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Mal O’Brien Will Not Compete at Granite Games

 
Morning Chalk Up

April 20   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Mal O’Brien to Granite Games in Semifinals shake-up
  • Ed Crowley survives five heart attacks and takes up CrossFit
  • Mat Fraser and HWPO invest in Fitr Training
  • Retired MMA fighter turns to CrossFit
  • First Take on Torian Pro Semifinal seeding
 
QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” - Oscar Wilde

 
CROSSFIT GAMES
  BREAKING: Mallory O'Brien Moved from Atlas to Granite Games Overnight, CrossFit Explains Reasoning 

BREAKING: Mallory O'Brien Moved from Atlas to Granite Games Overnight, CrossFit Explains Reasoning

While athletes around the world are still awaiting the possibility of backfill invitations to Semifinals, it appears CrossFit is making some changes to the initial seeding process. Last night and this morning six athletes (that we know of) were moved from one North American Semifinal to another:

  • Mallory O’Brien: Atlas Games to Granite Games
  • Nataya Fullmer: Atlas Games to Granite Games
  • Carlos Albaladejo: Atlas Games to Granite Games
  • Frank Mastroianni: Atlas Games to the MACC
  • William Leahy IV: Atlas Games to the MACC
  • Addison Desrosiers: Granite Games to Atlas Games

The men’s fields in the three Semifinals being held in the United States (MACC, Granite Games, and Syndicate) are now full. Seven spots are now open in the men’s field at the Atlas Games.

What’s Happening Here? There is speculation these changes are related to the survey CrossFit sent out to individual qualifying athletes prior to seeding them in a specific Semifinal. Andrew Weinstein, the Head of Communications & Public Policy of CrossFit, responded to a request for comment on the situation:

“While we cannot accommodate requests based on personal preference for a particular Semifinal, our goal is to allow as many qualifying athletes as possible to compete at each stage of the season, so we are trying to make accommodations for qualifying athletes who face visa issues based on vaccination status or other factors to help them move to another Semifinal on the same continent, if available, or the last-chance qualifier in some cases, if not.”

Shifting the Competitive Landscape: Moving O’Brien from one Semifinal to another has a major effect on the balance of competition across the North American continent in the women’s field. O’Brien won the 2022 CrossFit Open as well as Individual Quarterfinals in North America and is seen as a podium threat at the Games. Previously we noted the top four finishers from Quarterfinals were seeded into four separate Semifinals.

With this change we now see the number one seed (O’Brien) and number four seed (Amanda Barnhart) both at the Granite Games. Additionally they have the 12th seed (Alex Willis), the 16th seed (Feeroozeh Saghafi), the 17th seed (Kloie Wilson), the 24th seed (Dani Speegle), and the 30th seed (Emily Rolfe), which makes for a more hotly contested Granite Games women’s field.

As for Atlas Games this is a massive blow for them. Only yesterday they put up a post advertising O’Brien as a marquee athlete who would be competing live in Montreal, to which the response on Instagram was excitement. Taking her out of this field is devastating for fans in Canada, it’s a huge blow to the competition from a marketing perspective, and it deflates the field in terms of star power and competitiveness.

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SPEED READS

The Age-Group Quarterfinal starts this Thursday, April 21.Check out this great video by CrossFit detailing all the crazy fit athletes who are showing age is just a number.

In case you missed it, Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Arielle Loewen on motherhood and her goal to return to the CrossFit Games, and how she balances both.

  • “I think my schedule makes it doable, because I’m only there for two hours. But there are definitely days when it is hard.”

A new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition says overeating is not the primary cause of weight gain, as first reported in Women’s World.

  • “According to the article, which was co-authored by a team of 17 internationally recognized scientists, clinical researchers, and public health experts, it’s what we eat, rather than how much, that has the biggest impact on our weight.”

CrossFit Games competitor Alex Parker crushed the Boston Marathon. 🏃🏻‍♀️

 
CROSSFIT GAMES
  BREAKING: Mallory O'Brien Moved from Atlas to Granite Games Overnight, CrossFit Explains Reasoning 

VIDEO: Mal O'Brien Switched From Atlas Games to Granite Games?

Watch Now...
 
LIFESTYLE
  Ed Crowley Suffers Five Heart Attacks, Turns to CrossFit, Loses 40 Pounds, Puts Diabetes into Remission 

Ed Crowley Suffers Five Heart Attacks, Turns to CrossFit, Loses 40 Pounds, Puts Diabetes into Remission

After Ed Crowley suffered his fifth heart attack and underwent his second open heart surgery in 2015, he decided it was time to make some changes.

A 250-pound Type 2 diabetic at the time, Crowley joined Planet Fitness and started “to get healthy on my own,” he said.

But something was missing.

“I wasn’t getting any help at that gym, and I needed help,” said Crowley, now 66.

He stumbled across a local CrossFit gym, but because of his serious health issues the owner at the time sent him to a CrossFit nutrition coach first, and told Crowley to lose 25 pounds and get a bit healthier before he started training at the gym.

“I was so unhealthy and he was worried about training me until I got healthier,” explained Crowley, who immediately called nutrition coach Jenny Hernandez.

Crowley did what he was told, focused on his nutrition and lost 25 pounds, and was then introduced to CrossFit Coach Danielle Sleva at what is now CrossFit Perception in Mesa, AZ.

“The gym had a whiteboard where people wrote down their goals, and I remember telling Danielle I didn’t know what to write. So I wrote down that I want to live,” Crowley said.

