The Story of Dave Castro’s Viral Hero WOD to Honor His Friend
It was the afternoon of Friday, December 14. Jimi Letchford, James Hobart and Adrian Bozman joined Dave Castro downstairs in CrossFit HQ’s box. Each one with a 45-pound backpack strapped on, they began stepping, up and down on a 20” box, repeatedly for 1,000 steps.
The workout is called Chad — it was named after Chad Wilkinson, a friend of Castro’s and a 22-year active duty SEAL stationed in Virginia Beach, who took his own life on October 29th.
“When I posted the workout, I wasn’t trying to rally people to do it,” Dave Castro said in a phone interview.
But in the week since, hundreds if not thousands of individuals began to take on the workout themselves, in teams, and affiliates across the globe.
Around 2008, Castro was a SEAL Qualification Training instructor down in Coronado when he met Wilkinson, who was already a SEAL and going through the course again after re-enlisting.
“We kinda treated him differently because he was already one of us,” Castro told us on the phone.
The two developed a rapport and stayed in touch over the years especially as Wilkinson’s wife Sara became a L4 coach and flowmaster, who owned CrossFit Odyssey in Virginia Beach, where Chad was stationed.
When Sara spoke at her husband’s funeral, she recounted a recent story when she walked into the garage to find Wilkinson doing step-ups wearing a backpack. He was training to climb Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in South America, by doing 1000 step-ups at a time.
“You need to make that a Hero workout,” one of the CrossFit L1 seminar staff attendees whispered to Dave.
Michele Letendre on Laura Horvath: “I think this is a really important part of her career”
In a sit-down interview during the Dubai CrossFit Championship last week, six-time CrossFit Games athlete turned coach, Michele Letendre discussed Laura Horvath’s disappointing performance during the competition which put her in ninth place overall before she withdrew due to an injury.
“This weekend is not really going well for her,” Letendre said. “Laura is a different athlete from my other athletes in the sense that she needs maybe a little more guidance and a little more decision making for her.”
“I’m going to put my foot down a little more and become a bit more disciplined,” said Letendre.
Letendre repeatedly referenced the off-season months after the CrossFit Games, which Horvath spent a good portion traveling.
“She traveled a lot and I think right now she’s understanding what that means,” Letendre continued. “This weekend wasn’t the most successful preparation, but that being said she showed a lot of guts this weekend and I’m happy about that.”
Editor’s Note: Don’t panic when you don’t see the Morning Chalk Up in your inbox Monday. We’re taking the week off but we’ll see you again Monday, December 31st, just in time to share our top ten stories from 2018. Enjoy the week. We’ll miss you!
Coffee Break Conversations
So while you’re driving around looking at Christmas lights, stop and ring someone’s doorbell…
Meet Molly from CrossFit CMH in Reynoldsburg, OH. She sent her coach a message celebrating her recent bloodwork results and it prompted a share-worthy post about the power of CrossFit. “What we do in our gym is not all barbells, weights, and walking on hands. YOU CAN DO CROSSFIT. If you or someone you care about could use some functional fitness in their life, drive to their house, do whatever to help them or you out. You may just change your life or someone else’s.”
And speaking of doing things to help people…
Not CrossFit related one bit, but this bus driver bought every child on his bus breakfast when they got stranded during an ice storm and we think kindness is always something to shout from the rooftops.
WATCH: Almost Dying Saved His Life
On June 6, 2012, Justin Gehrt crashed his car while driving drunk. He had a blood-alcohol level of .22 at the time. Dr. Daniel Farrell, the orthopedic surgeon who tended to Gehrt’s injuries, told Gehrt his bed scale read 405 pounds. He also talked with him about nutrition and CrossFit. “I owe my life to Dr. Farrell,” Gehrt says. “He saved me.”
So you have to go home and sit down with the family and have awkward conversations about big life changes. Amy and Olivia of the Nasty Girls podcast made a word for these types of conversations — transversations. Here’s how to have them.
The cutest grain free gingerdoodle cookies make with a swirl of snickerdoodle cookie dough and gingerbread cookie dough. These festive cookies are perfectly sweet, gluten-free, and great for the holidays!
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BURPEES FOR TOYS — In Farmington, MN CrossFit Calypso co-owner Tim Struck challenged his members to donate to their Toys for Tots campaign by offering to do 10 Burpees for every toy donated. Now with over 1000 Burpees owed, Tim is offering to donate another $20 to Toys for Tots for each 100 burpee a member does for him.
CHALLENGE ME –– Our very own Sr. Games Analyst Tommy Marquez just announced a new app called ChallengeMe. It’s a new mobile fitness platform that allows you to post workouts, interact with friends and top athletes, and compete in challenges to win legit prizes. They’re hosting an inaugural challenge right now called the Bear Komplex Challenge.
CHALK UP IN 2 MINUTES(a highlight reel around social media of CrossFit pros and average joes)
Chad Crow gets a 305 pound bench PR • Congratulations to coaches Ashley Debello and Grant Golin from CrossFit by the Sea on their upcoming wedding • Happy third anniversary to CrossFit Three Flow • Sydney Eggers and Stacie Halverson both got their first muscle-up this week • Eight-year-old Annika nails a 27-inch box jump • Dani Speegle is holding a giveaway with MVMNT and Rogue • Wodapalooza is giving away a signed poster from Katrin Davidsdottir • Happy birthdayChristmas Abbott • Alexa Georgoulis does 12 Days of Christmas WOD 17 weeks pregnant • Happy birthdayCarol-Ann Reason-Thibault • Aysha Haley gets a 470 pound for 3 deadlift PR.
…and Alec Smith falls into freezing water trying to stick a landing for the ‘Gram.
Asia CrossFit Championship —Spencer Hendel, Austin Malleolo and James Hobart just announced they are doing the programming for the Asia CrossFit Championship.
Annie Thorisdottir Heads to the North Pole — Annie posted to Instagram that she is going to the Last Game, the last ice hockey game on the North Pole. “I am going to participate in UN Environment for the Last Game at the North Pole, just down the road from Santa, to help raise awareness on Climate Change. I can not wait to see another part of this giant world and be a part of such an amazing event.”
A new paper has implied that coaches will believe virtually anything if it sounds like it is based in science.
The paper by Bailey and colleagues looked at the frequency with which sport coaches (not fitness trainers) accept “neuromyths.” While the term is not directly defined in the paper, the authors appear to consider a neuromyth to be pseudoscience, the dressing of a potentially unsupported neuroscience concept to appear as a scientifically validated fact. I find it easier to simply call the items included in the paper unverified teaching methods or training approaches.
The authors start with a superficial consideration of the biological basis of brain function, then quickly divert to the field of educational psychology, intending to parallel the two disciplines. Their experiment offered no return of any substance with regard to biology.
In the end, this simple and small survey result led the research team to make a broad and definite statement: “It is apparent that a relatively large percentage of coaches base aspects of their coaching practice on neuromyths and other pseudoscientific ideas.”
For a first-time reader on this topic, or for someone looking for a rationale to criticize the educational preparation of coaches (and trainers), the researchers’ argument and presentation are compelling. But two critical pieces were not presented.