Last weekend I competed in my first competition of the year! I traveled to Canmore, Alberta with four of my favourite people from Vancouver (Sarah Austin, Jamie Chong, Sean McColl and Alannah Yip) to compete in the second Western TDB local of the season. As there are only three local competitions out west this year, and points from all three locals will be taken into consideration when applying for the Canadian team, it was no surprise that the gym was PACKED.
Canmore Tour de Bloc: Using the Team's to Make the Team!
I was immediately surrounded by the people I love most in the world. It was amazing to catch up with friends from Calgary, Canmore and Edmonton. I was immediately happy and psyched to compete. This was an amazing feeling, considering that just the week before, I had considered cancelling my flight. Last month, I suffered a moderate knee injury that kept me from climbing for a few weeks. I kept the psych up with campusing and hangboard workouts, but I was unable to do any steep climbing. Lucky for me, Sean McColl also hurt his knee, and figured out a pretty sweet way to tape his knee to prevent any pain while climbing. Don't get me wrong, it sucks that he hurt his knee, but yippee for me for being able to benefit from his injury ;)
Once I started taping, I was able to climb again, but I SUCKED! I felt like a total punter on anything steeper than 10 degrees. It was pretty sad, and my confidence took a huge hit. Coming back from injuries takes loads of self-esteem and mental toughness, and it seemed like mine was all used up. For two weeks, I was a total newb and it sucked. I felt apprehensive about going to the gym, and I usually ended up each session feeling defeated. I felt like a total bag of crap. The Thursday before the comp, I sat down with my boyfriend Ryan, and just vented. "I suck, I don't even want to go, blah blah boo hoo". Good thing Ryan's a patient guy. He sat me down and said "You can't think about these things. Just make the best of what you have". I went home still feeling like poo, but decided to go to the competition.
On the day of the comp, all those thoughts and doubts left my mind. I settled into qualifiers and had a blast running around with Thirza Carpenter, a wicked beastie from Edmonton. After qualifiers, I was in third place behind Elise Sethna (FiveTen athlete) and Thirza.
In finals, I settled back, relaxed and climbed my best. My knee was wrapped tight like a mummy, and I felt happy and content to just do my best. It sounds super cheesy, but its true. I was in a neutal zone. My nerves weren't wrapped tight, and my mind was level. It was the perfect competition mindset.
After a bit of a punter fall on the first problem, I was able to flash the final three. Pretty sweet! I finished in first place, squeezing just ahead of Elise, who had a total of two falls. Coming in third was up and coming star, Alannah Yip (she won the previous TDB in Vancouver). And guess what? All three of us were wearing the amazing Team shoes! That's right! Using the Team's to make the team! Saweeeeeet!!
Overall, it was an amazing weekend, and now, I feel silly about how I acted before the competition. It's just got to be fun! Otherwise, why are we climbing in the first place
Photos by Masahito Nakao
First photo: Myself on problem #1
Second photo: Elise Sethna on problem #2
Third photo: Alannah Yip on problem #2