“I loved not knowing what was going to happen from event to event.”
GG: What did you think about the field of guys you were up against at the Granite Games?
NU: I thought the field was awesome. It was great getting to compete with that many top guys in a “local comp.” I loved not knowing what was going to happen from event to event. You could never be complacent or you’d drop in the field.
GG: You hail from the Central East Region. Obviously, you’re contending with some of the best male athletes in the world. How did the Granite Games stack up?
NU: It was not quite the Central East in terms of the level of stress of the competition there. The Granite Games was not as stressful for the simple reason that you know there isn’t another level to the competition. That’s the big difference. Because of the level of competition in the Central East, you cannot be “off” your game for even a second, or you miss out on the Games.
GG: You and second place Men’s Elite athlete Alex Anderson compete together on the GRID League. Was it strange to be opponents rather than teammates out there on the floor?
NU: Not really. After all, we competed this year at the Central East Regionals. But even more than that, we compete all the time in practice. Even on the GRID, neither of us wants to lose to the other. That helps push us through portions of events where we need to move quickly side by side. Neither one of us wants to finish last. And ultimately, that makes us a better, both as a team and as individual athletes.
GG: I see you have your own affiliate. How do you manage to stay on top of being a family man, an owner/coach, and also a world class athlete?
NU: This is the hardest thing. I’m married, have 2 girls, own a gym, coach full-time and train full-time. I need to have a schedule as to when I am doing everything, otherwise nothing gets done and I stress out all the time. I have to prioritize and have fun with training and life. I don’t take things too seriously; I can step away to just be at home and submerse myself in that life away from the gym and training.
GG: What brought you to Minnesota and the Granite Games?
NU: I received an invite to compete. I’d heard about Granite Games last year and was interested in doing it. But it wasn’t until I got an invite a couple weeks out from the competition that I actually decided to sign up and go for it.
GG: You had so many great placings during the competition. Which WOD was your favorite?
NU: That is a tough question because there were a lot of good ones! I would probably say that the rope climb WOD, Deadly Ropes, was my favorite because it was so fast-paced and there were so many changes with where everyone was throughout the WOD. It definitely made for a good race in our heat.
GG: You placed well within the top 10 in each event of the weekend, with the exception of The Run. Was it an off day for you or was there something holding you back on that one?
NU: I actually used to run all the time and loved it. Recently, however, I have backed off of running. It has taken a back seat and is probably a weakness at the moment, mainly because my calves and hamstrings are not used to it anymore and tighten up on me more quickly than they used to.
GG: Overall, how would you rate your Granite Games experience?
NU: The Granite Games was by far one of the best events I have ever been a part of. I was so surprised at how large and well ran it was. I had no idea of the scope of everything that was going on in all the different arenas until later in the weekend. It’s amazing how well organized and executed it was—the staff and volunteers were on point and nothing was left to chance. It seemed like the direction was clear and everyone I met was gracious and kind. Overall, a simply awesome event.