce in the Park in Denver, CO this Sunday, August 11.

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

Mat Fraser and Sammy Moniz take some time off at the lake • Ray Romero clean and jerks 235 pounds • Edda Falak jerks 216 poundsJordan Cook cleans 335 poundsKate Nye back squats 319 pounds for six • Jacob Heppner shares his thoughts on the Games • Kara Saunders announces a new line of ACTIV performance eyewear • Congratulations to Vaulta Hanni for surviving her first day of CrossFit • Happy birthday Shane Orr.

Internation Online Qualifier Starts Soon — The International Online Qualifier kicks off August 21. The international Online Qualifier will serve as a single online qualifier where athletes can earn entry for four events at once: WodapaloozaCrossFit Atlas Games, CrossFit Filthy 150 and the SouthFit CrossFit Challenge.

The Open Is Nine Weeks Away — In case you missed it in all the Games news, the 2019/2020 season Open kicks off October 10. Register for more information here

Margaux Alvarez on What It Takes To Compete — Margaux Alvarez just released a list of ten things to master for someone who thinks they want to compete in CrossFit. 

— “I figured after my 8th season competing in this sport. I would give some insight into what it takes to compete in Madison next year. 1) You will need to invest at least 16 hours a day to this goal.

— “2) Those at the top don’t care about your excuses or inability to train. One of the biggest mistakes I hear is competitors claiming how great they would be if (enter excuse here).”

— “So expect to invest a lot of time in the gym, sleeping and recovering. The reason why you can’t is already the reason you won’t make the 2020 Games. No excuses.”

CrossFit Helps Defend Florida Coach — Recently, CrossFit has been steadfastly working to defend coaches and trainers rights to provide nutrition advice in several states where it is threatened. A woman in Florida, Heather Kokesch Del Castillo, was recently fined and threatened with jail time for providing nutrition advice.

— “Castillo, the wife of a U.S. Air Force airman, moved from California, where nutrition speech is fully protected, to Florida, where it is highly restricted. The state of Florida subjected Castillo to an undercover sting operation, fined her, and threatened her with jail time if she continued providing nutritional advice (a Florida CrossFit affiliate was subjected to a similar ordeal in 2017 and changed their practice regarding nutrition recommendations as a result).

— “Castillo and her attorneys at the Institute for Justice “filed a federal First Amendment lawsuit in 2017 challenging this restriction on her speech.” CrossFit, Inc. supported the Institute for Justice in this suit as part of CrossFit’s commitment to defending the ability of CrossFit trainers to serve their clients without undue restrictions. Unfortunately, on July 17, 2019, federal judge Casey Rogers rejected Castillo’s suit.”

— “Castillo’s case is not settled. The Institute for Justice will appeal the Castillo decision, with CrossFit’s support. But this case illustrates the need for constant defense and vigilance on the part of CrossFit, Inc. and its affiliate community against the encroachment of those entities that seek to suppress factual nutritional information in partnership with food and beverage industry sponsors, or to restrict the good work of CrossFit’s training cohort for competitive advantage, regardless of the devastating effects such actions may have on the health of those barred from accessing essential nutritional information.”


“The “Fittest 4” not the “4 Fittest”. Why the year of the “SuperTeam” was irrelevant,” by Adrian Conway, Morning Chalk Up 

Now there will be super teams from all over the world that will dethrone the Champs! This could be the first time someone beats the Mayhem since the Wasatch Brutes!

Yeah, well….that didn’t work out.

Mayhem didn’t even win the Rogue Classic.

Yeah, well that wasn’t a complete test.

With all the skepticism on the 2019 season and a lot of chatter about how teams would challenge the Mayhem this year, I want to address some key components that may have been overlooked. If you want to have success as a team or be able to contest for more than 2nd place maybe read on.

Here is what it takes to even get close, but good luck.

Leadership. There must be an obvious leader of the squad. They don’t need to be overly vocal, they don’t need to be a former Games Champ. But they do have to have “it”. Meaning that if that person were to walk through a fire, you’d be willing to follow them, and do so with no proper explanation. That is why it is called “it”. The attitude and presence of this person is who the team becomes. If they are a winner, the team becomes “winners”. I don’t mean that in a literal sense but I do mean that from a mindset perspective. Half the teams in the field didn’t show this if it existed. Ideally your leader should be someone that I’d be slightly worried to come across in a dark ally at night, that also helps.


