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Youtuber Andrew Hiller presents the NOpen

Morning Chalk Up

April 17   |   POWERED BY

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Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Perla Herron, CrossFit Masters athlete and coach, suffers devastating car accident; community rallies for support
  • Top 20 over 35? We take a dive into in the deep men’s 35-39 division
  • Andrew Hiller has made a name for himself in the CrossFit media space; now he presents “The NOpen”

Hey! The Morning Chalk Up is hiring a new contract writer to cover the CrossFit Games season and elite athletes. Apply now!

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“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” - Bruce Lee

  60-Year-Old CrossFit Coach/Athlete Perla Herron Suffers Serious Spinal Injuries in Car Crash, Community Sets Up GoFundMe to Help  

60-Year-Old CrossFit Coach/Athlete Perla Herron Suffers Serious Spinal Injuries in Car Crash, Community Sets Up GoFundMe to Help

On the morning of March 24, Perla Herron was on her way to train at CrossFit TiCo in Mount Pleasant, TX. The 60-year-old CrossFit athlete and coach is a 5:30 AM regular, catching an early workout before teaching the next class at 6:30.

But that day, Herron never showed up.

  • “One of the girls in the class said to me, ‘Where is Perla at? She usually doesn’t just not show up.’’’ Heather Barboza, a member of CrossFit TiCo, said.
  • “I had to get home after class, but later, my husband came home and said there was an accident, and it just kind of… spiraled.”

Herron was in a terrible car accident, suffering serious spinal injuries.

CrossFit Strong at 60: “Perla is not your average 60-year-old woman. She’s CrossFit strong,” said Susan Agnew, owner of CrossFit TiCo. “Up until the accident, she was preparing for Age Group Quarterfinals.”

Agnew and Barboza say they fully expected Herron to make it to the CrossFit Games this year; she ranked fifth in her age group division during the CrossFit Open.

  • “I have no doubt in the world that she was going to make the Games,” said Agnew. “Not to be boastful, but we were fully expecting her to be there. My husband and I already had a place to stay, we already have our tickets, and we were planning on watching her.”
  • “Perla is the hardest-working woman I know,” added Barboza, “But she is very much a humble person. Even though she is good at what she does, she’s still so humble and encouraging, always uplifting, and makes the atmosphere somewhere where you want to be.”

On the road to recovery: Herron is recovering, but there is a long healing journey ahead. To help with medical costs, Agnew and the community at CrossFit TiCo have put together a GoFundMe and plan to hold a dinner and live auction on May 6. All proceeds will help relieve Herron’s financial burden as she recovers.

  • “There’s no community quite like the CrossFit community; especially in the way that we come together in times of success, as well as in times of crisis. We are incredibly thankful for the outpour of love and support that we’ve received and we know that it’s a testament to the incredible person that Perla is,” Agnew wrote on the GoFundMe.
  • “We really do thank you for helping us care for Perla; she is not just our coach and fellow athlete, but also our friend and our hero.”

Donate to Herron’s GoFundMe here.

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What makes an athlete like Mat Fraser so much different from a regular CrossFitter? Well, a lot of things actually, but check out this graph for a cool insight.

🇦🇺 🦘🇦🇺 HYROX expands to Australia: On Friday, HYROX officially announced that it is expanding to Australia and its official gym partner will be BFT Training. So far, two races have been confirmed for the 2023-2024 season: Melbourne (August 26, 2023) and Sydney (date TBA).

ICYMI: Sean Sweeney is putting fitness front and center with the CrossFit Powerstroke Partner Throwdown.

iF3 “Cleans for Clean Sport” Fundraiser: The International Functional Fitness Federation is fundraising in May to help the organization become “WADA compliant,” which is not as simple as just choosing to follow WADA’s rules. Athletes who choose to participate will take on this workout:

5 Sets
3 Minute AMRAP:
  • 200m Run
  • 15 Lateral Burpees Over the Bar
  • Max Power Cleans in Remaining Time
  • Rest 1 Minute between Rounds

Athletes can sign up to participate and donate to the campaign now.



