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Pat Vellner and Arielle Loewen discuss balancing, family, training and doing their own meal prep

Morning Chalk Up

July 6   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Actor Jordan Buhat uses CrossFit to prepare his body for acting roles
  • Games veterans Pat Vellner and Arielle Loewen balance family, work, training AND meal prep
  • New documentary, “The Magic of MidState,” highlights love and community in local affiliate

Nominate your gym for affiliate of the month! Send us a note and tell us why we should feature your box.

QUOTE OF THE DAY + Send us a Quote

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of it? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” - Marie Curie

  Jordan Buhat: How CrossFit Plays a Part in an Acting Career  

Jordan Buhat: How CrossFit Plays a Part in an Acting Career

Ever since Jordan Buhat was a child, he loved one thing–fitness–a love that came from his father, a bantamweight bodybuilding champion.

Growing up in Canada,  Buhat modeled his fitness after his dad with a focus on strength and health.

As he got older, a passion for performance, specifically acting and teaching, found its way into Jordan’s sphere, and he headed off to University to major in Education and Acting. Fitness was never far behind, though, and CrossFit was right around the corner.

Jordan: “All I knew up to University was bodybuilding until I found the 2015 CrossFit documentary. It was amazing–I kept watching it and falling asleep to it every night. I kept thinking about how fun everything looked–they were working out, but it was this sport. It was so cool how they turned working out into a sport. It was so flashy!”

It was the heyday of CrossFit, with Games athletes rocking the highlighter colored jerseys and shoes. After being wowed by the documentary, Jordan did what many people did; he hopped on the Crossfit website and looked at the programming. We all remember our first CrossFit workout, and so does Jordan. It was Murph.

  • “I basically did a strict Murph. I had no idea how to kip or butterfly my pull-ups, and it got really spicy. I did it unpartitioned, and it took over an hour,” he remembered.

But Jordan was hooked. He first leaned into CrossFit’s weightlifting and powerlifting portions the hardest.

  • “I was doing deadlifts, overhead squats, and trying to snatch because I had worked with weights before, but I had never done anything like that. So I started trying to teach myself how to do that stuff. Back then, there were fewer videos to watch; now they are everywhere, so I just started piecing it together,” Buhat said.

He pushed a lot of weight quickly and sprained both of his Achilles. He shook it off like water off a duck’s back, even in the thick of acting school and a dance program.

  • “I just kind of hobbled around, even when people told me to rest. I didn’t know how to recover properly, and I just wanted to get back in there.”

Jordan graduated from acting school, immediately moved to Vancouver, and quickly got the call that all young actors dream of–he had booked a show.

Buhat was cast in Grown-ish, and the 24-year-old picked himself up and headed off to Los Angeles. Fitness continued to be the steady undertone in Buhat’s life as he attempted to navigate production in LA where schedules are brutal, and finding a gym that is open when he anticipated he would be off from filming was a challenge. He ultimately found a gym that offered early morning classes and a weekly Olympic lifting class, so he could quickly train, shower and make it to set.

Jordan had been prepared his entire life to balance the extreme workload that is production with CrossFit. But it didn’t make it any less difficult.

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The ELFIT CrossFit Championship‘s online qualifier begins in two weeks, on July 19, with the announcement of OQ 23.1 and 23.2. This year the Crossfit-licensed is being programmed by new Technical partner Underdogs Athletics.

🤯 🤯Not CrossFit, but Australian Aaron D’Souza who is based in London, is trying to create the “Enhanced Games,” a kind of Olympics without drug testing with the goal of “obliterating all the world records” by “unlocking human potential,” according to the Associated Press.

Games rookie Shelby Neal is the newest TYR athlete!

ICYMI: CrossFit O.U.R., a Utah non-profit gym, is fighting child sex trafficking across the globe.

  Parents Patrick Vellner and Arielle Loewen Talk CrossFit Games Kitchen Prep  


Parents Patrick Vellner and Arielle Loewen Talk CrossFit Games Kitchen Prep

Train, eat, recover, train, eat, sleep and repeat: It’s the life of any elite athlete preparing to compete on the biggest stage in their sport.

With that in mind, you might expect CrossFit Games athletes to have a small army of nannies and cooks on hand so they can give up duties like grocery shopping, meal prepping and cooking in the weeks leading up to the CrossFit Games when training volume tends to be the highest.

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"The Magic of Mid-State CrossFit" Documentary Shows Community and Love in Local Box

Brian and Gabby Boucher didn’t have the best luck when it came to the timing of buying their affiliate, MidState CrossFit, in January 2020.

The couple had been involved with the box for years, but had finally decided to go all-in on CrossFit after realizing that Brian’s previous venture furthering his education as a paramedic wasn’t allowing them to live in the present.

Since then, the Bouchers plus a group of ever-loyal, ever-growing affiliate members having been powering through the pandemic, a changing affiliate, and coming together to build a second home for the entire community.

MidState CrossFit is featured in a new documentary by Best Hour of their Day, a podcast network, that was released on June 21. The Bouchers became part of the network through their partnership with Affiliate University, a business coaching program for affiliate owners.