Four years later, Crowley is down 40 pounds from when he first met with Fernandez, his A1C—average blood glucose levels—have dropped from 9 to 5.2, which is considered prediabetic, and he says “CrossFit, and specifically Danielle, saved my life.”

“Danielle is such an amazing coach. She has done more for me than any of the doctors have…Nobody, none of my friends or family thought I could do CrossFit. Nobody had any faith in me, except Danielle and Jenny,” he added.

Not Without Obstacles

From 2018 to 2019, Crowley saw fast and furious gains training with Sleva. By 2019, he was able to deadlift 175 pounds and do a half Murph in 30 minutes.

He was as fit as he had been in years, he explained, but then 2020 hit and Crowley was diagnosed with prostate cancer, a diagnosis that led to 39 doses of radiation. At the same time, his gym closed because of COVID.

But Crowley, who was still going through radiation, was determined to continue to prioritize his fitness, so he built a home gym and carried on as usual.

The week after he finished his radiation, however, he suffered yet another heart attack, which eventually led to having a pacemaker placed in his heart, and most recently, Crowley underwent stent surgery.

These recent episodes have left Crowley weaker than his 2018 self, and although it’s discouraging and frustrating, he said he doesn’t think he would still be here without the work he put in at the gym in the last four years.

So, he will continue on this path because Crowley knows a good diet and CrossFit are what will give him his best chance at continuing to live, all the while providing him a purpose and much needed encouragement.

“When I joined the gym, I was the least physically fit person in that gym, and I still am,” he said, laughing. “But I don’t care. I go in and I take my spot on the floor, and even if I’m doing 75-pound deadlifts, everyone is there encouraging me,” he said.

His message to others suffering from ongoing health problems is simple: “Don’t give up.”

“I have a desire to show others what heart attack patients can do. I have old friends who don’t do anything, but sit around and watch TV all day and then they die. That’s not me. I’m not going to give up on myself.”

 
INDUSTRY
  Mat Fraser and HWPO Invest in Fitr Training 

Mat Fraser and HWPO Invest in Fitr Training

Five-time CrossFit Games champion Mat Fraser has made a major move directly impacting HWPO Training. He has joined a group of investors supporting Fitr Training during its $1.2 million round of fundraising.

One big thing: Fitr Training, which launched in 2017, created the new standalone home of HWPO. The SaaS business has focused on providing remote coaching software platforms for online coaches to sell their programming.

  • Fraser’s programming joins a long list of others working with Fitr including Eleiko, Gymshark Lifting Club, Invictus, Battle Cancer, WIT Fitness, The Athlete Program, Archon, Prepared Programming and JST Compete.
  • The relationship between HWPO and Fitr will only grow after the latest investment. Fraser and HWPO CEO Matt O’Keefe will both join the company’s Board of Directors, with O’Keefe taking a seat on the board.

Remind me: Fraser kicked off his “retirement” by partnering with Hybrid Performance Method. He revealed on February 8, 2021, that he would make his programming available to the public for the first time ever. He then expanded HWPO in December 2021 by unveiling HWPO PRO for Semifinals and Games-level athletes.

  • HWPO remained a part of Hybrid Performance Method until March 2022. Fraser, HWPO, and Fitr Training issued a joint press release to announce the launch of the standalone programming platform.
  • O’Keefe explained that the move to Fitr Training was to pair “the best coaching in the world” with an improved level of customer service for the subscribers with new leaderboards, challenges and other features.

O’Keefe: “We are beyond excited to participate in this round and look forward to seeing Fitr Training continue to grow its market share. Our decision to trust Fitr Training to develop the standalone platform for HWPO comes at the end of an exhaustive deep dive into the available providers and through that process we formed an excellent opinion of the management team and the market opportunity for this venture.”

Why this matters: Online programming has become a key part of life for fans of CrossFit-style training, especially with worldwide gym closures in 2020 and parts of 2021. Fraser’s personal investment in Fitr only reinforces his dedication to ensuring that HWPO succeeds on its new standalone platform and remains available for years to come.

 
PROFILE
  Mat Fraser and HWPO Invest in Fitr Training 

VIDEO: Retired MMA Fighter Turns to CrossFit: Madison McElhaney

Watch Now...
 
CROSSFIT GAMES
  Mat Fraser and HWPO Invest in Fitr Training 

VIDEO: First Take on Torian Pro Semifinal Seeding

Watch Now...
 
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The Real Life Diet of Chandler Smith

Up until recently, it's fair to say Chandler Smith was not too concerned about his diet. But all that changed when he got to Boston. The Army veteran talked to GQ about quitting fast food, fasted workouts, and buying seven pints of Ben and Jerry's when they were on sale.

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HIGHLIGHTS

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

  • Congratulations to 14-year-old Marissa Nichols from CrossFit 2222 in Austin, TX on the 205 pound/93kg back squat PR.
  • Games athlete and Founder of Cerus Performance Jeff Evans stands up a 390 pound/177kg clean.
  • Congratulations to training partners, Addison DesRosiersElena Budz, and Peter Mason from CrossFit Free in Salem, NH on punching your tickets to Individual Semifinals.
  • Congratulations Katie Ferraro from Seabright CrossFit in Santa Cruz, CA on the 131 pound/59kg snatch PR.
  • Congratulations Brian Pierce from CrossFit HAP in McKinney, TX on stringing together bar muscle-ups for the first time.

CrossFit Rebuild, a brand new affiliate in San Diego, CA, is celebrating their Grand Opening on Monday, June 20. Owner Griffen Bradds hopes to provide a welcoming and supportive CrossFit community specifically for individuals that currently move very little, and are starting from the ground level with physical activity.

 
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