"20 Over 35?": The Stacked Men’s 35-39 Division

Forget Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. CrossFit’s got something even better: The men’s 35-39 division for the 2023 CrossFit Games season.

A quick glance at the list serves as a throwback to the days on the Ranch and in the Home Depot Center in Carson CA, with names like Scott Panchik, Rich Froning, and Sam Dancer dotting the top of the list.

  • The top five athletes alone boast a combined total of 29 Games appearances, including 12 top ten finishes in the Individual men’s division.

This star-studded leaderboard combined with past Masters champions, including 2022 Masters champion, Bryan Wong and 5th place finisher Ioannis Papadopoulos rounds this leaderboard out to create a battle royale for the 2023 season.

Continue Reading...
  “The only reason I exist is because of a lack of transparency”: YouTuber Andrew Hiller Hosts Online Competition  

“The only reason I exist is because of a lack of transparency”: YouTuber Andrew Hiller Hosts Online Competition

“It’s always been about a message.”

Andrew Hiller is a personal trainer, YouTuber, and member of CrossFit Salire in Westmont, IL. He is a huge movie buff, a dog owner, and engaged to a woman he calls his “second brain.” By most standards, he’s a pretty normal guy.

He is also one of the most polarizing figures in the online CrossFit community.

The fitness-related content on Hiller’s YouTube channel ranges from affiliate stories to his personal journey through steroid use, but he’s most widely known for his controversial commentaries on the sport of CrossFit and many of its beloved figures.

His response to the backlash is simple: “You either understand what I’m doing here, or you don’t watch my videos.”

How It Started

Today, Hiller has over 24,000 subscribers on YouTube, but his content ideas stem from something he’s been doing for years—talking to CrossFitters.

A previous affiliate owner, Hiller often used one-on-one or small group conversations about the latest “gossip” to push the door open for larger takeaways. Now that he has stepped away from ownership, YouTube is providing an outlet—and a much more efficient one—for Hiller’s messages to be shared.

The creator’s self-proclaimed “obsession” with YouTube grew once the scope of this efficiency became clear to him. In March 2022, Hiller saw the views on one of his videos climb to over 6,000 people. In his eight years owning an affiliate, he had roughly 1,000 people total come in for a workout.

“I loved owning a gym,” Hiller shared on Instagram, “But never in my life could I spread a message like this using that avenue.”

His Bone to Pick

Though Hiller gained notoriety for addressing a lack of movement standards in top athlete videos, the meat of his message is generally aimed at the larger organization in charge—CrossFit HQ.

“The only reason I exist is because of a lack of transparency,” Hiller stated in an interview with the Morning Chalk Up.

To be clear, he’s not anti-CrossFit. The concept of “having a CrossFitter at every table” is one that the ex-affiliate owner wholeheartedly supports. And yet, he says, if the goal is upwards of 25% of the world’s population doing CrossFit, we have a lot of work to do in simplifying the sport and governing it with transparency.

  • Hiller: “If you have two billion people doing the Open, that’s 200 million people doing Quarterfinals. But I’ve got two people in my garage tonight who don’t understand the setup standard for V-Ups […] It should be so simple, but it isn’t.”
  • “The further you get from ground zero the more and more unacceptable things become,” the content creator told the Morning Chalk Up, referencing grammatical errors on the scorecards and unclear starting positions in the movement diagrams, that he may have dismissed in 2011 but he is deliberately highlighting in his content now.

A man of metaphors, Hiller likens his relationship with CrossFit to enabling an addiction. “If they’re not going to change, and it’s just going to continue to get worse […] It’s like having a frickin’ alcoholic in your life, you know?”

  • “You have to cut them off at some point. Like, stop signing up. You’re giving them alcohol,” concluded the long-time CrossFitter, former CF-L1 Coach, and Registered Judge of ten consecutive years.

His methods may be intense. But his findings are hard to ignore.

