“There is no instinct like that of the heart.”- Lord Byron
Unstoppable: Marcus Hayward Touts Family and Fitness for Getting Him Through Injury
Marcus Hayward lost his left leg during his third deployment to Afghanistan in 2010. But all he could think about was getting back to his family and fitness.
Hayward joined the military as a specialized search dog handler, and on his third deployment his ATV hit a pressure plate improvised explosive device, also known as an IED. He sustained injuries to his eye, face, left hand, along with the loss of his left leg.
After numerous surgeries and regaining function in his hand, Hayward went back to the gym and started to build back his strength. He started out doing bodybuilding movements such as bench press, pull ups, etc. and didn’t find his way back to CrossFit for some time.
“I was obsessed, the doctors told my wife (my girlfriend back then) and my mom if he wasn’t in such good shape some of the injuries I had sustained I might not have made it. So I definitely credit my faith, but then also CrossFit and just being in shape helped save my life,” said Hayward.
“I didn’t dabble in CrossFit as much because I was still learning the ins and outs of walking with a prosthetic, but by the time I got to Florida and was in PTA school, about three years post injury, four years post injury, I was absolutely a lot more confident. But even walking into a CrossFit gym things were dumbed down.”
“I think that CrossFit is such a functional component of life, like if you can pick something up and move it a distance that helps to kind of translate to everyday life, like picking up your kids. So that transition back into working out was probably the best thing for me honestly, outside of my family.”
Thirteen years later and Hayward has a wife, two children, and a whole lot of fitness under his belt. At 38 he says he has no plans of slowing down and CrossFit is just a part of his lifestyle and currently works as a high school teacher in Lake Worth, Florida.
He recently competed at the 2023 TYR Wodapalooza competition on an all adaptive team in the scaled division as opposed to any of the adaptive divisions. While he did start with the inaugural adaptive division at Wodapalooza in 2015, he’s since been competing as a regular athlete.
“The last few years I’ve done scaled individual, scaled teams and my whole goal with that is if you get enough scale teams that are adaptive athletes into the regular divisions maybe they’ll say ‘Hey, let’s give these guys like their own team’,” he said.
Separately, Hayward says he’s holding off on doing the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open as an adaptive athlete until the division standards change.
Hayward acknowledged that CrossFit has done a “good job” at mapping out the divisions thus far but he’s hoping for more.
“Looking at the landscape of how the divisions are broken up you have upper extremity, lower extremity, neuromuscular, wheelchair. They did a good job identifying certain things, but then there still needs to be a little bit more defining of it.,” said Hayward.
For those who are able-bodied the adaptive athlete classifications for the Open have caused a bit of confusion and differs from the classification process for WZA. In prior years, adaptive athletes only had to complete a self-assessment and didn’t need to be vetted unless they made a qualifying spot for the Games.
This year, it is a much more thorough vetting process that includes a number of assessments right up front. In addition, the qualifications for the neuromuscular division have tightened and been reclassified as the Multi Extremity division.
Hayward has big goals for the future including making it to the Granite Games and the West Coast Classic. He describes himself as someone who likes to have fun and has always kept a positive outlook.
“I’ve always looked at it very optimistically. Unfortunately, I’m missing my leg, there are people out there missing 2,3,4 (limbs) that are doing just as I am and super efficient, so no ‘woe is me’ it’s kind of just pick up and go.”
Clear the Mess, Beat the Stress
The timer is ticking as you frantically dig through your old bag. Pushing things aside, you search for that one piece of gear for the next lift. But it’s nowhere to be found.
Times up! Heads turn. You hurry to the floor but can’t stop thinking. Did I leave it at home? Did I lose it?
Never dig again.
The Haven Organized Duffel is designed to keep you organized, clear, and focused on your workout. Collapse-proof, so all your gear is in plain sight when you open it.
The Open is Here!: The 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Open is now one day away and we’ve got your covered. Keep an eye on our competition hub, social media and newsletter for everything and anything you need to know.
Sign up!: The 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games season is but a day away and if you’re interested in volunteering, the portal is now open.
Another athlete signing: Iceland’s Annie Thorisdottir, who has just announced her return to individual, has inked a deal with TYR. 😎
Athlete signing: Brooke Wells, who just signed a deal with Podium, now has a drink to go with that as she has also inked with Reign Body Fuel.
Local love: Great piece in The Ellsworth American about two doctors who started CrossFit Breakwater in Maine.
Brave New World: More Big Announcements for the Women’s Division
When Tia-Clair Toomey announced she was pregnant and would be sitting out the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games season, the entire women’s division shifted on its axis. Now in the past few days, more big news has been announced on the women’s side, creating major opportunities for the athletes who plan on being in Madison this summer.
Toomey, Saunders and Campbell are all out for 2023
Tia-Clair Toomey: The six-time CrossFit Games champion sitting out 2023 was the news of the offseason, giving the rest of the women’s field a chance to claim the top of the podium at this year’s Games.
Kara Saunders: Saunders is a 10-time Games competitor, who finished seventh in 2022 and is currently ranked 10th in the worldwide rankings.
Lucy Campbell: Campbell finished 16th in her rookie season at the 2022 CrossFit Games and is currently ranked 30th in the worldwide rankings. She has been battling a wrist injury since before Qualifiers in 2022 and has decided to sit out this year for the long term health of her career.
Annie Thorisdottir is coming back to the individual division
Iceland Annie announced that she was going individual on her Instagram page on February 13th, looking to compete in her 12th CrossFit Games in the individual division.
