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Why Are Icelanders So Good at CrossFit?

Morning Chalk Up

April 15   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • CrossFit RisingStar partners with the Phoenix to create a sober living fitness community in Rutland, VT.
  • Thuri Helgadottir explains why Icelanders are so good at CrossFit.
  • CrossFit Illuminati owner buys Reebok Nanos for his loyal community.

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“The secret of success is to do the common thing uncommonly well.” - John D. Rockefeller Jr.

  Vermont Gym Affiliates with The Phoenix, Connects with Neighboring Addiction Recovery Center 

Vermont Gym Affiliates with The Phoenix, Connects with Neighboring Addiction Recovery Center

On May 1, CrossFit RisingStar in Rutland, VT, will hold their first sober fitness class as an affiliate of The Phoenix, a non-profit that provides fitness opportunities to those in recovery from substance use disorder.

The big picture: CrossFit RisingStar shares an alleyway with West Ridge Center, an addiction recovery clinic. This, as does its location in Vermont, known as the “Heroin Capital of America,” makes the affiliate an ideal location to become a Phoenix partner.

  • CrossFit RisingStar is the third Phoenix-affiliated gym in Vermont.

The gym’s partnership with The Phoenix follows on the heels of a fundraiser started by owner Rob DiTursi in December to raise money in support of the sober fitness program and to fund a mural painted in the alleyway shared by CrossFit RisingStar and West Ridge Center.

  • To date, the campaign has raised just over $11,000. DiTurisi plans to use these funds as a cushion, so the gym is “not starved for cash when the momentum happens.”
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  • Guac on the Rock: Yep, you read that right, to celebrate his birthday and Cinco De Mayo, Dwayne Johnson and Teremana Tequila will treat you to an order of guacamole. Learn more.
  • At the Torian Pro Semifinal, fans can now book ferry trips to the Tangalooma Island Resort and North Stradbroke Island, a short trip from the venue, to view iconic shipwrecks teeming with marine life or to go dolphin-spotting on the North George Walk.
  • The Midatlantic CrossFit Challenge Semifinal provided resources to help spectators plan their travel to Knoxville for the event, May 24-30.
  • Mayhem Missions released the workouts for its awareness and fundraising event to help put an end to human trafficking. The Mayhem for Freedom event takes place on April 17 and Mayhem Missions has partnered with Rescue Freedom and Elevation Church. Register now.
  • The Legends Masters Competition will hold four in-person regional qualifiers in the U.S. this year, plus once more in Australia. Sign up for the West regional to be held in Las Vegas, June 4-6 now.
  Thuri Helgadottir Explains Why Icelanders Are So Good at CrossFit 


Thuri Helgadottir Explains Why Icelanders Are So Good at CrossFit

There are three reasons why Iceland produces an overabundance of amazing CrossFitters, said Thuri Helgadottir, who has just qualified for the European semifinals.

“One is that we have Annie who won the Games in 2011 and 2012, so we got a role model early into the sport in Iceland,” said Helgadottir, who just finished 29th in the 2021 CrossFit Open.

She is referring to the legendary Annie Thorisdottir, Iceland’s first CrossFit star who has since returned from having a baby seven months ago to finish 118th in the open. Helgadottir, who finished ninth at the 2019 Games said the second reason is that Iceland is most definitely a sporting nation.

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  Gym Owner Buys 52 Pairs of Nanos to Thank Members for their Loyalty 

Gym Owner Buys 52 Pairs of Nanos to Thank Members for their Loyalty

At the end of 2018, an electrical fire all but destroyed CrossFit Illuminati in Houston, TX, causing gym owner Jason Keesler to temporarily downsize from a 5,200 to a 1,200 square foot facility with very little equipment. A year later, COVID-19 hit and caused another service disruption in the form of a two-and-a-half month gym shutdown.

  • Considering what his members have been through in the last two years, Keesler, who has owned CrossFit Illuminati with his wife Amy Keesler for eight years, said he wouldn’t have blamed them for canceling their memberships.
  • But they didn’t. Instead, they doubled down on their loyalty, he explained, and he couldn’t be more thankful. “I wouldn’t have been able to keep the doors open this last year if they didn’t keep paying their memberships,” he said of the 50-plus loyal members who didn’t hesitate to weather not one, but two storms with him in the last two years.

Giving back: To show his appreciation for their loyalty, Keesler “quietly started gathering” the shoe sizes of all those who stuck it out through both the fire and COVID-19, and purchased 52 pairs of Reebok Nanos for each and every one of them.

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Whether it's Olympic lifting, running, or rowing, ankle mobility is key to so many of CrossFit's core movements. Take some time to try these six exercises you can do anytime to increase your ankle mobility.




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Chalk Up Highlights is our section dedicated to celebrating our community’s wins in the gym. Follow @ChalkUpHighlights and submit your highlight to [email protected] to be featured.

