Written by: Warren Delos Angeles aka “Warren G”
I just got home and I’m still buzzing off the high that was this weekend at the NJ/NY Crossfit Sectionals…..so what better to do than to write it all down and share it all!
This weekend was filled with the craziest, most wonderful, most inspirational, and unbelievable moments made possible by some of the most awesome athletes and people I have ever met. So, where do I begin??
We arrived Friday night, rollin’ DEEP with 10 Tribesmen (Steve, Pat, RB, Jesse, Felix, Tim, Charlie, Darius, Justin, Warren), 5 Tribeswomen (Erin, Ann, Greengas, Ann, D2) and probably the best entourage EVER (Rosemary, Anna, E2, K-To, Val, Alycia, and Kristen) – poised and ready after months of training to do battle and lay it all on the line! So, what does everyone before the night before they go to war? Have a phat a** dinner of course, and we did just that! After registering, we walked right across the street from Geurilla Fitness (affiliate hosting NJ/NY Sectionals) to the most awesome Greek restaurant called The Greek Taverna which served gargantuan servings which were perfect for our massive appetites! After stuffing ourselves, we called it an early night and went straight back to the hotel to rest up…the calm before the storm.
Saturday morning arrives, and we arrive at Guerrilla Fitness bright early as the first heat starts 8:30.
The first challenge:
15 Min Cap
30 Burpee Box Jumps 24″ Men/20″ Women
(My time = 11:58 – 84/120)
The ladies were up first up, lead by rower extraordinaire Rcchael “Rules the World” Greengas, and they did not fail to impress with everyone finishing under the 15 minute cap! The same was true for the men as we all finished the WOD in under 12 minutes with Steve, Pat, RB, and Jesse leading the way! However, the most impressive of all was Denise who finished first overall amongst the women with a time of 11:08!
The second challenge:
15 Min Cap
10 Front Squats 155#/95#
20 Double unders
8 Front Squats
30 Double Unders
6 Front Squats
40 Double Unders
4 Front Squats
50 Double Unders
2 Front Squat
60 Double Unders
(My time = 10:09 – 60/120)
This WOD would serve to be the great equalizer as over 30 competitors would fail to complete it within the 15 minutes. Among them were Ann and Felix, who couldn’t find their rhythm on the DU’s, but with the LOUD and AWESOME support of the Tribe, fought through every rep they could possibly get until time expired. Despite the couple setbacks the Tribe continued to fight as Pat destroyed the competition finishing 14th overall in the WOD, Steve put in an inspiring performance finishing the WOD in 9 minutes despite having to do one single under for every DU (that’s 200 SU’s AND 200 DU’s), Darius notched an awesome time despite a last minute rope “malfunction”, Charlie exhibited his remarkable DU skills and cruised through the WOD, and the hard work that Aly and Greengas put in working on their DU’s over the last couple months paid off as they both finished with ease!
So with the first day complete, the women were all in good position to qualify and a majority of the guys were in the top 50 with one more BRUTAL workout to come!
Sunday arrives, and the Tribe prepares for the FINAL challenge….
Time Cap – 17 Min
30 OHS 95#/55#
30 Pullups Chest to Bar
30 Power Snatches 95#/55#
30 Feet to Bar
30 SDHP 95#/55#
30 Air Squats
30 KBS American 24kg/16kg
Doesn’t seem that bad you say? Well, think again!
This workout made the previous WOD’s look like a cake walk! Personally, after successfully completing both WODs yesterday, I was more than happy to be in the middle of pack and ready to take this WOD down! Boy was I in for a surprise! I was in the 6th heat of the day, and word was coming back from the previous heats that NO ONE was finishing the WOD. But I wasn’t flustered, and as my time to go came – along with Justin who was in my heat – I walked into the gym confident that this WOD wouldn’t break me. 3…2…1 GO! I picked up the bar, 3 reps..FAIL! Picked it up again, 2 reps..FAIL! I was flustered and it would be 4 times that I would have to pick up the bar before I FINALLY got into a rhythm. That wouldn’t last as I suffered through entire WOD…the bar got super heavy, I struggled to find my breath the entire time, and flat out sucked! The result = DNF (@ 26 squats)! Justin would fair a little better than me by finishing with 12 KBS! But the verdict….IT SUCKED and was waaaaay harder than anyone thought it would be! BUT it was still one of the most awesome experiences ever! Would I do it again? HELL YA!!
