“Better keep yourself clean and bright; you are the window through which you must see the world.”- George Bernard Shaw
Former Motocross Racer Bryce Gray Foregoes the Racing Life for CrossFit
Bryce Gray is not the normal CrossFit affiliate owner. He hails from a racing family. His grandfather, Johnny Gray, and his father, Shane Gray, both competed in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association). His brothers, Tanner and Taylor, are rising up the NASCAR ranks while competing in the Camping World Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series, respectively.
Gray did not stick with the family business. He primarily focused on motocross and moved to South Carolina as a young teen to train, but his time on two wheels concluded after a career-ending injury. Gray moved over to four wheels and spent some time competing in Sprint Cars before testing what is called a Late Model stock car. However, he did not particularly enjoy these experiences.
“I just wasn’t cut out for it. I enjoy the sport. I think the sport’s sweet,” Gray said. “I love watching my brothers do it and being involved in it. But it just was never for me. I never got any enjoyment or fulfillment out of four wheels.
“And then I one day just woke up and was like, ‘You know what, I’m gonna go play college football.’ Never played football before my life. So I started training my butt off every single day, and ended up walking on and getting a full ride to Catawba College to play football there.”
Gray only lasted one season at Catawba College before realizing that team sports were not necessarily for him. This left him in an interesting position because he knew that he wanted to compete at something while also running a business. Gray continued to examine his future while working for his family’s race team among other jobs and continuing to do old school, football-style weight training at CrossFit 77.
“The previous owners of 77 – Paul Klein and Ken Crowder – approached me. One day Paul said, ‘What do you want to do in life?’ And I was like, ‘Well, it’d be cool to own a gym.’ And he said, ‘So why don’t you just buy this one?’”
That simple question changed the trajectory of Gray’s life. He went from someone that did weightlifting at CrossFit 77 to someone that completed the OPEX Coaching Certificate Program and spent about a year with Klein learning how to be a business owner and all of the other intricacies of running an affiliate.
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to Brent FIkowski about Reebok bringing back its bonus program. 🤑
Four more: Meet your four Last Chance Qualifiers for the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games, and they are the Texas Supermom, The Finnish Phenom, The Shining Star of España, The Jump Rope Genius
Getting excited: The preliminary schedule for the CrossFit Games is out for all the divisions and the action is now a fortnight away.
Local love: Great story about 57-year-old Stockton native Chris Podesto who will be gunning hot for Madison.
CrossFit Games Composite Power Rankings: 2022 Women's Division
With contributions from Chad Schroeder, Chase Ingraham, Lauren Kalil, Patrick Clark, and Tommy Marquez.
If you missed it yesterday, check out our composite power rankings for the men, which explains a bit of the process our contributing analysts use to determine their ranks.
These are soft predictions, or initial impressions based on the season up to this point, for the entirety of the women’s field. Following the numbers, each analyst or expert has offered some insight into their process for specific athletes.
Electrical Fire Burns Down CrossFit Affiliate in Pennsylvania, GoFundMe Launches with Local Affiliate Support
On the night of June 29, Donna Fleming headed out for a motorcycle ride with her husband, as it was her night off from running Amica CrossFit in Matamoras, PA. She had just sat down to eat, when her phone rang.
“I got the call from my trainer Peter Sadler, he said, “Uh, Donna the gym is on fire. Right away my husband took the phone because I lost it and he was able to keep a level head. At first we thought how bad could it get if the fire department is only 2 blocks away but …”
Fleming watched the whole building burn down on FaceTime, unable to do anything, she said the entire gym was gone within the span of 15 minutes.
“It happened so fast. Apparently the mats are like gasoline and I was not aware of it. It was ruled electrical. And we lost everything. Right now we are waiting on insurance.”
The 36-year-old, who has two kids, has been doing CrossFit for eight years and opened Amica CrossFit four years ago in 2018 as a passion project. Fleming said the strength of the CrossFit community has already come through and shown their support. Fleming said Mikala Brown, who owns Center for Strength CrossFit, has started a GoFund Me and CrossFit Honesdale is loaning her equipment so her members can continue working out outdoors under a tent as Fleming hunts for a new location.
“Our hopes are to rebuild and get back to our spot but for now I set up an outdoor gym under a big tent with limited equipment until I can find a temporary indoor space and my insurance comes through.”
‘Spice Kings’ Documentary Explores Cultural Exchange, Food and CrossFit
In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Portuguese Spice Route blossomed throughout Asia, and with the exchange of products and spices was, of course, the trade of culture.
But wait. . . this is the Morning Chalk Up. What does this have to do with CrossFit?
As filmmaker Amit Tripuraneni shows in his new documentary, Spice Kings, the two topics are incredibly intertwined. 500 years ago, the growth and cultural diaspora affected every person living along the trade route, and that experience still holds true today. As a lifelong history student, Tripuraneni set out to explore how people today are still affected by the trade route by dropping in at local CrossFit affiliates, and how each region’s vastly different culture can be seen through each gym.
“It was a natural extension to to see if CrossFit had reached some of the places on the spice route and what impact it was having there. History is fascinating and gives a lot of context to what’s happening today,” Tripuraneni said. Of course, as a long time CrossFit athlete and fan, he said, “This was an opportunity to secretly tie all my favorite things together and sneak them into one documentary.”
If you have the strength to perform a strict pull-up, but are still struggling for form on your butterflys, this is the drill for you. You see, butterfly pull ups are more of a science than an art, and we're here to spill the secrets of perfect butterfly chest-to-bar pull-ups.
BodyBar Protein offers delicious vegan - and non-vegan - protein bars that are certified by the Paleo Foundation. Available in three flavors, Apple Cinnamon, Sweet Cocoa and Chocolate Brownie. They are the perfect, on-the-go, pre and post workout protein source.
Get on this quickly because it isn't going to last, Reebok Nanos are currently on sale at over 50% off. Grab the Nano X1 for $70 or the Nano X for only $60 and be ready to turn some heads in some fresh kicks this summer.
Do you know the difference between being coached and being trained? Sets, reps, time domains, exercises, and progressions aren't even half of what makes a great coach. Read more on the differences and learn how to tell the difference.
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