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The Fittest Teen Not Heading to Madison This Year

Morning Chalk Up

April 7

OptimizeMe Nutrition

Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up. We are all facing lockdown and coronavirus quarantine and in such a stressful moment, self-care is more important than ever. Check out how some CrossFit Games athletes are managing. And, even though the Sanctionals season is on pause, there were some amazing highlights from the first ten events. Today:

  • How Games athletes are taking care of themselves in lockdown.
  • The season may be on pause, but there have been so many highlights in the first ten events; check them out.
  • Mallory O’Brien might be the fittest teen not headed to Madison this year.

Keep those outdoor highlights, quotes, story tips and PRs coming. Hit us up at [email protected].



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“People are getting a little desperate. People might not show their best elements to you. You must never lower yourself to being a person you don’t like. There is no better time than now to have a moral and civic backbone. To have a moral and civic true north.” – Henry Rollins (2013)


Games Athletes Share their Lockdown Self-Care Practices

  Games Athletes Share their Lockdown Self-Care Practices  

Coronavirus Anxiety: This new term ranks high on online searches in recent weeks, presumably searched for by anxious people looking for solutions to their growing fears.

Whether this anxiety stems from worrying about the virus itself, from financial stress, from stress about the uncertainty of the future, or from the stress of going insane in a 500 square foot apartment, the anxiety is real for many of us.

Enter the importance of self-care: In an Instagram post on March, 29, three-time CrossFit Games podium finisher Patrick Vellner wrote:

  • “Make some time for self-care today. Turn off the TV. Stretch. Read a book. Go for a walk. Take a bath. Pet a dog. Bake a cake. Phone a friend. It’s easy to get low during times like this. Do something today that makes you happy. What is your go to when it comes to self-care?”

So, we took the question to Vellner and a handful of other CrossFit Games athletes:

  • What is your go-to self-care activity during lockdown?

Vellner revealed not much has changed for him in terms of his self-care activities, except that he’s doing them more frequently than normal.

  • “I try to take nice long dog walks, spend some time stretching and doing lots of reading,” Vellner told Morning Chalk Up. “Also trying to still be super consistent with my bed and wake times helps me feel good and stay productive.”

Down in Australia: 2019 CrossFit Games athlete and former college gymnast Lindsay Vaughan said everything has changed for her since the COVID-19 pandemic got real. And considering she and her husband Ehren Vaughan have been putting in 16 hour days turning their gym into a purely online business, self-care has become more important than ever, she explained.

In the past, Vaughan relied on one massage and one osteopathic treatment each week, and going for breakfast with friends every Saturday after training, as her primary self-care activities.


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VIDEO: Highlight Reel: 2019-2020 Sanctionals Season So Far

  VIDEO: Highlight Reel: 2019-2020 Sanctionals Season So Far  

Mallory O’Brien: The Fittest Teen not Headed to Madison this Summer

  Mallory O'Brien: The Fittest Teen not Headed to Madison this Summer  

After surprisingly skipping the 2020 CrossFit Games Open, for the first time in her career, 16-year-old Mallory O’Brien is looking to make a splash in the competitive fitness world by other means.

The two-time CrossFit Games athlete has qualified every year she has been eligible, as a 14- and 15-year-old. After becoming a well-known competitor with a fourth-place finish in her first year in 2018, O’Brien was a favorite for the 2019 podium. However, she says health issues arose from an aggressive training regime.

  • “I was at the gym more than my house. Train, eat, train, sleep, repeat,” O’Brien said about her training schedule leading up to the 2019 Games under the eye of her coach, Elijiah Muhammad.

O’Brien believes she was overtraining last year, and it was having an effect on her performance. So when the 2019 Games rolled around after months of preparation, she says she was burnt out and unable to perform. O’Brien placed fifth overall with 140 points separating her from fourth place.

  • “I was not the athlete I knew I should’ve been,” O’Brien said. “I ignored what my body was trying to tell me. I gave it my all, but didn’t want to go through that in the (2020) Open.”

O’Brien took a big step for her health for the 2020 season — she didn’t compete. The newly-minted 16-17-year-old competitor decided to take the year off to allow her body and mind to recover, even though it meant missing the Open, Age Group Online Qualifier, and the CrossFit Games.

  • “Seeing my friends and competitors go through the Open and AGOQ was pretty rough; it sucks watching everyone do what you want to do,” O’Brien admitted.

After months of deliberation and rehabilitation, O’Brien cut ties with Muhammad in 2019. She declined to comment on the specifics about the split, but is enthusiastic about her rapport with her new coach, former NFL Wide Receiver turned gym owner James Townsend.




The Hardest Bike Workout Ever with the Buttery Bros, Amanda Barnhardt, TeamRichey, and an Exploding Watermelon

This week Heber Cannon and Marston Sawyers hit the hardest Concept2 Bike Erg workout they’ve ever done, talk with Amanda Barnhardt and wreck a watermelon.

  Morning Chalk Up  



All NIKE footwear including the Metcon and Romaleos are 25% off. Shop now and the code “LOGIN25” through April 8 to get 25% off.

Can You Exit this Crisis more Financially Fit?


Can You Exit this Crisis more Financially Fit?

John Briggs authored Profit First for Microgyms, founded Incite Tax & Accounting, and co-owns CrossFit GSL. On the Open Gym podcast with Patrick Cummings, sponsored by O2 Recovery Drink, he discusses the financial advice he’s giving the gyms his firm works with to best weather the current storm.

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



The Energy of Chris Spealler

MCT Oil boosts your immune system and keeps your GI tract happy, all while raising your energy level and sharpening your mental focus. Just ask Rory McKernan, Chris Spealler, or Becca Voigt what their go to MCT Oil is. (Hint, it’s BUBS.)

  Morning Chalk Up  


A Squat and Bench Rack for $40

We know a lot of you are still trying to outfit your home setup and here’s DIY squat and bench rack for $40, brought to you by Kristi Eramo O’Connell and Pat O’Connell.





United in Movement Update

The United in Movement charity event and competition is rolling on and here’s a quick rundown to bring you up to speed:

  • Following the 24-hour livestream, telethon-style opening, the first WOD was announced.
    • Workout 1: 7 Minute AMRAP — Line-Facing Burpees, over a 6″ line.
    • Tia-Clair Toomey and Mat Fraser took this one on in Mat’s Cookeville garage.
  • Sunday evening, Brent Fikowski and Pat Vellner faced off (virtually) in workout #2.
    • Workout 2: 12 Minute AMRAP — 80 Lateral Hops Over-the-Dumbbell; 60 Air Squats; 40 Dumbbell Shoulder to Overhead (50/35).
  • Monday evening, newlyweds Lauren Fisher and Rasmus Anderson took on workout #3
    • Workout 3: 20 Minute AMRAP — 20 Hand Release Pushups; 30 Goblet Squats; 40 Hand Release Pushups; 50 Dumbbell Lunges; 60 Hand Release Pushups; 70 Single-Arm Suitcase Deadlifts.

So far, United in Movement has raised almost $170,000 and nearly 13,000 people are participating in the event.

Check out the United in Movement website and Instagram for more.

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