Thorisdottir finished fourth on team CrossFit Reykjavík in 2022 following her third place individual finish in 2021, showing that she is far from being out of her prime.
The bottom line: Three of the top 20 finalists from 2022 will not be at the CrossFit Games this year, creating an opportunity for the rest of the field to earn a higher placement. One of the people who may be able to capitalize on this news is Thorisdottir, who’s legendary career continues for her 12th individual season as one of the fittest women in the world.
From a Semifinal level, the Oceania women’s Semifinal will be missing their top two athletes. With only three guaranteed games qualifying spots, this opens the door for athletes like Ellie Turner, Madeline Sturt, Jammie Simmonds and Bailey Rogers, who were the top contenders behind Toomey and Saunders at the 2022 Torian Pro.
The implementation of the new worldwide ranking system makes Toomey and Saunders’ absence even more significant, as qualifying for the CrossFit Games creates the largest points-earning opportunity for athletes during the season. The opening in the Oceania region will allow some of the previously mentioned top contenders to make some moves this year and help their ranking for years to come.
WeTime Offers Efficient Video-Upload Solution for the CrossFit Open
You survived yet another CrossFit Open workout, but the work isn’t done. You still need to make sure your score gets submitted, and your video uploaded.
Still out of breath, you want to deal with the video burden sooner as opposed to later, so you start uploading your video to YouTube, only to be hit with the wheel of death and the message that your video is going to take two hours to upload.
Two hours later, when it’s finally done, you’re hit with a message from YouTube telling you there’s a copyright issue with the music that’s playing in the background of your video.
As an athlete, there’s enough to worry about during the Open. The last thing you want to add to your plate is video upload and submission stress.
Enter WeTime: A Singapore-based tech timing app that is committed to making video submissions as easy as possible for the aspiring Quarterfinals and Semifinalist.
The details: In 2021, WeTime launched video-links as part of their Premium subscription to make uploading and submitting a video as efficient and foolproof as possible, explained WeFitness CEO Pablo Monzon.
“For the end user, video-links simplifies the process by making WeTime a one-stop shop where they can easily record, upload and submit their videos to competitions without having to juggle between platforms,” explained Monzon, adding that since 2021, more than 250,000 video-links have been created and submitted inside the WeTime app for competitions all around the world.
Further, video-links automatically include when and where the video was uploaded, which can be helpful during an online qualifier that demands this type of information.
And finally, WeTime integrates with Concept2 technology, as well as Whoop, Polar and other Bluetooth-enabled heart rate monitors, so you can view your real-time heart rate at each point during your workout.
The ultimate goal: “To professionalize video submissions for online qualifiers and get rid of all the issues associated with using platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, blocked videos, copyrighted music etc etc,” Monzon said.
One big thing: If you’re the parent of a teenager doing the Open, WeTime means your teen video doesn’t have to sit on a public platform like YouTube or Vimeo.
“We fundamentally believe kids and teens should not have their workout videos on platforms like YouTube or Vimeo,” Monzon said.
The big picture: If you have ever had a video upload or submission issue, you know how time-consuming, frustrating, and in some cases devastating (ask Anikha Greer), technology can be for online qualifiers like the Open. So, just like you wouldn’t forget your lifting shoes and a lifting belt to a four-rep max front squat test, it’s worth having the right technological tools in your toolbox before 23.1 hits you like a storm.
Morning Chalk Up has partnered with Girls Gone Rx to support their charity “Compete for a Cure” for these strong women t-shirts. 100% of shirt proceeds go to this charity. Celebrate all the strong women in your life and grab a tee!
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Sometimes the lift isn’t the hardest part… it’s bringing the bar back down into the front rack. Catalyst Athletics gives you tips to rerack the bar without feeling like you are going to choke or fall over!
It’s here. Meet the Nano X3, your new favorite training shoe. With the all new Lift and Run chassis system, you no longer need to stop to change into your running shoes when you see a 400 meter run in a workout. The Nano X3 is the most dialed in Nano yet.
Listen to this episode of “Counseling and Functional Fitness” featuring Mike McGoldrick from Training Think Tank discussing the mental preparation for performance. Might be a great listen before the first open workout!
Celebrating a PR, birthday, or grand opening, hosting a fundraiser, this, that, or otherwise. Send us a tip.
🥈 Congratulations to Corie Mapp from CrossFit Cirencester in Cirencester, UK on taking home the silver medal in the 2023 IBSF Para-Bob World Cup in Norway.
🤯 CrossFit semifinal athlete and coach Adam Klink from Georgetown, TX completed 30 unbroken bar muscle-ups in 1:39 at a bodyweight of 222 pounds (100.6kg).
Congratulations Nicki Torreggiani from CrossFit Milford in Milford, CT on the new 240 pound/108.8kg clean and jerk PR.
7-year-old Easton Fletcher from Florida is taking his training seriously to be a future American Ninja Warrior.
Congratulations Daniel Rivera from Training Pit Fitness in Hollywood, FL on the new power snatch PR of 230 pounds/104.3kg.
CrossFit TILT in the Boston, MA area hosted a Rowathon last Saturday to raise funds to support Jack Urban, a 20-month-old family friend of TILT Waltham member Joe Rioff. Jack was born with non-ketotic hyperglycinemia (NKH), a very rare disease which causes severe seizures and developmental delays, and requires 24/7 in-home care.
There is no current cure for the condition as it receives no funding from pharmaceutical companies and governmental grants, leading to a lack of research in the field.
NKH Crusaders is a nonprofit organization working to raise research funds for NKH, and is the organization selected to receive all Rowathon donations, which arestill being accepted here.
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