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Tackling A Taboo

Morning Chalk Up

March 20

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. These are trying times and if there’s one community that knows how to come together in a crisis, it’s the CrossFit community. Without the opportunity to compete in-person, several organizations are setting up at-home competitions for athletes around the globe, Tommy Marquez has more. Today:

  • Compete in your living room.
  • It might be a taboo topic, but Brittney Kleyn takes on menstruation and elite training.
  • Dr. Mariam Tashkandi sees patients between burpees (in normal times).

If your gym has been closed or plans to close as a result of the coronavirus, please let us know.

Keep the highlights coming, we love seeing the odd object and functional fitness WODs. Hit us up at [email protected].  



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“If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.” – William H. McRaven


Compete From The Comfort Of Your Home

  Compete From The Comfort Of Your Home  

The past week has certainly been a tumultuous one, and the CrossFit community at large has felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic through the widespread closures of affiliates, and postponement of events for the foreseeable future. However, in times such as these where it can feel like disorder and panic are in the driver seat, bright spots are developing in response to the restrictions and lifestyle changes in place across the globe.

Making lemonade from lemons: One of the major positives to blossom in the past week has been the CrossFit community’s continued dedication to health and well-being by adapting various training programs to accommodate the growing population of people stuck at home. A handful of organizations are taking that a step further, and “at-home” online competitions are starting to form in order to provide people a much needed competitive distraction.

  • The Norwegian CrossFit Championship is hosting a special online competition they’re calling the Norwegian Living Room Throwdown and will feature six workouts across two weeks of competition featuring workouts from Phil Hesketh and Prepared. Programming. The competition is 100% free and some custom prizes have already been announced.
  • The Quarantine Online Open is another two-week, six workout online competition hosted through competition corner where participants need minimal equipment. A jump rope and single dumbbell is all that is needed to participate, and there is a scaled and Rx division for both men and women. The cost is minimal — ten dollars Canadian (which is $6.89 USD) — and there are cash prizes for the top three in each division. Winners will also receive three months of nutrition coaching from Married To My Macros.
  • The Velites Home Games hosted by Spain-based Velites Sport, is a free online competition that will feature one workout a week for three weeks and includes weekly prize raffles and equipment packages for the winners of each workout. The competition includes support from some major players in Europe like WIT Fitness, and Fittest Freakest.
  • Grey Matter Strength is hosting an online competition called the Virtual In-(your) House Competition. The workout will span four days, and include five workouts that do not require any equipment. The overall winner will receive a complete prize package, and male and female winners will receive a Grey Matter Strength prize package including a complimentary month of Grey Matter Strength Competitors Programming.

Our takeaway: We’ve seen a ton of people in the community step up to the plate to help others, and typically in times of chaos or disarray, sports act as a welcomed diversion from the issues that plague us at the moment. Unfortunately, the sports world is equally being held captive by this pandemic, as nearly every major sports league has suspended play. These online competitions are just a handful of ways that the CrossFit community is taking command of their situation, and we hope that more things like this continue to spring up.


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Tackling A Taboo: Ladies Listen Up

  Tackling A Taboo: Ladies Listen Up  

It may not appeal to half our audience, but we’re here to talk about periods.

The conversation is growing louder among elite female athletes, and the experts say, despite the longstanding misconception, it’s not ok to be missing or skipping your period.

  • Sharing their stories: Four times CrossFit Games athlete Kristi Eramo-O’Connell tracks her monthly cycle and said: “Stress, whether physical or emotional can do bad things to the body and as females, we need to have our period and a regular cycle to maintain our reproductive health.”

Clearly, it’s been a priority for the upper echelon of the CrossFitters with the likes of Annie Thorisdottir, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet and Kara Saunders among those who’ve announced pregnancies, still in the peak of their careers.

But it’s not just about babies, far from it.

  • Eramo-O’Connell recalls being so lean at the beginning of high-school, that her monthly cycle went missing: “I also suffered from several stress fractures and low iron during those years,” she told the Morning Chalk Up.

She, like many others, was put on birth control: “I now know has not been a great fix,” she said.

  • “I had a struggle coming off birth control with severe pain when it comes to menstruation. Almost to the point of not being able to exercise and it terrifies me when it comes to competing.”

Kristi now uses the app “Daysy” to track her cycle every single day and also uses WHOOP to monitor how she’s feeling at certain times of the month. “When training, I will back off. There are some days my body is so drained and I have worse cramps than others…It helps me understand that some days you just need to let your body rest.”