  • The program, which takes 12 months to complete, can earn participants 50 Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) from CrossFit.
  • The Bouchers say that they’ve greatly enjoyed and benefited from Affiliate University, and that it’s a large part of the reason they’ve been able to so successfully grow their business.
  • “I had my L2, but I wasn’t purposeful about it, so suddenly there’s these guys being purposeful about the education of CrossFit, and I love education,” Brian Boucher said.

Trained as a paramedic (both in an ambulance and as a flight paramedic), Brian Boucher’s adjustment to life as a small business owner had some growing pains.

  • When you do shift work, there’s an on and offness. When I work on an ambulance, my services and skills are associated with being in that shift and when I leave, I’m done. I’m not suddenly still doing it. When you’re a small business owner, though, the stack of papers on your desk, they never really go away.”

While the markers of success for a CrossFit gym generally include gym population, revenue, and retention rates, Boucher has another metric that he puts on the same level (if not higher) than the others: the community.

He says that he finds small, mundane things in his everyday life that stick out to him as ‘wow, we made it’ moments as an affiliate owner. Creating and hosting Hero WODs for member’s wives who passed away, the 6am crew coming together to throw a going away party for a member moving back to Germany, and helping each other through the worst of the pandemic are all examples of what he calls “MidState Ohana.”

  • “(The community) is curated by us, but to a certain degree the thing is on fire without us,” Boucher said. “We’re picking where the fire burns the brightest, but often it is the people executing on the things we said we wanted to be and they just own it.”

Ohana (meaning family) resonates so truly to Boucher and the MidState community, not only because of the ways they consistently show up for each other, but because of the “second family” nature of the group.

Parents, Boucher says, are his target audience. As a parent himself, he’s eager to spend every moment he gets with his own children and knows other parents feel the same. For this reason, kids are always welcome at the gym, and while there’s no organized childcare, the generally unregulated free play the kids partake in while their parents workout has generated tons of benefits for members (including writing their own workouts on the chalkboard).

  • “There’s a meme that goes around that’s like, ‘if you don’t have a dad bod, are you even a good dad’ but we really believe that health and wellness for the family is so important,” Boucher said. “Your children watching you exercise is as formative, if not way more formative, than saying ‘you should do exercise.’”

In the opening scene of the documentary, the Bouchers address their children and explain their lives in the gym. The kids spend their days with their parents at MidState, who know that while it’s not necessarily a traditional way to grow up, it’s the best thing for their children. And Gabby Boucher says one sentence that while it’s in regards to her children, can actually be said for the entirety of the family they’ve fostered.

  • Gabby Boucher: “I love you, I love that this community that we’ve built loves you.”

Watch the entire documentary on MidState CrossFit and learn more about Affiliate University and Best Hour of Their Day.



HSPU Confession Time

Have you ever wondered what kind of handstand push-uper you are? Well look no further because this video will tell you.




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Three Things About Alcohol and Being Fit

Hot topic: Can you drink alcohol and still be super fit? Marcus Filly weighs in on the topic.



Skipping Meal Prep with Rebuilt Meals

Get your Sundays back with Rebuilt Meals, healthy prepped meals delivered right to your door. Using code “MCU23” you can get 60% off your first order, and 10% off every order after. Free up your time and get a bargain!



A Weak Kip Swing

Having a hard time getting a chest-to-bar or a bar muscle-up? You might not be generating enough power out of your kip. Learn how to get more power out of the kip swing in this video!


Share Your CrossFit Story


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

  • 🎉 Happy 13th affiliate anniversary to CrossFit Indestri in Collingwood, ON.
  • 🍼 Congratulations to Daniel and Meghan Robbins on their baby due in November.
  • Congratulations to Sophie Shaft on earning the Best Female Lifter award at the USA Weightlifting 2023 National Junior Championships, given to the top pound for pound female score.
  • 🤯 World’s Strongest Man Mitchell Hooper took on the “Great American Squat Off” Challenge of max reps at 525 pounds/238kg, and logged 24.
  • PumpFit power couple Hannah Eden and Paulo Octavio from Austin, TX celebrated their baby shower with a sweat sesh before brunch.
  • Semifinals athlete Ben Boulanger from Tonic CrossFit in Quebec City takes on a weekly gymnastics class.
3/1 - 3/31: Sit Ups For Pups (Everywhere, Anywhere Online)
3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (oceanside, ca)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
4/13: Queens of Oly East Tennessee (Bulls Gap, TN)
4/13: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20: Barbells For Bullies: Community Workout Savannah (Savnnah, Georgia, US)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Masiphumelele (Kommetjie, Cape Town, South Africa)
4/20: Festivus Games (Goderich, Canada)
4/20: Festivus Games (Clermont, FL)
4/20: Festivus Games @ The Gym – CrossFit Kilo (Cedar Falls, IA)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CBM Sirens (Caledonia, MS)
4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
4/20: Embrace the Challenge (Mentor, Ohio)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)

See all upcoming events

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