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Travis Mead Ready to Tackle Type 1 Diabetes

Morning Chalk Up

May 13   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Travis Mead ready for Type 1 Diabetes “challenge”
  • Can self-determination theory help you become a better coach?
  • HYROX has its sights set on global dominance
  • Josh Strange is fired up for the CrossFit Games
  • Workout of the Week with Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson
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“He who angers you conquers you.” - Elizabeth Kenny

  Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis “Just Another Challenge” for Travis Mead  

Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis “Just Another Challenge” for Travis Mead

One month ago, on April 15, everything started to feel off for Travis Mead.

“I coached early that morning and had a long training day, so I thought I was just feeling more tired than usual,” said 35-year-old Mead, a four-time regional athlete who was second overall in the 2022 Open in the men’s 35-39-year-old division.

“But as the days went on, I continued to feel lethargic. My kidneys were in pain, and I was using the bathroom like every 10 minutes,” said Mead, the owner of Iron Valley CrossFit in Clackamas, OR.

After two weeks of experiencing the latter symptoms, as well as blurred vision, Mead ended up in the hospital for two nights, where he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, the same disease his younger brother discovered he had at the age of 11.

“He had similar symptoms before his diagnosis, but I was hoping for rhabdo or something,” said Mead, who recently completed 365 straight days of hero workouts, and his next challenge was to complete 1,000 hero workouts within a one year period, before being derailed with his diabetes diagnosis.

Just Another Challenge

In a matter of seconds, Mead’s priorities shifted from thinking about hero workouts and an upcoming 31-mile trail run to simply getting the disease under control “as fast as possible,” he said.

He wasted no time wallowing in self-pity.

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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of the Bottom Line, spoke to Chase Ingraham and Spencer Panchik about if in fact Scott Panchik is really retired, or if he is the Brett Favre of CrossFit

Tik Tok or CrossFit?: Alec Smith and crew most definitely know how to choreograph a proper dance routine in the box.

Staying fit: The Second Annual Atlanta Masters Classic kicks off at CrossFit Iconz on Saturday, June 18, but registration is open now. There are Rx and Scaled divisions for athletes 35 and up.

Check your inbox: CrossFit has sent out invitations for the Age Group and Adaptive Semifinals to qualifying individuals.

Small Business Aid?: The Community Gyms Coalition has endorsed proposed legislation in the United States Senate to provide small business relief:

  • “The Community Gyms Coalition enthusiastically endorses the bipartisan package, introduced by Sens. Cardin and Wicker, to provide targeted aid to small gyms and fitness facilities which are still struggling to recover from government-mandated shutdowns and operating restrictions imposed nationwide due to COVID. For too long, small gyms and fitness facilities have been left behind, so we are immensely grateful for Senator Cardin’s and Senator Wicker’s dedication and leadership.”
  Harnessing Self-Determination Theory to Become a Better Coach  


Harnessing Self-Determination Theory to Become a Better Coach

In the fitness and nutrition world, coaches spend a lot of time optimizing programs and approaches to maximize adaptation and results by focusing on the quantitative components of training and eating.

Rightfully so, there is an abundance of science that supports the importance of reps, sets, volume, carbohydrates, and protein, to name a few.

Adaptation and performance however rely equally on the client or athlete’s attitude when striving towards a goal. Good coaching extends beyond spreadsheets and numbers as the coach/client relationship ultimately influences the subjective experience of the client.

Coaches have an excellent opportunity to enhance the client’s experience, and indirectly their results, if they understand the tools and methods to use.

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  HYROX Out to Couple with CrossFit for Functional Fitness Domination  

HYROX Out to Couple with CrossFit for Functional Fitness Domination

Christian Toetzke, the founder and CEO of HYROX – billed the world series of fitness racing – has big plans and even bigger dreams coming out of the pandemic.

“We want to have a race in every notable country out there,” said Toetzke, who has worked in sports for most of his career which included developing a number of world triathlon series. “This is the goal and the plan now in 2022 that the pandemic is over, knock on wood.”

HYROX began in 2017 when Toetzke got together with fellow German Mortiz Furste, a two-time Olympic gold medal hockey player, and they devised a fitness race that combines functional exercise with endurance. Toetzke has taken the company to incredible heights since then, despite the pandemic, as they have already had 28 races over eight countries for the 2021-22 season.

Flying in from Los Angeles and a competition that just wrapped, he spoke to the Morning Chalk Up about what he sees as the coming fitness boom the world is just now entering.

“There is an appetite for these kinds of things I am seeing now that I have never seen before in my life.”

Each HYROX race across the planet is exactly the same with athletes completing eight 1 kilometer runs and eight functional fitness workouts which include ski, sled push, sled pull, burpees, rowing, Farmer’s Carry, lunges and wall balls. Athletes can compete as individuals in the regular or pro category, or as a pair (mixed or same sex).

This weekend, the world championship will take place in Las Vegas, and Toetzke said he is just getting started with HYROX, which has a tonne of cross-pollination with CrossFit. A number of elite CrossFit athletes have competed in events and the biggest star, Hunter McIntyre, previously competed at the CrossFit Games.

“CrossFit is amazing in what it has done globally,” said Toetzke, “and we don’t want to take away from that at all. We have this vision that within each box there is a HYROX faction, where people talk about the next upcoming race that they are doing.”

Toetzke wants to key on what he calls mass participation events, which would have been scoffed at during the pandemic, but are now returning with a vengeance. Out of the pandemic has emerged a new type of regular person, one who prioritizes fitness more, and one who is looking to forgo traditional gyms and also couple activities with training augmentation.

