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What Were Thankful for this Thanksgiving

Morning Chalk Up

November 24   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • What are we thankful for this Thanksgiving?
  • Diving into the pain cave with mindset coach Dawn Fletcher
  • Is it time to move past the “unknown and unknowable”?
  • Margaux Alvarez talks career change from athlete to entrepreneur
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“Familiar acts are beautiful through love.” - Percy Bysshe Shelley

  10 Things We're Thankful for This Thanksgiving  

10 Things We're Thankful for This Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year, bust out the turkey and the gravy, and get ready to eat yourself into a food coma besides family members you love, cherish and hate to love. Thanksgiving is also a good time for us to give thanks, of what we are truly thankful for, like that first sip of water after a hard workout, or a well earned cheat meal.

When it comes to CrossFit, we’re thankful for many things, and a sport that gives as much as it gets from us all. With that in mind, here’s 10 things we’re happy to have in our lives when it comes to CrossFit, and why we follow the sport and head to the box over and over.

Roman Khrennikov’s Visa

Right now, Roman Khrennikov is having his first American Thanksgiving with his wife and newborn son, and everything about this is amazing. Khrennikov, as CrossFit fans know, has gone through an arduous journey just to get to the US, and then promptly made his way onto the podium of the 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games.

We’re thankful Khrennikov was able to secure a visa, with the help of some amazing people, and is now seen as a podium threat for every competition he sets foot on, on American soil.

Chandler Smith’s Comeback

One of the most loved CrossFit competitors had a rough 2022 NOBULL CrossFit Games season. Smith, whose semifinal appearance at the Granite Games is chronicled in a Buttery Bros documentary, did not go as planned for him. But Smith showed why he is so likable, as he roared back onto the stage at the 2022 Rogue Invitational.

We’re thankful for athletes like Smith showing us that bad competitors, or bad seasons, can be overcome, and we always have the opportunity to live to fight another day.

Anikha Greer’s Vengeance

After a tough end to her season, the teenager went back to the gym and trained for the off-season, knowing that she might get a jump on others. It panned out when she won at CanWest. After that she took on the Madrid Championship, placing seventh and then the Rogue Invitational where she took 19th after a tough weekend.

We look for her to take on the 2023 season with a vengeance and thankful that she is back in the mix and ready to rock.

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In case you missed it: Lauren Kalil, the host of The Bottom Line, spoke to David Hippensteel and long-time coach and Founder of Aerobic Capacity, Chris Hinshaw, to discuss what ultimately led Hippensteel to pull out of the season, the conversations he had behind the scenes with CrossFit, and his plans heading into the 2023 season.

Get some: The 2022 Ultimate CrossFitter’s Guide to Black Friday/Cyber Monday Shopping is here. Get crazy discounts on your favorite functional fitness brands. 🥳

Interesting read: A new study has found that it’s best for women to work out in the morning if they are looking to reduce their chances of heart disease.

Another interesting read: Metabolism and mitochondrial functioning appear to have more to do with mental health than some people might think.

  Terrified of the Pain Tough Workouts Bring? You’re Not Alone, Says Mindset Coach Dawn Fletcher  


Terrified of the Pain Tough Workouts Bring? You’re Not Alone, Says Mindset Coach Dawn Fletcher

It happened during Event 5 at the 2013 Regionals. My biggest competition fear came true.

The task was 21-15-9 of deadlifts at 205 pounds and box jumps, and I knew it would be a fast, but painful one.

I hit the first 21 deadlifts too fast, jacked my heart rate too high and immediately began panicking.

When I got to the box jumps, my face was already experiencing pins and needles, my vision was blurred, I felt dizzy, all of the classic ‘I went out too hard and am red lining’ signs.

At that moment, it was too much for me to handle. I couldn’t do it.

So after doing just a handful of the first 21 box jumps, I did it. I just stopped mid-workout, defeated. In front of all my family and friends, I wimped out and just stopped.

“Oh Fuck, did I really just do that?”

Embarrassed, I wasn’t sure what else to do, so I grabbed my back, faking an injury.

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  Terrified of the Pain Tough Workouts Bring? You’re Not Alone, Says Mindset Coach Dawn Fletcher  

Should CrossFit Nix Unknown and Unknowable?

The “unknown and unknowable” is part of our CrossFit roots, but has the sport outgrown the concept? Morning Chalk Up’s Lauren Kalil sits down with Training Think Tank coach, Adam Rogers, and Brute Strength coach, Matt Torres, to discuss ways that CrossFit can evolve from this potential sticking point and still challenge athletes in a way that moves the sport forward.