Dr. Stacy Sims is an Exercise Physiologist and Nutrition Scientist from New Zealand, leading the way when it comes to fuelling and training for elite female athletes.

  • “The baseline metric for health is having your period,” she said. “The undercurrent myth is if you’re training hard enough, and you’re performing well enough, you’ll lose your period.”

Meet Dr. Mariam Tashkandi: The Doctor who Consults With Patients Between Burpees

  Meet Dr. Mariam Tashkandi: The Doctor who Consults With Patients Between Burpees  

Dr. Mariam Tashkandi found CrossFit Alkhobar when she moved home to Saudi Arabia in 2016. Her goal was simple: To get fit. A year later, not only was she a whole lot more fit, but she had also turned her gym into her place of work.

  • “I opened up a private clinic inside the gym and would do my consults on box jump boxes,” said the 37-year-old general practitioner and neuroscientist.

She was so sold on CrossFit that in the following months, Tashkandi also became a CrossFit Level 1 coach and started coaching a few classes each week. She also began offering nutrition coaching, and somehow, she found the time to do a Master’s Degree in Sports Medicine at the University of South Wales.

Tashkandi recently moved to Edmonton, Alberta for her husband’s work, and her goal is to offer a similar service in Canada as she did in Saudi Arabia. First, she must complete her Canadian medical licensing exams, which she is in the process of doing.

  • “CrossFit helped me so much personally. I saw such great benefits that happened to my body, and how the changes were sustainable and consistent, and I wanted to bring that to other people,” she said.

To be able to do this effectively, something told her if people came into the gym and saw her — instead of meeting her in a traditional, cold doctor’s office — and if they saw the supportive community, they’d be more likely to make those all-important lifestyle changes they needed to improve their health.

  • “The environment is just better. My clinic didn’t look like a doctor’s office. I wanted my patients to see me working out in the classes, and to see the gym. It’s easier that way for me to transfer energy to them and connect with them and help them,” she said.



Release “The Fittest” Early?

The Buttery Bros have heard the cries and want to get the new film out as early as possible. They have been asked to hit a certain number of pre-orders before those doing the leg work can drop it. So, they put the movie back on pre-order sale until 3/24. Once they hit 15k pre-orders, the movie will go live and the price will go back to $12.99 instead of the sale price of $6.99. (They are closing in on this quick!)

  Morning Chalk Up  



Kari Pearce’s New “PowerAbs” Online Book

Now’s your chance to grab a copy of Kari Pearce’s new abs book, “Power Abs – The Book; 10 Minutes A Day To The Abs You’ve Always Wanted” for free! Her new online book is a complete package of 10 new high-intensity abs workouts she’s never shared before! She’ll teach you how to work your ab muscles while burning fat at the same time. It’s a 2-for-1 workout! Who doesn’t want that?

  Morning Chalk Up  


Analysis of the 2020 Age Group Online Qualifier

Chase Ingraham’s new podcast “Get with the Programming” provides in-depth analysis of the programming in the CrossFit Games landscape including Worldwide Qualifiers, Age Group Online Qualifiers, Sanctioned Events, The Open and CrossFit Games. In episode one, he and Bill Grundler review the AGOQ events and discuss their view of the effectiveness of this year’s programming.

  Morning Chalk Up  



Take advantage of NIKE’s flash sale and bump your training into high gear. Starting today through March 24 use the code “MOVE25” to get 25% off NIKE gear including the Metcon 5 and sale items.

  Morning Chalk Up  


71 Creative Rice Recipes

If you’re like us, you now have 32 pounds of rice in your pantry. This list of 71 recipes will give you lots of ideas for creative and delicious meals featuring rice.





Top Trending Stories at the Morning Chalk Up

Here are five of the top trending stories from the past week:

  • Teenage writer, Ava Kitzi profiles the phenomenon that is elite teen fitness in the state of Michigan.
  • CrossFit HQ issues a letter to affiliates noting “profound uncertainty about the future.”
  • Dr. Julie Foucher-Urcuyo offers guidance to affiliate owners and athletes as we all confront the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Buttery Bros announce possible early release of “The Fittest,” if they can get enough pre-orders.
  • The Sanctional season schedule has been turned on its head over the past week, here’s an updated look at where we stand.  

Bonus: Episode one of our mini-documentary on Jeffrey Adler at the Dubai CrossFit Championship.

