It was never my intention to go to the Nationals. They were
supposed to be in Alberta and I was supposed to be in Europe. But as life would
have it, they were switched to Montreal and I was stuck in Montreal waiting for
essential things like passports which arrived only a few days before the comp.
It would seem like chicken behavior to escape the comp at this point but regretting
not going seemed even worse.
And so I went. I paid to go and compete with the intention
to give my best effort and keep my focus on the climb in front of me. The after
affect: self inflicted torture and suffering I put on myself because I had a bad
comp. This is one of the reasons why I avoided comps until this year. I beat
myself up like an old rag if I feel I do badly, no matter what place I finish
in. If I make stupid mistakes, if I doubt myself in the middle of a crux, if I
don’t think of the right beta while stuck in some position, if I don’t climb
aggressively enough, if I doubt myself, if, if and more if’s. Maybe I am a
perfectionist who is never perfect…
And to tell matters even more personal… one of my main
disappointments is not just my performance but my attitude handling the fact
that I had a bad comp. In the face of failure I failed to handle it with grace.
One of my best friends mentioned to me once that it is the not the outcome that
is the test but more how one handles it, winning or losing. For me there was a vicious pattern circling
around in my head of self sabotaging thoughts and I just could not snap out of
it. I was so mad and disappointed with myself. Maybe I should go on a diet so I
can lighten up…!
Obviously, I don't feel very good about how I did. I questioned
my ability on the first problem to make the big reach and I never gave my full
attention to my effort because I was too busy thinking if I could do it or not.
I said to myself 'oh--it’s so far, I feel maxed out in reach...' I fully doubted
myself and didn’t use my legs to help push me higher. I did this problem first
try when the comp was over which frustrated me even more because I could make
the reach...! The difference, the self inflicted pressure was off and I was no
longer thinking doubtful thoughts. With more attention, aggression and
confidence, I snagged the hold by using my legs more and my head less.
Problem two was fine for me but on the third I got stuck
with a case of tunnel vision in the middle of the problem. The start was
incredibly reachy but I managed to burl my way through it, finding myself
seconds later stuck on the 2 slopey jugs playing a game of tic tack trying to
just get my feet back on the wall so to make the next move. When getting my
feet on didn’t help I tried the heel which might have worked if I hadn’t wasted
the energy prior. This problem taught me that it is a good idea to stop and take
a ‘time out’ on the wall so to see other beta. Hang from the jug, look around
and see the possibilities.
On problem 4 the last move was huge and I just couldn’t do
it. This is my weakness and I know that. When I was awkwardly positioned for
the last move the final hold looked like it was a mile away. I thought to
myself, ‘Hell no, that’s impossible’. Do you think I did it with that mind set?
No… Thoughts are very powerful things. My commitment and self doubt worked
together like Jekyll and Hyde. Although the girls that did do this last move
have more reach than me, I shouldn’t be making excuses here. Yes it was a long
move but long moves are not exactly what I am good at so I don’t feel too heartbroken
with this one. I know what I have to work on.
The final problem… having done only 1 problem at this point
I really had to give my best. I feel a little mixed on this one as I didn’t
climb it very well though I finally did it after many tries. The judge had told
me “ohh, it’s a burly one” which may or may not have influenced how I
approached the climb. Watching others on this afterwards I see that the start
was not burley but rather pretty technical had I used better beta. The beta I
was using didn’t feel right to move off and while the holds were good enough to
adjust, I didn’t, so I fell, over and over till finally I managed my way
through it. Once midway, finishing the problem was fine. Lesson here… hmmm.
Better route reading? Climb smarter? Get stronger?
At the end when the results were up I didn’t look at what I
placed, I didn’t care. What mattered to me was how I felt I did which is
obvious from this here rant. People congratulating me on a good job frustrated
me even more because I know I can climb a lot better than I did. Could of,
should of, would of, didn't. No excuses - admit it thomo, if only you were a
better climber. But that is why I am putting myself in these situations right…
to learn? To become better? To put myself outside of my comfort zone? Oh yeah,
right... it’s a good idea to remind myself of this…
Hard on the confidence these comps…at least for me. Slaying
the 100 head dragon that flourishes on the many excuses of why things didn’t go
as plan and stepping up to the plate is as hard to do as the comp itself. Sure
some of the problems were harder if short but they were still possible. After
all of the above has been said, I do not regret going. It was an experience and
a learning one. Attending also helped take care of a few of the logistics needed for future plans... As well, I know that I need to work on a few things, climbing smarter,
stronger and with confidence. (and spend more time on plastic if i want to improve on plastic!)
Oh and I must not forget the more important lesson: to take disappointment with
a bit of grace.