“If you have the guts to keep making mistakes, your wisdom and intelligence leap forward with huge momentum.” — Holly Near
National Champion Profile: Jack Karo Jr., Papua New Guinea
Jack Karo Jr. placed 89,395th in the Open. Now, he’s going to the CrossFit Games for the first time.
On the eve of the 2020 Open, Jack Karo Jr. had never done a ring muscle-up, a barbell thruster, a handstand push-up, or a double-under. He’d done a wall ball before, but never with a 20-pound ball, and his rowing experience was “primarily for warm-up.” Over the following five weeks, though, Karo learned the movements quickly enough that he was able to Rx every workout and beat the three other men competing from Papua New Guinea.
Finishing in 89,395th place, he became the lowest-ranked national champion invited to this year’s Games.
A few weeks before the Open, Karo attended his first CrossFit class at CrossFit Port Moresby.
Named after the country’s capital, it’s the only affiliate in the nation of nine million.
In 2019, it was founded by Kila Kilaverave, that year’s national champion from PNG.
About 20 square meters of space, it has no proper pull-up bars or squat racks.
A personal trainer and a former competitor in jiu jitsu (under 80 kilogram division), Karo had a foundation of fitness, but he had never combined strength, aerobic, and anaerobic training before, so when he started the Open, it was “a bit of a shock,” he said.
Every weekend of the Open, the 15 or so members of CF Port Moresby would follow the same routine.
On Fridays, Coach Kilaverave would brief them on that week’s workout, and they would practice the movements using the gym’s only barbell, which was loaded with metal plates and could never be dropped to the floor.
On Saturdays, they’d tackle the WOD one after the other, and despite the fact that they had just learned many of the exercises, Kilaverave still held them to the movement standard.
“Oh yeah, he was no-repping me a lot,” says Karo. “In my videos, you’ll see me swearing here and there, only because I was frustrated with myself. If I had slowed down the pace, maybe I could’ve done even one more rep.”
Only once did Karo redo a workout, 20.5, after Coach Kilaverave reviewed the video submission and realized that Karo hadn’t fully extended his hips before releasing the wall ball. “At first I was scared because I felt the pain on Saturday,” says Karo, “and I was just imagining what I was going to go through again. But when I was doing the workout, I had to completely drop that from my mind, and I think I completed the workout 30 seconds faster.”
At the end of the Open, which Karo describes as “probably the most intense five weekends of my life,” CF Port Moresby threw a BBQ and celebrated its new national champions.
We’re only about one-fourth of the way through the second CrossFit Games season in the new Sanctional format, but already there are a few front-runners developing for Sanctional record holders. We’ve been keeping close tabs on who’s winning and here’s the all-time list of athletes who have won more than one event.
Tia-Clair Toomey — 3
Sara Sigmundsdottir — 3
Mathew Fraser — 2
Samantha Briggs — 2
Brent Fikowski — 2
Jacqueline Dahlstrom — 2
A couple of big things:
This list is going to start growing and shifting a lot. Every athlete except for Dahlstrom has at least a pair of Sanctionals still on their schedule with another repeat showdown between Toomey and Sigmundsdottir at the Rogue Invitational.
While Sigmundsdottir was the first athlete to win three Sanctionals, Toomey has a perfect record going three for three; Sigmundsdottir has won three of six.
The last time Toomey lost a live competition — not the Open — was the 2017 Regionals.
Mat Fraser’s streak extends back all the way back to the 2015 CrossFit Games. So essentially for half the last decade, Fraser hasn’t lost a live competition.
Destroy Your PR’s, Not Your Body. FREE Gear Bundle Giveaway!
At Element 26, Our Mission is to help you Destroy Your PR’s, Not Your Body, by providing you functional fitness gear that is strong, resilient, and enduring to hold up to your toughest WOD.
For Morning Chalk Up Readers Only, we’re offering a Grand Prize giveaway for one (1) winner to receive all of our gear, FREE!! In addition to your entry, you’ll get a 10% off code for your next order!
Let’s make 2020 a year full of PRs, high-fives, and bar slams!!
Many of you have noticed the running tally of local events we have featured at the bottom of each newsletter. For the last four years, we’ve been copying and pasting that list every day and updating it manually with new submissions emailed in.
We’re excited — especially the copy and paste dude — to announce that you can now automatically submit your event through our local competitions portal. There’s nothing fancy about it, just a running list of local competitions and fundraisers around the CrossFitting globe. All you need to do is submit the required information and one of our staff will review it to make sure Timmy and Jenna’s Baby Reveal doesn’t slip through the cracks; congrats to you two by the way.
What events you should add:
Local and regional competitions
Community fitness events
Just one quick note: due to the volume of events, we limit the newsletter from displaying beyond 30 days in advance. This keeps the list a little more inbox friendly.
Justin LoFranco Editor-in-Chief/Retired Copy and Paste Dude
Asia CrossFit Championships has released their second workout for their online qualifier.
We are heading into day 50 and still no posts on the official CrossFit Games Instagram. They did post and archive a 2020 CrossFit Games promotional video they released on December 6 and an Instagram story promoting Mayhem last weekend.
The exclusive Madison Club tickets and RV and camping spots for the 2020 CrossFit Games are now on sale.
Fee Saghafi Reacts to Learning She’s Qualified for the Games
After fighting for fourth place at last weekend’s Mayhem Classic, Fee Saghafi was able to secure a trip back to the CrossFit Games for her second straight year. Reporter Niki Brazier breaks the news at the end of the competition.
Sign up for WAG’s Coach Certification program before all of the spots sell out. When you sign up you’ll not only become an expert in nutrition science and WAG’s specific macro-focused methodology, you’ll become a master teacher capable of using your knowledge to help your clients get the results they want for their physical, mental and emotional health.
Earlier this week, CrossFit.com reported on a bill passed by the New Jersey Assembly and signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy. New Jersey had been one of the few states that allowed professional trainers to provide nutritional information without a dietitian’s license. Here are a few key passages and takeaways, and why affiliates in the state and elsewhere should take note:
What the law does: “the ‘Dietetics and Nutrition Licensing Act’…establishes a regulatory board, the majority of which will likely comprise members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), a professional organization that represents dietitians and lobbies in favor of laws restricting what people can say about food and nutrition.”
What we know about AND: “AND is known for its cozy relationship with Big Sugar and Big Soda, which some AND members have taken issue with due to the glaring impropriety and obvious conflicts of interest these relationships create.”
How the law threatens affiliates: The law represents a “potential threat to [affiliates] free speech on nutrition. Since the bill’s introduction in 2018, CrossFit, Inc. has worked with New Jersey affiliates to limit the scope of its restrictions through tenacious advocacy with the state legislature. Prior versions of the bill would have prevented nearly everyone except dietitians from speaking about proper nutrition, and the current version still prevents those without a dietitian’s license from practicing ‘medical nutrition therapy.'”
How the advocacy effort helped: “As a result of CrossFit’s action, the bill as signed into law does not prohibit affiliates or trainers from: ‘…furnish[ing] nutrition information, provid[ing] evaluation, guidance, information, and education as to the use of food, food materials, or dietary supplements, or from engaging in the explanation to persons as to the use of food or food products including dietary supplements.'”
A final word: “Professional trainers who share lifesaving information should not have to look over their shoulder, fearing penalties, restrictions, and other anti-competitive actions from entrenched interests. CrossFit, Inc. has won on this front in the past. It will continue to fight to protect its affiliates’ and trainers’ right to speak freely about the foundational elements of the CrossFit methodology and human health.”