May 26, 2012
Fighting Through It: Alicia Gomes
By Andréa Maria Cecil

"She's strong as shit. And she moves kind of like an angel."

For three consecutive events, Alicia Gomes sat at the top spot at the North East Regional.

In Event 4, that changed.

The workout — a medley of back squats, shoulder-to-overheads, front squats, overhead squats and pull-ups — was unforgiving. Few finished within the 22-minute time cap.

Near the start of the workout, Gomes says her back seized up.

“I had a stress fracture as a kid,” the former Division 1 gymnast said minutes after the event. “I was fighting through it.”

The workout played to her strengths and she felt she could have done well, she says.

“I’m really disappointed in that workout. You can’t control your body doing stupid things,” Gomes continues. “It is what it is.”

At the end of Day 2, Gomes was No. 3 overall.

The 5-foot-2, 130-lb. athlete last year competed on CrossFit Route 1’s team, which made it to the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games. This year, as an individual, she’s representing CrossFit Wicked.

Gomes says she’s looking forward to the Regional’s third and last day, which brings the Snatch Ladder and perhaps one of the weekend’s most brutal workouts. The final event is: 3 rounds of 7 deadlifts and 7 muscle-ups, followed by 3 rounds of 21 wall ball shots and 21 toes-to-bar, a 100-foot farmer carry with two dumbbells, 28 burpee box jumps, another 100-foot carry with the dumbbells and, finally, 3 muscle-ups.

Gomes’ coach since December, Rudy Nielsen of Virginia’s Outlaw CrossFit, said she was doing “spectacular” shortly before Day 2’s second event.

The biggest concern of the weekend for Gomes was the 2,000-meter row in Event 2 that also included 50 one-legged squats and 30 135-lb. hang cleans.

Rowing, Nielsen stresses, is not Gomes’ strength.

“Like, your grandmother could row faster than her,” says the bearded Nielsen in his patented sarcastic tone, followed by a short laugh.

Nonetheless, Gomes has a 185-lb. clean and jerk, a 150-lb. snatch and a 305-lb. back squat, notes Nielsen, who was at the Regional.

“She’s strong as shit,” he says. “And she moves kind of like an angel.”

Gomes first started working with Nielsen following three years of her boyfriend, Brent Miffitt, doing her programming. Miffitt also is competing at the Regional. After Day 2, he sits in 16th place overall.

Nielsen’s approach was similar to Miffitt’s, says Gomes, further describing it as “nerdy” on strategy.

She initially sought out Nielsen because he had worked with other gymnasts, Gomes explains. “(It’s been) a lot of fun.”