Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. On Wednesday, Steph Chung called into the Talking Elite Fitness podcast to discuss the Professional Fitness Athletes’ Association and the Future of CrossFit Summit, Tommy Marquez has some key takeaways. And, the Masters Fitness Collective Championship has lined up an impressive roster of sponsors, learn more below. Today:
Steph Chung on the PFAA.
Big-name sponsors line up behind the Masters Fitness Collective Championship.
Emily Beers has the remarkable story of Wesley Hamilton, a man who was shot and became a paraplegic five years ago and then made it his life’s work to bring fitness and nutrition to those who are disabled (but not really).
We’re hiring! The Morning Chalk Up is looking to add a growth hacker to our ranks. Key perks include remote work, a competitive salary and unlimited burpee breaks. Job description details and how to apply available here.
“Find out what you’re afraid of and go live there.”– Chuck Palahniuk
“Good Things Are Coming:” Steph Chung Talks The PFAA And The Future Of The Sport
Wednesday afternoon, 2018 CrossFit Games individual athlete and Professional Fitness Athletes Association (PFAA) executive committee member Steph Chung joined the Talking Elite Fitness podcast to discuss some of the current goals on the PFAA’s agenda as well as the subject of Chung’s recent meeting with incoming CrossFit owner and CEO Eric Roza.
Chung was calling in from Boulder, Colorado where she, along with fellow PFAA executive committee Chandler Smith, were part of a collection of members of the CrossFit community taking part in the Future of CrossFit Summit we reported on Wednesday. Below are a couple key takeaways from Chung’s interview.
The PFAA is keeping their focus small: Practicing what many in the community preach in terms of scaling inside the gym, the initial focus of the PFAA revolves around two primary goals despite Chung admitting that there were plenty of other issues on the docket.
Safety: An obvious topic that will forever be (or at least should be) a central focus of the athletes is ensuring that their safety will always be a driver in the rapidly evolving environment of the sport as tests become more and more advanced. This primarily deals with programming across various events, and one needs to look no further than the now defunct O.C. Throwdown as to why — both from the unfortunate injury of Kevin Ogar and the programming of a hurdle jump the following year.
Fairness: A little less obvious or concrete is the issue of fairness in a competition because it deals particularly with protocol and decision making that often goes on behind the curtain at events or on the fly even as things are unfolding. An example of this would be when equipment malfunctions or movement standards are adjusted and fine-tuned as a result of unforeseen issues. Most of the time the fans or public aren’t even aware of the issue or the things that have taken place, and sometimes individual athletes themselves are to blame, but in the end the remaining athletes are the ones left footing the bill. For example, at the 2018 East Regional, a collection of Air Runners for the first heat of Event 1 did not turn on, and as a result those athletes were held to a different standard than the rest of the field.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight or gain muscle, there’s one macro that’s the pinnacle of them all – protein.
Protein helps you build muscle and recover so you can continue to train hard. Eating enough protein in your diet will also help you from feeling hungry and curb cravings. No wonder it’s the favorite macro amongst athletes.
Masters Fitness Collective Championship Gains Big Name Support, Sponsors and Donors
“It takes a village” is a phrase often used to describe how it takes an entire community of people to assist and raise a child. That phrase is also appropriate when it comes to the growth of the Masters Fitness Collective Championship. The organizers have assembled brands and sponsors that have become staples of the CrossFit community for their event in Fort Wayne, IN on August 20-23.
One big thing: The collection of brands and sponsors who have been announced as partners for the competition include CrossFit staples Rogue, RX Smart Gear, NOBULL, Born Primitive, Rock Tape, Hyperice, Bear Komplex, Kill Cliff, and GORUCK.
Rogue is the competition’s official equipment supplier providing everything the athletes will need on the competition floor.
Loud & Live Sports will be providing the actual competition flooring for the event.
RX Smart Gear made a $5,000 donation to the prize purse and will also be providing Drag Ropes which will be used by the athletes in one of the scheduled events.
Rock Tape will provide staff for Athlete Services.
Hyperice is providing products for the podium finishers and also equipment for the athlete recovery area.
Born Primitive will give the division winners gift cards.
Bear Komplex will provide bags and cash for podium finishers.
Kill Cliff donated $1,000 and products for the athletes.
Paragon has donated $2,000.
NOBULL will provide gift bags which will include shoes and shirts for the top-two finishers in each division.