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3/20 – 3/22: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, Canada)
3/21: Pot O’Gold Throwdown (San Antonio, TX)
3/21: GRID 6 SCII (Columbia, SC)
3/21: Slingin Iron “Spring Fling” (Walker, LA)
3/21: WOD FOR OOCH (Toronto, Canada)
3/21: The Cheru Challenge (Denver, CO)
3/21: Battle of the Beast “Shamrock Showdown” a Strongman Event (Hudson, NY)
3/21 – 3/22: Rumble by the River (Columbus, GA)
3/21: All Valley CrossFit Championship (Wildomar, CA)
3/21: All Valley CrossFit Championships (Wildomar, CA)
3/21: Barbells For Bullies Charity WOD : Nashville (Nashville, TN)
3/21 – 3/22: Pensacola Beach Brawl (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/28: HYROX Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
3/28: Fit for Freedom (Saint Charles, MO)
3/28: The 615 Theowdown (Nashville, TN)
3/28 – 3/29: Dork-A-Thon at CrossFit Florian (Norwood, MA)
3/28 – 3/29: Freaking Crossfit Throwdown (Miami, FL)
3/28: HYROX Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
3/28: Rookie Rumble at CrossFit Off the Grid (Williamstown, NJ)
3/28: Muscle Madness (Coppell, TX)
3/28: GOAT – A Youth Fitness Competition (Olyphant, PA)
3/28: CFQ SPRING FLING (Quispamsis, Canada)
3/28: CrossFit Katy Team Classic VI (Katy, TX)
3/28: Thunderdome Throwdown (Northfield, MN)
3/28: H2K’s Gauntlet fight against Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Arden, NC)
3/28: GOAT – A Youth Fitness Competition (Olyphant, PA)
3/28: Bridgetown Throwdown (La Puente, CA)
4/2 – 4/4: Anarchy In The OK (Edmond, OK)
4/3 – 2/4: CFE’s Two Peas in a Pod – Same Gender Partner Competition (Burlington, MA)
4/3: OUTWOD – Octane Crossfit (Phoenix, AZ)
4/4: Battle of the Sexes (Northville, MI)
4/4: AC2 Individual Competition (Flagstaff, AZ)
4/4: Kilo Crushfest (Hampton, VA)
4/4 – 4/5: The Tactical Games (San Jon, NM)
4/4: Battle of the Ages – Winnersville (Valdosta, GA)
4/4: Rookie Rumble at (Mountainside, NJ)
4/4: Remember a Lift (Southbury, CT)
4/4: Warrior Affiliate League Deuces Wild (Fontana, CA)
4/4: The FORGE Partner Challenge (Plantsville, CT)
4/5: Freehold Spring Lift Off 2020 (Freehold, NJ)
4/5: Cap City Ope (Alexandria, VA)
4/11: Rookie Rumble at River Valley CrossFit (Van Buren, AR)
4/18: Festivus Games (Snyder, TX)
4/18: Heroes for Heroes (Chantilly, VA)
4/18: Patriot Games (Cincinatti, OH)
4/18: Festivus Games (Collingwood, Canada)
4/18: Heavy Day Morgan Fundraiser (Oak Ridge, TN)
4/18: Rookie Rumble at CrossFit 611 (Southern Pines, NC)
4/18: Arsenal Open (Pittsburgh, PA)
4/18: Patriot Games (Cincinnati, OH)
4/18: Master of The Community: Masters Competition @ Crossfit Decimate (Colorado Springs, CO)
4/18: Tyler’s Voice (Jefferson City, TN)
4/18: One Ton Challenge – EHP CrossFit (Moorhead, MN)
4/18: Festivus Games (Fort Wright, KY)
4/19: HighGear’s Spring Fling (Medina, OH)
4/25: WOD League Campus Edition (Boiling Springs, NC)
4/25: Rookie Rumble (Farmington, MI)
4/25 – 1/25: Rookie Rumble (Grand Rapids, MI)
4/25: Rookie Rumble (Adrian, MI)
4/25: Rookie Rumble (Troy, MI)
4/25: Rookie Rumble (Cleveland, OH)
4/25: Rookie Rumble (Cincinatti, OH)
4/25: Rookie Rumble (Plymouth, MI)
4/25: The Hopper II (Carbondale, IL)
4/25: Fallout in the Falls (Wichita Falls, TX)
4/25: Warrior Affiliate League Battle at the Beach at Long Beach State University (Long Beach, CA)
4/25: WOD Leagues GWU Edition (Boiling Springs, NC)
4/25: CrossFit 901 Spring Break Competition (Memphis, TN)

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