Continue Reading...


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

🎂 Happy birthday, Kristi Eramo O’Connell, and happy belated to Mike Halpin, who turned 40 last Thursday.

💍 Congratulations to Taylor Self and Lizzie Carey on their engagement.

Congratulations to Jared Greybeal from Peak 360 Fitness in Miami, FL on the snatch balance + overhead squat PR at 255 pounds/115.6kg.

Delfi Ortuño puts her flexibility to the test in these one-step “wall walks”.

🐾 Congratulations Brendan Snyder on joining Underdogs Athletics as the new Assistant Programs Director.

Lucie Martinsdóttir is one strong mama—eight months pregnant and still deadlifting. “The biggest struggle is keeping my balance.”

💨 Elijah Muhammad‘s daughter puts on a show at her track meet.

3/2: The LKW Games (Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina)
3/9: The Valkyrie Fitness Competition (Tampa, FL)
3/16: Upper Hunter Strongest Novice (Muswellbrook, Australia)
3/16: Oceanside CrossFit 1st Annual Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (Oceanside, Ca)
3/16: Shamwod & Shenanigains (oceanside, ca)
3/23 - 3/24: Beach Brawl (Spring) (Pensacola Beach, FL)
3/23: Masters Distinguished Games (Fort Wright, KY)
3/23: CFL Teen Take Over (Lorton, VA)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Minnesota (Austin, Minnesota)
4/6 - 4/7: SeaDog Summer Showdown (Jupiter, Florida)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Kentucky (Richmond, Kentucky)
4/6: Girls Gone Rx Ohio (Lancaster, Ohio)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, Alabama)
4/6: Best Babes 608 (Janesville, Wisconsin)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beufort, South Carolina)
4/6: Best Babes Houston (Houston, Texas)
4/6: Best Babes Wyoming (Cheyene, Wyoming)
4/6: War Off I-4 (Deland, FL)
4/6 - 4/7: No Pain No Game (Legnano, Italy)
4/6 - 4/7: Shack Team Edition (Rome, Italy)
4/6: Best Babes South Carolina (Beaufort, SC)
4/6: Best Babes Decatur (Decatur, AL)
4/6 - 4/7: Landifornian Battle (Seignosse, France)
4/6: Two Peas in a Pod: Mixed Gender Partner Comp (Burlington, MA)
4/6: Best Babes Tampa (Tampa, Florida)
4/13: Queens of Oly Rockledge (Rockledge, FL)
4/13: Queens of Oly East Tennessee (Bulls Gap, TN)
4/13: Fittest on Main (Boaz, AL)
4/19 - 4/21: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/20: First EVER Adaptive Festivus Games Competition (Waterford, United States)
4/20: Barbells For Bullies: Community Workout Savannah (Savnnah, Georgia, US)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Plattsburgh (Plattsburgh, NY)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Masiphumelele (Kommetjie, Cape Town, South Africa)
4/20: Festivus Games (Goderich, Canada)
4/20: Festivus Games (Clermont, FL)
4/20: Festivus Games @ The Gym – CrossFit Kilo (Cedar Falls, IA)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CBM Sirens (Caledonia, MS)
4/20: Festivus Games @ Coyote Valley (San Jose, CA)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia)
4/20: The Fittest 4 (Sunshine Coast, Australia)
4/20: Embrace the Challenge (Mentor, Ohio)
4/20: Festivus Games @ CrossFit Pagosa (Pagosa Springs, CO)
4/20: Festivus Games (WAUKESHA, WI)
4/20 - 4/21: BGR Contest Spring Edition (Bergerac, France)
4/20 - 4/21: Okanagan Valley Throwdown (Penticton, British Columbia, Canada)
4/26 - 4/28: Crash Crescendo (Spartanburg, SC)
4/27: Cap Crown Throwdown (Gladstone, Australia)
4/28: 249 Spring Throwdown (Sittingbourne, Kent, England)

See all upcoming events

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