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Why it’s Important to Bring More People of Color into CrossFit

Morning Chalk Up

February 16   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Connecticut gym offers free workouts and recovery classes.
  • Athletes talk about why it’s so important to bring more people of color into CrossFit.
  • CrossFit Trivium held safe, community events for stage one of the Games, now plans to do the same for the Open.
  • Our limited release “More Chalk Less Talk” t-shirt is now available for pre-order. Shop now.

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“A good leader is a person who takes a little more than their share of the blame and a little less than their share of the credit.” - John Maxwell

  “Everyone is Recovering from Something:” Connecticut Gym Offers Free Workouts and Recovery Meetings  

“Everyone is Recovering from Something:” Connecticut Gym Offers Free Workouts and Recovery Meetings

A Saturday morning at Guilford Athletic Center doesn’t look much different than that of other gyms: a group gathers at 9:30 AM for a 30-minute class, free and open to varying fitness-levels. What’s different is the meeting that follows, a 45-minute, recovery, self-reflection meeting open to anyone working through “any of life’s challenges.”

  • The mornings, titled the Recovery Move exercise and Recovery meetings, are run by Clint Zeidenberg, a CrossFit coach and top-200 masters athlete, and Dr. Hannah Jurewicz, a clinical psychologist, licensed professional counselor, founder of non-profit Journey Home Recovery Living, and athlete.
  • The pair has been leading these meetings since September of 2019 when Jurewicz approached Zeidenberg about donating his time and gym, “knowing that he was very invested already in this recovery world.”

Fitness for recovery: It’s no secret that fitness and recovery go hand-in-hand. Larger organizations, like The Phoenix and Fit to Recover, are bringing this idea across the nation, leading free classes and offering community to those in recovery.

Fitness, Zeidenberg and Jurewicz say with research behind them, gets the circulation going, generates endorphins, and can act as a distraction from cravings. This, paired with the intimacy of working out together and spiritual connection from the group, is unquestionably beneficial.

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Love Coffee and Protein? Try this Delicious Recipe from Ascent

Love Coffee and Protein? Try this Delicious Recipe from Ascent

Reaching your daily protein in-take doesn’t have to be difficult. With Ascent’s Whey Protein you can easily incorporate protein-rich recipes into your daily routine.

Checkout this simple recipe from Ascent – Protein Iced Coffee:

  • 8oz cold brew coffee
  • 1 scoop Ascent Unflavored Whey Protein (or your choice of flavor!)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp half & half (or dairy free alternative)
  • Sweetener to taste

Mix all ingredients in a blender bottle before pouring over the cold brew coffee – enjoy!

Buy your favorite flavor of Ascent Protein online and taste this delicious recipe for yourself.


  • Michele Letendre, Games veteran and coach to Pat Vellner, Laura Horvaht and more, will join Joshua Al-chaama to host a WIT House workout tomorrow. Registration is live now and the workout will start 9 AM PT/12 PM ET. And stick around after for the 30-minute Q&A.
  • What we’re hearing: Roman Krennikov, the 2020 Fittest Man in Russia, will train with 2008 Olympic silver medalist in weightlifting, Dmitry Klokov in the lead-up to the 2021 CrossFit season.
  • Blonyx, a Vancouver-based sports nutrition brand, launched its Egg White Protein Isolate product in the UK yesterday. It’s the first egg white protein isolate in the market in the UK. Blonyx first launched the product in North America in 2019 to provide athletes with a less processed alternative to whey and plant proteins.
  • FosterFit 30,000 Pound CFT Challenge: FosterFit, a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to empower youth in foster care to improve overall physical health, build their confidence and provide normalcy and consistency, is hosting a 30,000 pound CrossFit Total Challenge fundraiser February 22-28. Sign up as a gym and the goal is for gym to reach 30,000+ collective pounds: the average number of foster kids that age out of the system each year. Sign up now and donate.
  • NOBULL has select styles of the “Wild Collection” back in stock, including the Wild Trainers and Knit Runners.
  Athletes Talk About Why it’s so Important to Bring More People of Color into CrossFit  

Athletes Talk About Why it’s so Important to Bring More People of Color into CrossFit

When Lesley Henderson-Sanders first signed up at CrossFit Conyers Stonecrest in Lithonia, GA, she weighed 285 pounds and had “horrible range of motion,” she said. Six years later, Henderson-Sanders currently weighs 224 pounds and has completely transformed her health.

  • One integral key that allowed her to feel comfortable giving CrossFit a shot was the fact that her gym was made up of people who looked like her. “Our gym is 97 percent black,” said Henderson-Sanders, who weighed 325 pounds at her heaviest. Having other black people there “made a huge difference in me staying consistent” and in helping her feel like she belonged, she explained.

