Competing in world cups circuit isn’t easy. You get physically tired, mentally tired and you really need to ask a lot from the people around you. Sometimes that isn’t fair and relationships take two and I guess I didn’t have enough to give. I find it hard to know when to let my emotions affect my climbing sometimes I climb better, I push harder and pull stronger when I feel I need to get something out but then I also have my girly side when I want to eat ice cream, watch a cheesy movie and feel sorry for myself and that is definitely not the attitude you need when going into a World Cup.
Lets just say the week before Slovenia was not the best week of my life and I went to this competition not knowing what to expect. Climbing is such a unique sport in the sense that you never know what you will get, every problem in every round of every competition is different. In most sports there are always aspects that never change but with climbing you never really know what to expect. Sometimes the boulders might suit your style and sometimes you can pull through them even if they aren’t but there is always the possibility that you might just not be able to do it. This has happened to everyone at some point, but the most irritating thing is when this happens and its only your head stopping you, its the mental game comes with every sport. Every competitor has a personal life and we all go though bad times.
I was psyched but very nervous when warming up and my head was in a bit of a mush. Then when it came to the 5 qualifying boulder problems everything seemed to make sense. I felt so in control and relaxed when climbing and I guess this showed in my results as I managed to flash all of the boulders. The qualifiers were split into two groups at this competition which I find really annoying as when you are compared against everyone you know where you stand and can compose yourself for the next round with a good knowledge of your efforts against all the others but going into semis this time I only knew how well I had done in comparison to half of the semi finalists. However, the fact that two qualifying groups are required is definitely a sign that the sport is growing which is amazing!
Flashing all 5 boulders is the best I could possibly have done in qualifiers but I knew how many incredibly strong women there were and that pretty much anyone could make it to finals. Usually the nerves go away when I am waiting to go out to climb but this time they were still there when I got on the wall but I also felt really focused and clear when climbing. I could really think about what to do and what would work. The first boulder in semis was not my preferred style of climbing but I managed to figure it out on the way up. The second boulder was extremely crimpy and I tried really really really hard, there was one move that I did not enjoy and made me really want to just drop off. I just about managed to fight my way through it. The third was stupid! A downwards sideways dyno into a wall. My first attempt was actually decent and I got kinda close but then my body totally rejected the move and my instincts forced my leg to kick me away form the wall before I got the chance to try and grab the hold. I flashed the fourth boulder but I strain my shoulder again on the last move.
A huge thank you to Stewart Watson and the Austrian Team Physio Klaus for taking a look at my shoulder! After a bit of manipulation and some taping I was ready for finals. I qualified in second place to Anna Stöhr. I was so excited to make finals again and I couldn’t wait to see what they had waiting for us this time. I had no expectations and felt few nerves and little pressure I was just really psyched to climb.
Everything fell into place on the first boulder and I climbed it as I had planned. The second problem was amusing, I caught the awkward dyno to begin and then found myself stood puzzled with a very blank wall around me. I tried to get my foot up, that didn’t work, I thought about matching but quickly realised that wouldn’t work. Then I let my instinct take over and with little thinking I crossed over, got a sneaky toe hook to keep me in balance for a few moves but then my mind was back. I had to do a big move off a very bad hand hold and a very very bad bad foot hold. After faffing for a while I just went for it and somehow everything stayed on the wall.
The final two boulders did not go to plan. I wrestled with the volumes on problem three only to find myself stood on the mat wondering why I wasn’t still on the wall and why my arms had even more grazes. Problem four was really cool and I just wish I had had the umph left to do it. I was soo tired! I am really looking forward to watching the finals back to see Mina Markovic (SLO) crush every single one of the final boulder problems! Such an amazing effort from her, the crowd were unreal and they had every reason to be! I am so happy to have stood on the podium in second place to her.
I think I learnt a lot from the mistakes I made in China and I am so happy with how I climbed in this competition. I don’t think that it’s all quite sunk in yet. I can’t wait to compete in Vienna in a few days time but I am already so nervous, my recent results have put the pressure on now…
It was really nice to have a big GB Team competing in Slovenia, well done to everyone one who came. Check out the full results list here!