“Disabled, But Not Really”: Wesley Hamilton’s Mission
In January 2015, Wesley Hamilton was shot multiple times in the abdomen, suffering injuries that left him a paraplegic.
In November 2018, Hamilton met the man who shot him and thanked him on national television.
“He tried to take my life, but instead he gave me life,” said Hamilton, now 32.
“I have forgiven him. Had I not been shot, I would have ended up dead or in prison. I love everything about myself and none of that would have happened without him doing that to me,” he added.
One big thing: In the aftermath of the shooting, Hamilton founded a non-profit organization, Disabled But Not Really, that provides fitness and nutrition scholarships to those with a physical disability. Several of the scholarship recipients have gone on to become regular members of the gym with which he’s been partnered. Now, Hamilton is turning his attention to the disabled black community and is in the process of raising money to build his own gym for adaptive athletes.
Hamilton’s story: Hamilton grew up in east Kansas City, MO, in an area where both poverty and crime are high. His parents were separated and he and his two siblings were raised by their single mom.
“I have a huge (extended) family, and people in the family were always dying left and right from gun violence or some kind of drug overdose, or they were getting locked up. So the energy around me was always negative,” he said.
“A lot of them were overweight. Nobody was active really. We didn’t have many resources, so I grew up on the streets…It was a hopeless life, and I was OK with being dead or in jail by the age of 21. That’s what I saw as my fate because I never saw anything outside of what I saw in my community,” he continued. “I was a product of my environment.”
Steph Chung on the PFAA and the Future of CrossFit Summit
On this episode of Talking Elite Fitness, the boys talk with Steph Chung who is currently in Boulder, CO at the Future of CrossFit Summit with incoming CEO, Eric Roza. The team discusses the first days events and the birth of the Professional Fitness Athletes’ Association. And, Tommy and Sean break down Adam Klink’s epic sub-5 minute mile + 500 pound back squat in the same day.
Healthy Steps Nutrition has helped over 2,000 gym owners and coaches build successful nutrition programs and is a CrossFit Preferred Course Provider. Gym owners can now access recordings from their most recent virtual event, the Nutrition Business Virtual Workshop, for free.
We have an exclusive code for Morning Chalk Up subscribers to get 50% off select gear at Reebok including the Nano 9. Shop now and use the code “GOBIGGER” through the end of the day today to get 50% off.
Congratulations to James R., who was the first to correctly answer which two CrossFit Invitational athletes competed on and coached their team in the same Invitational. The correct answer was Rich Froning and James Newbury. Rich did it in 2015 and 2016 and James in 2017. James R. makes it two in a row and five times overall to be the first to correctly answer the trivia question.
Today’s question: Which women has won the most Individual Games Events?
Good Read: How LifeAid Sales Stayed Healthy Despite CrossFit Controversy, Gym Closures
Earlier this week the online marketing publication “The Drum” published an article penned by Kenneth Hein that took a look at how LifeAid, a brand very closely connected to CrossFit, continued to thrive as gyms closed and as CrossFit HQ struggled through a public relations and corporate culture disaster.
Here are a few key quotes and takeaways:
“‘It was a spiraling shitstorm,’ says LifeAid co-founder and president Aaron Hinde of the CrossFit controversy. ‘We were the first company to step forward and say we’re not in alignment with [CrossFit] leadership in this way of thinking. We took a stand.’ In addition to speaking out immediately, it canceled its long-time sponsorship of the CrossFit Games.”
“Faced with this wildly difficult environment, how is the brand doing? It sold out of its ImmunityAID product. Direct-to-consumer sales on its website have doubled and Amazon sales have tripled since March, per the company. Overall, the company is still experiencing growth numbers similar to as if it were a ‘normal’ year with a stretch goal of hitting $50m in sales.”
How has the company done it?: “In many ways, the LifeAid founders fortified their brand for such a moment from the very start. Launched in 2009by a sports chiropractor (Hinde) and a financial planner (Melehan), they decided to hyper-focus on specific audiences before building out their core brand.”
“The first audience they targeted was golfers. They realized this highly desirable demographic was under-served, so their inaugural product was GolferAid. They followed suit with FitAid which soon became a cult favorite at CrossFit gyms.”
“Only after their sub-brands took hold that did they launch their core LifeAid brand at major retailers like Walmart, Whole Foods and Kroger. Today, retail makes up 60% of sales with further distribution deals on the horizon.”