The second IFSC Bouldering World Cup of the season starts today in Vail, Co. Rumour has it that the weather around Colorado has made it difficult for those getting there last minute. With the Toronto and Vail events being so close together, athletes who are competing in both events can reflect quickly on their performance and make the changes necessary for the next round.
Last week, we interviewed Thomasina Pidgeon as she prepared for the IFSC Bouldering World Cup Toronto and we thought it would be interesting to check in with her as she moves from one competition to another. Thomasina left for Colorado on Tuesday and here is what she had to say.
Hi Thomasina, thanks again for chatting with us. How are you feeling about your performance last week in the IFSC Bouldering Toronto World Cup?
Well, I am intrigued and glad about my performance but one can always do better..!! Regardless of the outcome, my goal was to have fun and to relax and I was for sure more relaxed than normal which is good but I can go even further with this. I lost my focus and relaxation a few times and definitely needed to climb with more aggression. It seemed the higher I got on the problem the more my attention went to my thinking which was telling me that my foot was going to slip and that the holds were too far. This is a reoccurring problem for me so I really need to focus on being more present instead of listening to my negative chatter! Also I need to climb less safe, aka, more dynamic… No surprise there.
Can you tell us a bit about the qualifier round? From our perspective it looked hard!
Most of the problems were well set. The first was a face which involved balance and then a huge jump or some unprobable solution that I just couldn’t see. The second was a subtle jump off a fat pinching sloper to a sloping crimp. I tried this too many times and couldn’t get the bonus which is a bummer as the moves after looked like my style. This problem reminded me to slow down and read the problems a bit better as I didn’t see the jump when I read it. Less tries would of given me more power. Live and learn! The third was powerful bigger moves on crimps. I managed to get the bonus but then I quickly got nervous and lost my focus. When reaching for the next hold I told myself that my foot was going to slip and that it was too far. Bad mental skills here!! The forth was technical on volumes with a small jump to a big reach/lock over to a sloper. I made it near the top with the lock off but couldn’t quite reach the sloper, I was climbing too safe. A little dynamic-ness might of helped here but my foot felt so insecure..! The fifth and final problem was a slab with huge volume. I got off the ground but that’s about it. Nobody in my group sent this problem so it was obviously hard! Those Brits..!!
You have just made the journey to Colorado. What is your plan this week?
Hopefully catch up with some old friends who live here, train once at the Spot and try to just stay relaxed and calm for the competition.
Does it help having both North American World Cups in the same week?
I think it does. For myself it keeps the feeling of competition fresh in my head and helps me to be more prepared for what’s to come. It’s also a chance to redeem oneself of the mistakes from the weekends before that are fresh in the head.
How has last weeks performance affected your mental state going into this weeks performance?
It kind of has which is funny because my goal was to have fun, be relaxed and try to let go of the thoughts and beliefs that hold me back. Discovering that this way of being helped makes me even more nervous..! It’s ironic though because the solution to this new expectation, pressure and nervousness, is to simply keep practicing what i have been! Relaxing and letting go. It’s really interesting because i see all of the adversity faced this week from delayed flights to rude comments from strangers as a test to accept, let go and refocus on what’s actually happening. There’s a clinging sensation followed by a real sense of freedom.