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The CrossFit Open is Definitely Moving, Maybe

Morning Chalk Up

August 11

Ascent Protein

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. Season two of the Titan Games on NBC came to a close last night and the biggest winner was the CrossFit methodology, Patrick Clark has a full recap. And, we’ve been tracking stories that illustrate the effectiveness of CrossFit and group CrossFit classes for those recovering from substance abuse, below we have two stories that fit that trend, including a rehab facility that requires mandatory fitness, with CrossFit classes five days a week.

  • Also, don’t miss Niki Brazier and Justin LoFranco’s conversation about the shifting CrossFit Open on The Bottom Line.

Thank you for all the quote suggestions, story tips and PRs. Keep them rolling in at [email protected].

If you or your gym are getting back to holding local events, let us know.



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“Excuses are the nails that built the house of failure.” – Jim Rohn


Dani Speegle and Matt Chan Conquer Mount Olympus and The Titan Games

  Dani Speegle and Matt Chan Conquer Mount Olympus and The Titan Games  

Two elite CrossFitters representing both the past and future of the sport stood tall with The Titan Games trophy over their heads in the season finale of NBC’s hit athletic competition show on Monday night. Games legend Matt Chan and legend-in-the-making Dani Speegle won their respective divisions in dominating fashion, leaving no doubt that the two Central Region champions were the best athletes in this season’s field that featured Olympians, professional athletes and athletic world champions, but in the end it was two athletes with CrossFit as their background that went home $100,000 richer and with the title of Titan.

The men’s qualifiers:

  • “Hammer Down”: A popular event from the Regional finals would determine who would be the first person to compete for the title on Mount Olympus. Chan was the only athlete in the field to compete in this event and used his knowledge and his firefighter skills to make quick work of knocking down the poles with his sledgehammer. It was then a race against West Regional Titan Noah Palicia up the pole to pull the “Victory Chain.” Chan got there first and punched his ticket to Mount Olympus.

The women’s qualifiers:

  • “Hammer Down”: The women’s finals qualifier featured three CrossFitters, none of whom had tasted defeat and thus never having the chance to compete in this event. That didn’t appear to be the case for Speegle as she was the first of the three to knock down all three of her poles. West Region Titan Margaux Alvarez wasn’t about to concede the event to Speegle however as she was able to catch her as both athletes ascended up their poles. Speegle beat her fellow CrossFit Games competitor by seconds on the pull and secured her spot on Mount Olympus.

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Mandatory CrossFit in Rehab Makes All the Difference for Recovering Addicts

  Mandatory CrossFit in Rehab Makes All the Difference for Recovering Addicts  

Angie Manson was so sold on the idea that CrossFit can help those recovering from substance abuse disorder that she opened an affiliate at her drug and alcohol residential rehabilitation facility in Santa Cruz, CA. The facility also offers Yoga, as well as various other sports and activities.

The big picture: As far as Manson knows, they’re the only residential rehabilitation facility that mandates fitness and offers CrossFit to their patients.


Ken Walsh: Trading in Drug Highs for CrossFit Highs while Helping High School Students

  Ken Walsh: Trading in Drug Highs for CrossFit Highs while Helping High School Students  

Ken Walsh hit rock bottom in 2012. One day soon CrossFit would help him turn his life around and he’d have a new mission, speaking to high school students about addiction, mental health, trauma and fitness. But today wasn’t that day.

  • “I got a call telling me my father was in the hospital with pneumonia. Within a week, we found out he had stage four lung cancer and three to six months to live. Two weeks later, the pneumonia had spread to his other lung and killed him,” said 43-year-old Walsh.

What hit Walsh the hardest was the fact that his father had passed away with a lot of regrets.

  • “I started to question my own mortality. I was 50 pounds overweight and my drug use at the time was at its worst,” said Walsh, whose drug and alcohol problem started when he was just a teenager.
  • “I was basically high all day every day,” he said of his high school years.

In hindsight, he knows substance abuse was his way of coping with “the trauma and emotions” that stemmed from his home life.

  • We were poor and on welfare, and my mother was an opioid addict and mentally ill,” he explained.
  • “I witnessed multiple suicide attempts…For most of my high school years, she was there, but not there. Sometimes she just laid in bed all day,” he added.

Meanwhile, one of Walsh’s older sisters — whom he was very close with and had taken on a motherly role in his life — had become addicted to heroin and eventually shot and killed herself.


The CrossFit Open is Definitely Moving, Maybe

  The CrossFit Open is Definitely Moving, Maybe  



Training Burnout

It’s happened to all of us at least once — training burnout. Your WODs are going well, you’re hitting PRs and you feel great. Then, all of a sudden, your motivation disappears, your performance suffers, your sleep is restless and your energy drops. No matter how hard you try, it just gets worse. So, learn how it happens and how to recognize the signs so you can defeat burnout and get back on the gainz train.

  Morning Chalk Up  



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How the Green Beret Project has grown steadily since 2006


How the Green Beret Project has grown steadily since 2006

Can passion and patience help overcome the odds? On the Open Gym podcast, Patrick Cummings talks to Adam Kramer from the Green Beret Project. Their mission: provide long-term mentoring to at-risk youth by building relationships and teaching them about discipline and health.

Listen on Spotify    Listen on Apple Podcasts    More Listening Options...


Spiced Chicken Tacos

There probably isn’t a more perfect food on earth than tacos and these spiced chicken tacos are amazing! Here are a few hints: always use corn tortillas, toast them a little over a gas burner or in a cast iron skillet and then load on the toppings. Our favorites include pickled onions, avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro and cheese!





Community Round-Up

Here’s a quick round-up of some happenings from around the community:

  • New Unofficial Murph World Record: In Carlsbad, CA, 34-year-old Brandon Breitenbach broke the unofficial “most Murphs completed in 24 hours” world record at 17 total. With a weighted vest, Breitenbach completed 1700 pull-ups, 3400 push-ups, 5100 squats and ran 34 miles in less than 24 hours. The previous record was 16.75. The husband and father of three started his first round on Wednesday, August 5, at 6:30 AM. He completed his 17th round at 5:20 AM Thursday, August 6, live-streaming every round on Instagram.
  • Fitness for Social Good: More than Fitness is an emerging organization, founded in 2018 by Jeremy “Coach” Moore and Stacey Richardson in Delaware. The team uses fitness as a platform to help their students fulfill their need to dispense pent up energy, experience failure, and feel success. They have partnered with Diamond State Fitness to work with teenagers in fitness, meditation and character development. Learn more about their mission and donate!
  • 19th Amendment Centennial Fundraiser: Bianca Hutter, a 12-year-old nationally-ranked diver who uses CrossFit to train for diving, has created a community fundraiser workout, taking place on August 22, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment (women’s suffrage) as part of a larger Bat Mitzvah project. The fundraiser benefits Girls Empowerment Network, a local, Austin, TX charity. Learn more about Bianca and her project; then check out her workout and donate. Special thanks to Elwyn Hutter, Bianca’s mom and owner of Third Element Fitness.
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