I’ve known Alicia Gomes for the better part of a year now. She’s one of those people that always makes everything more fun. She, because of injury, didn’t get to train for the Games like she needed to, so she decided she’d just have fun and cheer as loud as possible for all the other Outlaw girls. You can actually see her in the background, during the Clean Ladder, going absolutely crazy when Elisabeth stands up with 235#. When everyone returned from Pendleton; she ran over, gave me a high-five, and explained that she was giddy because she had never run more than 3 miles in her life and she couldn’t believe she completed the event. Best. Attitude. Ever.

A few weeks ago I texted Alicia to see how her training was going. She responded with something that almost made me drop my phone. She said, “Not so well, I’ve got a large tumor in my face and I’ve got to take it easy until I have surgery.” Clearly this put training to the back of my mind, but a few days later she sent me this:

That’s a 210# Jerk, and a PR, while she was “taking it easy”. The celebration after the lift also gives you a pretty good picture of Alicia’s personality. Best. Attitude. Ever.

Yesterday Alicia sent me a text letting me know her tumor wasn’t cancerous, and the surgery went well. She said she had a pretty gruesome incision, and I—of course—asked for pictures. I also asked her to write a little something about what had happened so I could share it with you all. Alicia will be back soon, and she will be making everything more fun wherever she goes. Recover quickly, Gomez—we’ve got unfinished business.

From Alicia:

Basically what happened is I found a bump on my jaw last December. At first the doctors thought it was a swollen gland and no big deal. I went into a hospital in Boston because I had been getting chronic sinus infections and asked the doctors there if they knew what the bump was. It had not gone away and it was May. They sent me to a specialist, for a biopsy and an MRI. The results came back as atypical cells. They said I should get surgery because they didn’t know what the lump was and there was a chance it was cancerous. They thought it was in or on my parotid gland.

The bump was growing and causing pain in my face and jaw. There’s a facial nerve that runs threw your parotid gland and if it is compromised I could wake up without being able to smile ever again. Basically, my face would fall. This made me super nervous, but I had to get the surgery done. When they went in the tumor was wrapped around that nerve inside my parotid gland and also embedded in my jaw muscle. They got the entire tumor out without compromising the nerve. YEAAA! And, it wasn’t cancerous, double YEAAA! And, now I am recovering and am not able to do any heavy lifting or running for 2 weeks. Booo! That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

WOD 120927:

Rest Day.

36 thoughts on “120927

  1. Alicia – Best of luck recovering! So thankful they got the gland and it wasn’t cancerous.

    Congrats on the PR, btw! Nice freaking work! 🙂

  2. Tha is for giving me a reason to bitch less, train harder! Hope your recovery goes well. All of CrossFit Tucker will hear about your story tomorrow and we will be thinking about you. Hope your recovery goes well!

  3. To Alicia, I wish you a speedy recovery! The worst of it is over and with an attitude like that, I’m sure you’ll be back quicker that you think!

    This actually hits really close to home. My freshman year of college (’04), I had, pretty much, the same exact thing happen to me. With exception to the tumor wrapping around the nerve, I had a tumor around my left parotid gland and had it removed at the beginning of my second quarter at UW. It pretty much ended my 6 year love affair with Judo (any match with someone high gripping my judogi near my neck aka all of them..ended in an automatic tap out). It did make those college nights out, drinking lots of “water”, pretty fun. Whenever I was not sober I could no longer feel my left cheek..cool party trick haha. Basically, I made the best of it, and with Coach Rudy’s description of your attitude, I have no doubts you will too.

    • I’m not an expert so just take this with a grain of salt. I don’t remember what the percentages for those lifts were but unless they’re close to maximal I would suggest ditching the belt. You could be using that as a crutch to support your core even on lower percentage lifts instead of building the strength you need in that area.

  4. Well, seeing that just make me look like a ‘noop’ when I can’t get out of bed because of…..nothing….damn it.

    Cool Jerk by the way.

  5. Thank you everyone!! I am resting up in the hospital and hope to go home today. Since I can’t work out for a few weeks, I will be living vicariously through you all. So, crush a couple of lifts or a few WODs for me 🙂

  6. I’ve been following Outlaw for a couple of weeks now (since testing week) on the advice of my trainers and I’m really loving the challenge. I’m new to CrossFit (been doing it since mid-July, just before the Games), always been an athlete (rowing and running-based sports, lifting on off-days and during off-seasons), but this is the first sport that I’m so in love and dedicated that I wake up excited to train every day. And that’s saying something.

    Thank you Rudy for putting up these workouts for us every day, and I admire all of you that have been following this program and this community for a lot longer than I have. The videos posted here every day blow my mind. My trainers and I chill before my warmup and watch the videos just because they’re so badass. I’m so disgustingly dedicated to my training that I’m at the Box for a minimum of 2 hours every day. Training and chilling (and attempting to increase my Mobility, but let’s be honest, I need Kelly to come teach me how to stretch my quads again). A couple of weeks ago, my upper body felt like it went through a meat grinder (in the best way possible. hurt so good), and this week it’s my lower body. My body is finally beginning to adapt and I know that all of the hard work we do every day PAYS OFF.

    My goals currently are Regionals as an individual in 2014 and the Games by 2016. Hard work and dedication. Mental brutality. Not trying a higher weight, DOING it. Being a doer. It’s all about mental toughness. Your body will follow.

    THAT BEING SAID, Alicia is an amazing athlete. Times like these in life are when people are given the opportunity to identify what’s important. Remember where our priorities lie. Oftentimes these are blessings in disguise. Alicia will bounce back from this in a second. Return even stronger because a positive attitude is unbeatable. Heart of an athlete doesn’t give up. NO EXCUSES!


    • You have some wise trainers. Even after several months on Outlaw, you can still feel beat up, lower and/or upper….so just keep on, diet and rest for recovery. …Addicted to food and sunshine, and shenanigans…we have so much in common. 😉

  7. Sigh. I was afraid of where that letter was going, as it hits close to home. Big lesson, catch these things early, and get em checked out ASAP. Thankfully, you just gotta let them stitches heal now, and keep looking forward. Im sure you’ll be squatting this weekend. 🙂

  8. Gomes! I’m so happy to hear that everything went well with the surgery. Much love to you and prayers for a quick and full recovery.

    I wanted to share another Games moment that’s a testament to the type of athlete and competitor Alicia is. Yes, she was going nuts during to clean ladder, but she was also there to basically carry my sorry ass off the field following the track triplet. In that moment, I honestly felt like I couldn’t have walked off by my myself, and there was Alicia suportive and positive as always. I’d be honored to train or compete with Alicia anytime! She also booked a trip straight from Carson to Cancun. Smart girl.

  9. Get better Gomez.
    My wife went through something similar last year… A brain Tumor wrapped around the better portion of her Pituatory Gland. They went up her nose and got it out and she was CrossFitting 2 months later. She is awesome now and outlawing away. So I can relate to the feeling of good news.

    Cant wait to see more PR’s from you soon.

  10. Glad to hear the surgery went well. I can’t wait to see you crushing competitions in the near future, here in the northeast!!

  11. How amazing that they were able to remove it entirely without any issues! I wish you a speedy recovery!

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