Ok, enough about me…back to the rest of the Tribe. Our failure to complete the WOD would be the last for the Tribesmen as Tim, Jesse, RB, Darius, and Steve all pulled out RIDICULOUS performances and completed the WOD well under the 17 minute limit! One of the most notable was Jesse, that despite nagging back pain, was able to gut out an awesome performance and finish in under 14 minutes, which was good for 35th overall in the WOD. But, the most impressive of them all (for the guys anyway)…Steve! With EVERY SINGLE TRIBE MEMBER surrounding Steve as he started the WOD, he picked up the bar confidently, banged out 30 straight OHS (well 34 b/c a few reps didn’t count) and went straight to the pull-up bar to complete 30 CTB pullups in just two sets! As he returned to the bar for the power snatches – leading the heat – he banged out 10 straight before he finally started to show a bit of fatigue, but the Tribe wasn’t havin it! So with the loud Tribe support, he powered through the last 20, and walked himself right back to the pullup bar and started on the feet-to-bar. By this point you could tell he was getting tired, but this just spurred the Tribe to scream even louder as we yelled “GET BACK ON THAT BAR STEVE!” He did, completed all the reps, and walked right over to the barbell and went right to work on the SDHPs! Although still leading the heat, by this point Steve gassing and the Tribe was louder than ever! He fought through every SDHP then dropped straight into the squats completing all 30 unbroken! At this point, with Steve still in the lead, the Tribe erupted and practically willed Steve to pick up the KB! “DO NOT DROP THAT SH*T!” being yelled over and over! With less than 15 swings to go, Steve dropped the KB and the Tribe gave him hell. He had no choice but to pick it up right away, but was only able to rep out a few more swings until the KB came crashing back to the ground with only 10 reps left to go. “PICK IT UP STEVE!” After a couple deep breaths, with every ounce of energy he had left and the ENTIRE CROSSFIT TRIBE behind him, Steve picked up the KB and completed all 10 swings! He dropped the KB and fell right into the arms of the Tribe as we all swarmed him and shared in his AWESOME victory! 12 minutes FLAT and the best time until that point!
Coming off the high of Steve’s performance, no one thought that he would be outdone. We were wrong. As I mentioned, the day before, Ann was unable to finish the second WOD, but if you all know Ann, she wasn’t going out like that! Completely focused and determined and with ENTIRE TRIBE there to support yet another member, Ann entered the gym in the first women’s heat on a mission! At the go, like Steve, she picked up the bar and didn’t drop until all 30 OHS were done! Although her pull-ups we not as easy as Steve’s, she banged them out 2-4 at a time with tribe at full volume, shaking out her forearms in between efforts to get the blood pumping. She completed every pull-up and, now clearly leading the heat, powered through the power snatches and feet-to-bar, struggling to catch her breath in between each rep. At this point, Ann looked as if she was starting to slow down, but as she picked up bar for her first SDHP, she thrust the bar so high that it shot up way passed her shoulders to the top of her head. The next 29 were no different, but we could tell each rep required so much energy that we weren’t sure how much she would have left for the finish. But with EVERY SINGLE Tribe member behind her and her mind completely focused, she entered what most Crosfitters call “that place” or “the zone”. She dropped straight into her squats – 30 unbroken – and picked up the KB! Denise yelled to her, “Get 10!” She did, but she didn’t stop there! In fact, she didn’t stop until all 30 reps were completed! The Tribe went IN-F*N-SANE, and we could not believe what we just saw! As she finished, she turned around only to be engulfed by a sea of Tribe members who were completely and utterly in awe of and inspired by what they had just witnessed and what she had just accomplished! Personally, it was the highest point of the weekend, and the perfect way to end it as Steph and I had to leave right after to meet up with her best friend for dinner in Staten Island. But that didn’t mean I wasn’t following as much as I could on the Crossfit Games website!
I’m sure the other Tribe members can fill in the rest of the story, but there was no less drama as I followed the live results on my phone during the drive and dinner! Highlights, that I’m sure I missed and would have loved to watch live as they unfolded….Erin finishing the final WOD with 12 seconds to spare, Pat competing in the final men’s heats with other top 30 men and qualifying easily, RB and Steve grabbing the final spots as they qualified also, DT taking second OVERALL for the women and a clean sweep for the ladies as they all qualified!
So now that it’s all said and done, I would like to say that I have never been more proud to be part of the Crossfit Tribe. All the competitors (not just the Tribe) showed so much heart and support for one another through every single rep. Even when they were done and completely exhausted with their workout, they found the strength and love to support the athletes that had yet to go, when they could have just gone somewhere to rest and recover. I challenge anyone to find that anywhere else! Also, all the Tribe-peeps that came out to support our athletes were AWESOME as they stood diligently and cheered enthusiastically during EVERY heat for EVERY Tribe member that competed! Without them, there is NO WAY that any of us could have been as successful as we were this weekend. You think I’m exaggerating? Just ask Steve. He was the 30th qualifier out of 30 men that go to the Regional Qualifers, and he beat out 31st place by just 6 points (1887 vs 1893)! If the Tribe wasn’t there during every WOD cheering and pressing him on through every second, do you think Steve would have still qualified? Who knows, but I sure he is glad as hell the Tribe was there with the whole way through!
So, what’s next? REGIONALS SUCKA!!! Onto the next one!
PS Special thanks to Rosemary for her relentless support and AMAZING pictures you can see HERE and HERE.