A San Diego County man remained hospitalized with severe chalk inhalation Sunday, the day after the CrossFit class that lead to his condition.
The man, 24-year-old Dale Johnson, was found laying face-down in the parking lot outside of CrossFit Greenhorn after the gym’s Saturday morning class.
Among the participants in the Saturday morning class was Steve Williamson, an off-duty paramedic who rushed to assist the man.
“When I got to him he wasn’t breathing,” Williamson recalled.
“He was covered in chalk, and a lot of it had gotten around his nose and mouth, so I knew I needed to perform CPR.”
CrossFit Greenhorn coaches had previously identified Johnson’s over-use of chalk, which he often liberally applied to his hands, forearms, chest, and any other part of his body that might make contact with an external object.
During Saturday’s workout, Johnson applied chalk repeatedly, creating a thick cloud of the substance around his barbell. He breathed heavily from this cloud during his workout, and afterwards attempted to go outside to get fresh air. Unfortunately, the chalk on his body caused this cloud to follow him, and he collapsed from suffocation outside of the gym.
“We counseled him not to clap his hands together above the chalk bucket, which creates massive chalk-clouds,” Said Joy Price, a coach at CrossFit Greenhorn.
“He didn’t even need chalk. He was just using it as an excuse to take a break from the workout.”
Johnson is expected to make a full recovery.