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  Professional Athlete to Entrepreneurship Parallels with Margaux Alvarez  

Professional Athlete to Entrepreneurship Parallels with Margaux Alvarez

It’s a harsh reality that you can’t be a professional athlete forever. For a variety of reasons, competitors see their way out of the landscape after some period of time, and have to pivot to a different form of income, and truly overall identity, as they navigate forward. However, some begin planting the seed for this transition sooner than others. Becoming a coach and launching a program are common avenues to take to remain connected to the CrossFit community, but not the only option.

For seven-time Games athlete Margaux Alvarez, it was a decision that began shortly after the 2015 season. Following her first finish inside the top ten, she spent time getting clear on her next strategic move — whether she had the time, energy and resources to invest in trying to make a run for the podium, or if diversifying her revenue streams was the next best step.

“But then, I thought to myself, what am I going to do once I finish competing? Because I’m not going to be an athlete forever. And so I wanted to be able to blend, no pun intended, the fitness and the wine — the two passions that I had,” Alvarez said. “…I love the physical labor of being on the farm, harvesting the grapes, (and) pulling the wheelbarrows to the sand. And so for me, I had to figure out how I could kind of build a business and structure around that.”

G.O.A.T. Wine was born out of Alvarez’s passion for the beverage and years of home wine production skills, appropriately so given that she’s named after Chateau Margaux (a famous wine-growing estate in France). The company was formed in 2018 with the all-encompassing slogan of “Work Hard – Wine Down”. And while there’s a plethora of hurdles and nuances in the alcohol industry that Alvarez didn’t anticipate (including trying to keep product in stock), the process of launching and growing the business has largely paralleled her CrossFit career.

“We spend more time on the journey than achieving the end goal — whether that’s standing on the podium or opening your business or getting that degree, whatever it might be,” she said. “You spend so many hours of the day in the gym trying to work towards getting stronger or losing fat, building muscle, getting a stronger core…it takes time, it takes a process to get there.

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Enter the 12 Days of CrossMas to Win Amazing Prizes

You must be on the nice list because Fitness Santa is here to bring you 12 straight days of festive fitness giveaways. Just enter below and from December 1st until December 12th one lucky winner will be drawn each day to receive a huge prize from one of your favorite brands.




RP's 10 Year Anniversary Sale is Live

RP has been bringing you the best in evidence-based nutrition and sports science since their launch in 2012. They're celebrating their 10 year anniversary with their biggest sale EVER. You can save on the RP Diet Coach App, 1:1 Coaching, and Templates and eBooks. Celebrate with RP and save up to 80%!



Bulgarian Split Squats Two Ways

Bulgarian (or rear foot elevated) split squats are a common piece of accessory work and most of us have a love/hate relationship with these spicy squats. But this movements can be done to target two different muscle groups with a simple tweak.



Early Access to Reebok’s Black Friday Sale

Get ready to do some serious holiday shopping during the early access Black Friday sale at Reebok. Get 45% off sitewide and 50% off of sale items. Use code “BLACKFRIDAY” to unlock these amazing deals.



Six Breakfasts to Serve on Thanksgiving Day

We all focus on the big Thanksgiving feast… but what about breakfast? We can’t wait until 4pm to eat our first meal, or we’ll die (okay that’s dramatic, so our stomachs will be growling). Here are six ideas for Thanksgiving breakfasts that will taste great, but leave you wanting more!


Share Your CrossFit Story


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

  • 🎂 Happy birthday, Ari Hurst and Syn Martinez.
  • 13-year-old Stella Rae Atwood from CrossFit Dwala in Marietta, GA had a big training month with five new PRs, including a 160 pound/72.5kg clean and jerk.
  • Ray Fleser, co-owner of Rhode Island’s Ocean State CrossFit, completed the 100 squat snatch challenge at 225 pounds/102kg in an incredible 35 minutes and 40 seconds.
  • USA weightlifter Mattie Rogers from Florida hit a 309 pound/140kg clean, jerk, jerk.
  • ✈️ Congratulations to Sara Sigmundsdottir on following a long-time dream and completing part one of aviation school.

🐾 Semifinal athlete, FBI Agent, and animal lover Shaylin Laure recently posted to her Instagram account requesting donations for the Animal Welfare Alliance Aruba, which is running a spay and neuter program to help the homeless dog population in Aruba.

  • At a cost of $20 per operation, Laure’s goal is to raise $2000 to fund 100 operations next week.
  • Donations can be made through Shaylin’s GoFundMe page.
12/10: The Great Equalizer 9 (Dover, NH)
12/16: Masters Mania 6 (Oklahoma City, OK)
1/13 - 1/14: The 615 Throwdown (Nashville, TN)
1/14: Battle Cancer Miami (Miami, FL)
1/20 - 1/21: Masters N Minors II (Beachwood, OH)
1/20: FrostFit Team Challenge (Colorado Springs, CO)
1/27: REPS AHEAD Switch Winterfest (Broomfield, CO)
1/27: GOAT Youth Fitness Competition (Olyphant, PA)

See all upcoming events

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