9/29 - 10/25: Fittest of the Coast Coastal Qualifier powered by Victory Grips (Charleston, SC)
9/30 - 10/1: Iron Anchor Throwdown (Batavia, OH)
9/30 - 10/2: October Challenge (Fiuggi, Italy)
10/1 - 10/2: Fittest in the Fall (Indianapolis, IN)
10/1: Guava Games (Tampa, FL)
10/1: Masters Mayhem (Kilgore, TX)
10/1: WODtoberfest 2022 (Saint Clairsville, OH)
10/1: Battle of the Vikings (Frederick, MD)
10/1: North Dallas Rumble (Dallas, TX)
10/1: Warrior Games 2022 (Suffield, CT)
10/1 - 10/2: Southie Showdown (Boston, MA)
10/1: West Town Throwdown (Chicago, IL)
10/1: Legends of the Falls 2022 (Gadsden, AL)
10/1: Lansing’s Strongest 2022 (Lansing, MI)
10/2 - 10/16: CHLKDUP Box League – Chattanooga (Chattanooga, TN)
10/2: The IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: IronWorkz Gauntlet (Medina, OH)
10/2: Battle in the Berg (Newberg, OR)
10/7 - 10/8: Koda Iron Games (Lafayette, CO)
10/8: The X Games (Brooklawn, NJ)
10/8: Nightmare On Wod Street (Spring Lake, MI)
10/8: Rua Rumble II (Frankfort, IL)
10/8 - 10/9: MACC FEST (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Fall Brawl at CrossFit Lehigh Valley (Allentown, PA)
10/8 - 10/9: Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge Festival (MACC FEST) (West Friendship, MD)
10/8: Mayhem & Massacre @ Infinite Fitness & Health (Wharton, NJ)
10/14 - 10/16: 3F Throwdown (Poreč, Croatia)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Belleville (Belleville, Canada)
10/15: Diamond K Classic (Birmingham, AL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Dallas (Dallas, Texas)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Omaha (Gretna, NE)
10/15: 7th Annual Kilo Crushfest (Hampton, VA)
10/15: Ragin Games (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: PAINKLLR Nashville (Nashville, TN)
10/15: Wodtoberfest (Owosso, MI)
10/15: Ragin Games 2022 (Lafayette, LA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx San Diego (Alpine, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Iowa (Des Miones, IA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Southern Illinois (Highland Robinson, IL)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx DC (Alexandria, VA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Newport News (Newport News, VA)
10/15: Mid Atlantic Masters Classic (Abingdon, MD)
10/15: Bridgetown Throwdown (City of Industry, CA)
10/15: Girls Gone Rx Richmond (Richmond, Canada)
10/21 - 10/23: Battledrome Championship (Milan, Italy)
10/22: 8th Annual Crossfit Pittsfield Fall Brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Doomsday 2022 (Palm Springs, CA)
10/22: The Humble Games Fall Throwdown (Hanover, MD)
10/22: Goblin Gauntlet – CrossFit Sandy (Sandy, UT)
10/22: 8th annual fall brawl (Pittsfield, MA)
10/22: Festivals Games – CrossFit 906 Ishpeming, MI (Ishpeming, MI)
10/22 - 10/23: Rep It Out (Sheffield, England)
10/22: Clash at the Creek 2022 (Knoxville, TN)
10/22: Festivus Games – Teams @ Crossfit Clan (Parsippany, NJ)
10/22: Ironclad (League City, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games (Waukesha, WI)
10/22: Scream and Clean 2 (Danbury, CT)
10/22: SE TEX Masters Fall Classic 2022 (Cypress, TX)
10/22: Festivus Games Pairs – Same-Sex or Mixed-Sex (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Black and Brewed (Huntsville, AL)
10/22: Festivus Games – Pairs (Savannah, GA)
10/22: Dreamland Games 3 (same sex pairs) (Portsmouth, OH)
10/22: 2022 Arsenal Throwdown (Pittsburgh, PA)
10/29 - 10/30: Chi-Town Throwdown (Elmhurst, IL)
10/29 - 10/30: The Vanguard (Lakeland, FL)
10/29: Heartland Games (Kearney, NE)
10/29 - 10/30: Mayhem & Massacre @ CrossFit Black Hive West (Jacksonville, FL)
10/30 - 11/20: CHLKDUP Box League – Nashville (Nashville, TN)
11/1 - 11/21: MFLH X FFTF Partner Series Online Qualifier (New York, NY)
11/5 - 11/6: Reignited Games (Wilmington, NC)
11/5: Fall’s Fittest Partner Throwdown (Amherst, OH)
11/5: Best of the Wurst (New Braunfels, TX)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Salt Lake City (West Salt Lake, UT)
11/12: Girls Gone Rx Mesa (Mesa, AZ)
11/12: CrossFit Exodus Throwdown (Bridgeport, TX)
11/19: Babes & Beasts TURF Games 2022 (Port Saint Lucie, FL)
11/19: Cactus Classic 2022 (Phoenix, AZ)

See all upcoming events

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