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  15-Year-Old Josh Strange Fired Up for CrossFit Games After 2021 Covid Disruptions in Australia  

15-Year-Old Josh Strange Fired Up for CrossFit Games After 2021 Covid Disruptions in Australia

Last year, 15-year-old Australian Josh Strange was on track for his biggest summer vacation yet: Madison, WI to compete at the CrossFit Games.

However, due to Australia’s COVID restrictions, which prohibited children under 16-years-old from getting the vaccine, Strange was held back from participating in the 14-15 division.

Strange had placed sixth in the 2021 Open, and just squeaked by in the AGOQ with a 20th place finish. But he knew all throughout the qualifying season that getting to the Games might be a more difficult process than just a few weeks of online competition.

According to Strange, extreme lockdowns in the country fluctuated almost in line with school holidays, so Strange didn’t have total confidence. When it was confirmed that he wouldn’t be able to make it to the United States, though, Strange says it was initially a hard loss to move past.

  • “At that point (after the 2021 AGOQ), it sucked because it seemed like the end of the world,” Strange said. Luckily, the Brisbane-native was able to get back on his feet and set his eyes on the 2022 season. “Obviously it wasn’t (the end of the world): the days kept going, and come September or October, I started to think ‘okay, let’s give it our all,’” Strange said.

Flash forward to April of 2022, though, and Strange might finally punch his ticket across the Pacific to America. With a second and fourth-place finish in the Open and Age Group Quarterfinals respectively, Strange is setting himself up for success later in the year. And, after a year of setbacks, training, and lessons learned, he is more poised than ever for a podium spot at the Games.

Strange has also been gaining outside competition experience which has helped him develop as an athlete even while being sequestered at home.

  • Strange won Best Lifter (Under 15 Boys) in the Australian Youth Olympic Weightlifting Nationals in 2021, with a 420-pound total. In addition, Strange took home silver in the 2021 Torian Pro 14-15 Boys competition, including top three finishes in half of the events.

The teen recently switched to PRVN’s competitor’s track, which Strange said has resulted in constant improvements, both in his athletic performance and confidence. “It sucked that I couldn’t make it (in 2021), but I knew (2022) would be my year.”

  Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson’s Workout of the Week  

Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson’s Workout of the Week

Today’s workout is programmed by eight-time CrossFit Games athlete Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson. Affectionately known as BKG, the native of Iceland has made a serious case to be crowned the “Fittest European Man of All-time” based on his two podium and five top-5 finishes at the Games, both of those accomplishments are records for European men.

  • Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson
    20-Minute EMOM (“Till Death Do Us Part”):
    5 Power Snatch (95/65 LBs – 42.5/30 KGs)
    5 Toes-to-Bars
    5 Thrusters (95/65 LBs – 42.5/30 KGs)
    5 Bar-facing Burpees
    Time Cap: 30 Minutes

If you fail before 20 rounds, take 1-minute rest and continue until you accumulate 21 rounds. Each time you fail, add one more round in the end.

Scaling Options:

  • Scaling the reps down to 4 or even 3 is possible as well as lowering the weight in order to finish the workout within the 30 min cap.

Some advice from Bjorgvin Karl Gudmundsson: “​​Rest needs to be somewhere between 10-15 seconds. Try to transition quick!”

To inquire about submitting an upcoming workout of the week, shoot us a note.



Guessing Games: Semifinal Edition

Four weekends. Ten semifinals. Twenty Champions. Think you have what it takes? 600 men and women are competing in the semifinals and we want to know who you think will win each one. Enter your predictions below for a chance to win an epic prize pack from Reebok, YETI, and FITAID.




The World’s Toughest Weightlifting Shoe

Need a lifter as tough as you are? The inov-8 FASTLIFT POWER G 380 is the world’s first weightlifting shoe made using the ground-breaking material, Graphene. Delivering an innovative combination of unrivalled power with flexibility and free movement.



Why You Sweat

Whether you want to be able to run around with your kids, reach your athletic potential, or just love hanging out with your fitness family, we all have a reason why we sweat. Get some inspiration, and submit your reason at The Wod Life.



A $70 Pair of The Nano X or X1

This is not a drill. For the next week, you can get your hands on a pair of Reebok Nano X or X1 for only $70. No code needed, just head to the link below and pick up a pair (or two).



Bruising Your Shoulders on Clean Day

Bruised shoulders after heavy clean day? This one is for you. When going from the ground to your shoulders, you only really want to pull the barbell as high as you need to fix it on the shoulders. Otherwise, it comes crashing on you, and is highly inefficient. See what we mean below.


Celebrating a PR, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a highlight.

  • Congratulations Rachel Elery from CrossFit Omnia in Denver, CO on the squat gainz.
  • Congratulations Hayley Avino, a Barbell Saves Board Member from Scottsdale, AZ on 10 years as a nurse, and your new venture into Functional Medicine.
  • 🇨🇦 Pat Vellner rips a few 315 pound/143kg hang cleans in preparation for the Atlas Games on June 10-12 in Montréal.
  • This toddler’s determination to get to the cookie stash is… a little too relatable.

Babylon CrossFit, with the help of Cow Harbor CrossFitvisited Timber Point Elementary School on Long Island, NY to get kids in grades K-2 moving! Over the course of three different assemblies, kids learned air squats, push presses, shoulder taps, and of course… burpees. 😅

12/2: Babes & Beasts WINTER GAMES 2023 (Port St. Lucie, FL)
12/2 - 12/3: Reindeer Rumble (Ocala, FL)
12/2: Battle at Bion (Tucson, AZ)
12/9 - 12/10: Space Coast Classic (West Melbourne, FL)
12/9: Wodamania (Singer Island Riviera Beach, FL)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)

See all upcoming events

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