“All great achievements require time.”- Maya Angelou
Spotlight on Level 1 Special Olympics Coach Kelly O’Reilly
When Kelly O’Reilly was a teenager and was working as a counselor at a summer camp, she met a boy with Down Syndrome named Zack, and she was hooked.
“He was the most stubborn, ridiculous kid I have ever met in my entire life and I just fell head over heels. And I was like, ‘This is what I want to do,’” said O’Reilly, a CrossFit Level 1 coach at CrossFit Caliber in Streamwood, IL, who realized right then and there that she wanted to work with Special Olympics athletes.
More than 20 years later, as the head of the Special Olympics program in her school district in Illinois, O’Reilly has dedicated herself to coaching Special Olympics athletes like Zack. And she’s also the coach of the Special Olympics Team Illinois powerlifters, athletes who will be competing at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, FL in June, where they’ll attempt to qualify to Special Olympics World Games.
Working with Special Olympics Athletes
Many would consider working with children and teenagers with cognitive disabilities of all kinds to be a challenge too big to take on, but O’Reilly doesn’t see it this way.
“I don’t know. For me, nothing about this population is a challenge. It’s just what I do. I really enjoy getting to know new athletes and learning how people work and what prompts work for them,” said O’Reilly, who currently works with 50 Special Olympics young athletes in her school district, coaching them in various sports throughout the school year, as well as eight Special Olympics Team Illinois powerlifters.
“I tell everyone I have the best job in the entire school district,” she added.
And while O’Reilly has undoubtedly touched hundreds of lives coaching Special Olympics athletes, she is insistent they have taught her as much as she has taught them.
Don’t Sleep On This: May is statistically the worst month for sleep, so we’re competing with Talking Elite Fitness, Buttery Bros, and CrossFit Mayhem in WHOOP’s Sleep May-Nia challenge to see which team can catch the most Z’s. We’re going to bring you sleep tips throughout the month, and as a convincer, the top sleepers on the Morning Chalk Up WHOOP team will win prizes like free WHOOP kits and monthly memberships.
Want in? WHOOP users can use code “COMM-MCHALK” to join our team on the app. If you’re not using WHOOP yet, join today and get a free month and free WHOOP strap 4.0.
In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to analysts Tommy Marquez and Brian Friend about their initial thoughts on CrossFit releasing the Semifinals workouts.
Overcoming adversity: Great story about Crossfit mom Colleen Grote, who was diagnosed with breast cancer but still completed the CrossFit Open and made it to the Quarterfinals.
The CrossFit Games To Europe? Here Are Three Cities That Could Host
Last week during the post-Quarterfinals press conference, general manager of Sport for CrossFit Justin Bergh announced that the Games would be returning to Madison in 2023 for one last year in Wisconsin before finding a new home for the fittest on earth.
Bergh noted that the additional year in Madison would allow the Games team “to widen our aperture a little bit, seriously consider what non-U.S. offerings could look like before we make the decision for 2024.”
Arguably the most significant revelation was the fact that the CrossFit Games team is looking into the possibility of moving the Games outside of the United States for the first time in history following a period of international expansion. The growth of the sport in Europe, South America, and a steady presence in Oceania saw Open registration outside of North America tip the scales this season and grab a small hold of the majority.
Share Your CrossFit Story: Start Blogging with the Morning Chalk Up
Every day, CrossFit athletes around the world are transforming their health and fitness, hitting PRs, helping others accomplish goals, and serving their communities. But there isn’t one place where you can share your journey and read incredible stories from athletes like yourselves.
One big thing: That changes today with the official launch of Morning Chalk Up Community, a new blogging platform for CrossFit athletes to share their journey, talking about successes and setbacks, or share training, nutrition and wellness tips you’ve discovered.
Morning Chalk Up alone publishes nearly 1,000 stories a year, but we can’t tell every story.
This new blogging platform allows everyday CrossFit athletes, brands, and businesses, the opportunity to become a Morning Chalk Up blogger, gain followers and share their journey and insights.
In the coming months, we’ll be adding new features to support your storytelling, and curating the most popular posts to share in our daily newsletter.
Adrian Bozman Addresses 2022 Quarterfinals Criticisms on CrossFit Games Podcast
Last week while media were zeroed in on the Post Quarterfinals press conference, CrossFit also released an hour-plus-long Post-Quarterfinals Podcast episode with Chase Ingraham interviewing Adrian Bozman on everything from shuttle run regrets to being the new figurehead of the CrossFit Games.
The May 5 episode addresses many of the CrossFit community’s concerns around this year’s online stages of competition: score invalidation, submission deadlines, movement standards, communication and transparency.
Here are five important takeaways from CrossFit Games Podcast Episode #45: Quarterfinals Recap with Adrian Bozman.
1. Shuttle runs have been in the works for a long time, and they’re probably here to stay.
Though Bozman is the new figurehead of the CrossFit Games, he has been intricately involved in the programming and planning for a long time. The shuttle runs were an element being discussed even last year, he says, but the timing wasn’t right for previous Games director, Dave Castro.
“Dave and I, we talked about the shuttle run for a while. Last season…shuttle runs were something that I wanted to do and Dave’s like ‘no, let’s wait, because I want to do this in the Open next year.’”
Ultimately, the decision to move shuttle runs from the Open to Quarterfinals was made over concern of global affiliates having the proper space to execute it with all members, Bozman explained. However, it sounds like shuttle runs are here to stay.
“Running is one of those things that is so fundamental to being fit, and it pains me to say that because I hate running, but it’s true,” said Bozman. “To have a way that we can do that where people online are accountable for it, it’s great to be able to add that in.”
2. Upholding score submission deadlines is nothing new.
This season, the conversation surrounding CrossFit’s online competition scoring submission policies was headlined by Games hopeful and 2021 Semifinal athlete, Anikha Greer. However, Bozman was clear that “it’s not Anikha’s thing,” and that athletes ask for exceptions every year.
“We’re not setting a precedent by it, we’re upholding what we’ve always done, and it has applied to—even in this competition—hundreds of athletes. She wasn’t singled out… it sucks for her. It’s a hard situation. I wish we could just bring (her) in, but that would be playing favorites.”
How many miles do I need to run in order to work off the three cheeseburgers I ate over the weekend? If you've never asked yourself that question, we can't be friends. But is it actually possible to outrun a bad diet? Dr. Mike Israetel explains the science.
"Get eight hours a night." "Take more naps." "Fall asleep in 15 minutes." There's a lot of information on what a normal sleeping pattern should look like, but what's actually the truth? And why is it important? Find out the factors that affect how much sleep you need, and learn ways to improve your sleep consistency below.
Can Too Much Caffeine Dull Its Effects on Performance?
A 6 AM espresso, 9 AM Americano, 11 AM cappuccino, 2 PM latte, and 5 PM pre-workout...what could go wrong? Discover if having too much caffeine throughout the day can affect how well your pre-workout works in the afternoon.
The WHOOP 4.0 is smaller, smarter, and designed with new biometric tracking to provide real-time feedback on your Sleep, Training, Recovery, and Health. Sign up this month for just $0 and you'll not only get an extra month's membership and WHOOP 4.0 for free, but you have a chance to win some awesome WHOOP prizes as well.
If you want to blow up your quads, we have the exercise for you. This squat variation keeps constant tension on your quads so they never get a moment's rest. The perfect way to get a great burn going without too much joint stress.
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