8/10: CFE’s Sugar & Spice Co-Ed Partner Competition (Burlington, MA)
8/10: Best of the Midwest Team Series (Brownsburg, IN)
8/10: OUTWOD North Brunswick at Iron CrossFit (North Brunswick, NJ)
8/10: OUTWOD Phoenixville at CrossFit Lock 60 (Phoenixville, PA)
8/10: Sparrow Classic 2 Scaled Partner Competition (Pearland, TX)
8/10: Summer Battleground 2019 (Farmingdale, NY)
8/10: Goddess Games (Charlotte, NC)
8/10: All Day Row (Alexandria, VA)
8/10: Mustache Barbell Bash (Ft Wright, KY)
8/10 – 8/11: No Surrender Survival Games (Wooster, OH)
8/11: The Rise of The Resilient (Hopkinton, MA)
8/16: OUTWOD Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
8/16 – 8/17: WodFest 2019 (Joplin, MO)
8/17: Fittest in the Fork (Ft. Sill, OK)
8/17: Barbells For Bullies at CrossFit QDA (Buffalo, NY)
8/17: CrossFit Sua Sponte’s Summer Slam (Raleigh, NC)
8/17: The Fossil Games (Denver, CO)
8/17: Warhorse Games KC (Kansas City, KS)
8/17: CrossFit Shatter Summer Slam (Albany, NY)
8/17: The Syndicate Series Presents The Battlegrounds (Columbia, MD)
8/17: Poore Beer and CrossFit Benefit (Hendersonville, NC)
8/17: Unbroken Series Adaptive Games (Marion, NC)
8/17: 6th annual Babes and Bros (Grand Rapids, MI)
8/17: The Battlegrounds at 12 Labours CrossFit (Columbia, MD)
8/17: Back Lot Bout (St. Charles, MO)
8/17: Summer Slam (Raleigh, NC)
8/17 – 8/18: Mayhem on the Mountain (Pelham, AL)
8/18: Red Raider Backyard Brawl III (Coatesville, PA)
8/18: Summer Sizzler (Akron, OH)
8/21: Wodapalooza Individual Qualifier (Online)
8/23 – 8/24: Third Annual 24 in 24 (Cumming, GA)
8/24: Battle For the Badge (Vestal, NY)
8/24: OUTWOD Miami at Move.Lift.Live (Miami, FL)
8/24: OUTWOD Las Vegas at CrossFit Social City (Las Vegas, NV)
8/24: Deadlifts for Kids (Lilburn, GA)
8/24: The Southern Games 2019 (Louisville, KY)
8/24: 2019 Koda First Timer’s Open (Oklahoma City, OK)
8/24: Rumble on the Bay (Green Bay, WI)
8/24: Ragin’ Games (Lafayette, LA)
8/24: The 10th Annual Iron Belle (Austin, TX)
8/24: Battle of the Boxes (Plymouth, MI)
8/24 – 8/25: Oregon CrossFit’s Best of the West Summer Event 2019 (Bend, OR)
8/24 – 8/25: Railyard Riot (Lincoln, NE)
8/30 – 8/31: The Southwest Championships (Orem, UT)
8/30 – 8/31: The 3rd Annual Tampa Bay Games (Tampa, FL)
8/31: The Big WODowski Partner Competition (Delafield, WI)
8/31: Girls Gone RX (Charlevoix, MI)
8/31: Roots Ruck Around the Clock (Poulsbo, WA)
8/31: Saved By the Barbell (Waite Park, MN)
8/31: T-Town Throwdown Partner Comp (Tyler, TX)
8/31: Battle of the Beasts (Quebec, Canada)
9/5 – 9/7: The Iron Games (Cedar City, UT)
9/7: Power Output Challenge 8 (San Antonio, TX)
9/7: Family Fitness Faith Festival (College Station, TX)
9/7: Sirens of September (Smithfield, RI)
9/7: Garden State Open (Berkeley Heights, NJ)
9/7: Hill City Throwdown (Lynchburg VA)
9/7: Midwest Fall Classic (Tulsa, OK)
9/7: OUTWOD Asheville at CrossFit Pisgah (Asheville, NC)
9/7: OUTWOD Brooklyn at Park Slope CrossFit (Brooklyn, NY)
9/7: Double Trouble at Crossfit Unwavering (El Mirage, AZ)
9/7: Girls Gone RX (Virginia Beach, VA)
9/7: WODderfest (Beaufort, SC)
9/7: SE TEX Masters Fall Classic (Cypress, TX)
9/8: Wingman (Lincoln, United Kingdom)
9/9: Power Output Challenge (San Antonio, TX)

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