The nasty northeast is a 3 week long team competition between local NJ boxes. The top team walks away with more than just a few prizes – bragging rights are on the line. Who’s ready to get nasty?
The nasty northeast kicked off the same way as it did last year, with a little fun in the sun at Manasquan beach. CrossFit ACT, the host box who put all this together, promised a competition unlike anything we experienced the year before – it would be bigger, harder, more epic with laser beams and missiles and what not. And the first day of competition did not disappoint.
Quick rundown of the WOD. Max time – which was delivered to us pretty nonchalantly – two and a half hours! Like that’s a normal thing to say. Anyway, the WOD started with a 2400m run through the deep sand for the entire team. The run was to be completed tag-team style with the male team members taking on the challenge first. Once both male team members completed the run, they tagged their partners and they began their portion of the run. The female team, immediately following their mile and a half run, were forced to lunge about 500m through the sand while the male members split time between a yoke carry and lunges. After reaching the 500m turn around point, it was the ladies turn to carry the yoke as a tandem while the men lunged behind trying to keep up. Once all the members of the team reached their initial starting point, they began an Indian-run style plank walk – where three of the team members lined up in a down-dog position, touching hands, while the fourth member crawled through and added onto the chain – for another 500m. The WOD finished with a 500m sprint back to the starting line. Time.
In retrospect, the initial mile and a half run was BY FAR the worst part of the workout. By the time I turned the first corner (maybe 50m into the run) and headed down the long straight away, my calves already felt like they had just gone through a garbage disposal. Every step on the uneven sand provided a new challenge and hurdle to overcome. Thankfully, I had mentally prepared myself beforehand for how the run might affect me, and more importantly how it would affect my competitors. See, I compete as often as I possibly can at CrossFit competitions, and if there’s one trend that’s evident at every event it’s this: Crossfitters are TERRIBLE at pacing. The majority of them blow their load within a couple of minutes (longer than some I guess) of the start of the WOD. So I was mentally prepared for everyone to blow by me at the start of the race, and as predicted I caught and passed most by the end of the second lap.
Thankfully, after both men returned from the run, we got a little break while the women got the pleasure of suffering through the run. Part 2 of this marathon WOD consisted of lunges and yoke carries. What can I say about the lunges? They were lunges, they sucked. I thought my ass was going to explode. Moving on. Surprisingly, the easiest part of the day was the yoke carry. I expected every uneven step taken with yoke to yank me side to side causing me to walk like a sorority girl leaving the bar at 3am. But no, I almost laughed when I picked it up and sprinted my leg of the race to give myself a little extra rest time.
And finally, the plank walk. The plank walk was about as fun as waiting in line at the DMV – long, monotonous, and by the end I’d be willing to stiff arm a small child in the face if it meant I’d get out of there sooner. Not to mention my knees and tops of my feet felt like they had been exfoliated by the world’s angriest Korean.
Needless to say, I hated this part of the workout…but not because it was exhausting or physically painful. The reason I hated that part of the workout is the same reason I despise workouts like Karen. It’s not the burn in my legs or the fact I can’t lift my arms up to grab my steering wheel after, it’s because of their inherent repetitive drawn out nature. There’s something about those excruciatingly high rep, single movement WODs that mentally drain me – and the plank walk was no different. Not to mention the total mind fuck of thinking you’ve actually covered some ground after starting the crawl only to look back and see you’ve only gone about 10yds from where you’ve started.
But once again, being on a team changed everything. I’m 100% positive in speaking for myself (and I’m sure my team would agree) I wanted to drop down and rest my burning shoulders more than anything else in the world, but wouldn’t/couldn’t when I see my teammates busting their asses.
My team, Team Beast Swellington (of course), after a sluggish start on the run finished the day with a respectable 6th place finish. Our top team, Maxability Gets Deep, took a podium spot with a very impressive 3rd place finish.
I couldn’t be more proud of my team than I was at the end of day 1. They were incredible! Bazz, Mae, and Rob all showed up and were ready to go on Game Day. Especially Bazz, who had been battling through a coccyx bone injury the weeks leading up to the competition. Even after being reduced to tears during her run and being forced to walk through most of it, battled through it and helped carry the yoke (without putting it down!) the entire length of the course when we needed it most. Everyone played a role, and when it was their turn to be called upon they all answered the call.
This year’s competition promised to be bigger and better than last year – and so far they’re succeeding. Just look at the sheer numbers. Last year only 17 teams enter from around NJ (2 team repping Maxability). This year there were 31 teams (4 from Maxability)! And everything ran smoother than expected. CrossFit ACT did a great job with handling the influx of athletes and managing the workout. Big thanks to them.
At this point I’m not just looking forward to the next two weeks of competition, but the next two years of competition. The numbers alone almost doubled compared to last year. The event is only going to continue to grow in the years to come, hopefully cementing itself as a mainstay throughout NJ.