The big picture: Henderson-Sanders’ story is incredibly important, but it’s also exceptional. “Most gyms don’t have black CrossFit athletes in large quantities,” she said.

  • To help bring more black and brown people into CrossFit, Henderson-Sanders founded Melanin Crossfitters, a brand dedicated to serving diverse communities and providing access to nutrition information, physical fitness education and wellness resources.

Similarly, because of her upbringing, Arielle Sanders, an up-and-coming competitive CrossFit athlete, explained that getting more black people into CrossFit has become “close to her heart,” she said.

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  CrossFit Trivium Plans Safe, Community Events for 2021 Open Following Successful CrossFit Games Stage One Blueprint  


CrossFit Trivium Plans Safe, Community Events for 2021 Open Following Successful CrossFit Games Stage One Blueprint

The CrossFit Open starts on March 11, kicking off three weeks of workouts and announcements from Dave Castro. Community members traditionally flock together for special Friday Night Lights events where they take part in the workout and cheer on fellow competitors, but this is not really an option in 2021 due to COVID-19. Though gym owners are finding other ways to keep the community involved.

Why this matters: CrossFit Trivium, located in Brentwood, TN, has experience safely holding events amid a pandemic. Owner Nate Dodd hosted Brooke Wells during Stage 1 of the 2020 CrossFit Games and allowed a limited number of spectators into the building. Now he will take a similar approach and focus on the members of the community participating in the annual event.

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  CrossFit Trivium Plans Safe, Community Events for 2021 Open Following Successful CrossFit Games Stage One Blueprint  

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Knee Pain By Focusing on Your Ankles and Hips

Knee pain is a frequent problem for lifters and CrossFit athletes, but oftentimes the knee is really a symptom of some other imbalance or deficiency. This short video from Squat University explains why it's important to examine your ankles and hips when trying to diagnose knee pain.




An Immunity Boost

Your training is too important to let cold and flu season get you down. Make IMMUNITYAID GO a staple in your gym bag so you can train hard wherever you are. Use code "MCU25GO" at checkout for 25% off your IMMUNITYAID GO purchase.



The Benefits of Starting Your Day with Movement

Even if you do not train first thing in the morning, there are incredible benefits to moving your body and spiking your heart rate first thing, as this blog post from Misfit Athletics makes clear. Among other things, it provides an opportunity for mindfulness, it beefs up your energy systems and paired with stretching and mobility work can prepare your body to maximize your training session later in the day.



Your Snatch In Just Six Weeks

Do you struggle to perfect your snatch technique? Then this six-week program from Train Your Weakness is for you. It's designed to fit with your current training and the drills can be completed in 30 minutes, 3 days a week.



One Pan Ginger Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

Around here we love one-pan meals and these ginger chicken meatballs with a Thai inspired peanut sauce are incredible. This easy weeknight dinner is loaded with veggies and protein and is perfect for meal prep! Serve with brown rice, cauliflower rice, quinoa, or your favorite spiralized veggie noodles.


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.

3/25: No Weak Links (Marcy, NY)
3/25 - 3/26: Beach Brawl – Spring (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/25 - 3/26: Costa Dorada Fitness Challenge (Tamarit, Tarragona, Spain)
3/30 - 4/8: Nine27 Athletics Spring Showdown (Online, Virtual)
4/1: 2023 Cougars & Cradle Robbers Throwdown (Salem, MA)
4/2: CFC Clash (Tallahassee, FL)
4/15: Girls Gone Rx Canada: Newmarket Central (Newmarket, Ontario)
4/15: Best Babes Riverbend (Godfrey, IL)
4/15: The Main Thing (Teams of 4: FFMM) (Cullman, AL)
4/15: WOD Wars Fitness Festival (Dunedin, FL)
4/15: Best Babes Canada: Greater Montreal (Vaudreuil-Dorion, QC)
4/15: Best Babes Gilbert (Gilbert, AZ)
4/15: Best Babes Partner Comp: Woodland (Woodland, CA)
4/15: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyenne, WY)
4/15: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, OH)
4/21 - 4/23: Bayside Classic (Daphne, AL)
4/22: Festivus Games – Individuals and 3-Person Same Sex Teams (Savannah, GA)
4/22 - 4/23: Benidorm Fitness Challenge (Benidorm, Alicante, Spain)
4/29: Battle of the Elements (Ocala, FL)
4/29: CHLKDUP Classic (Nashville, TN)
4/29 - 4/30: Battle at the Lab (Clarksville, TN)
5/6: Code 3 Clash (Eagle, ID)
5/6: Rep Your Box (Seattle, WA)

See all upcoming events

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