The UBC competition last weekend was fun and a bit sentimental for me in a few ways. The producer of UBC, Pete Ward, has been putting on amazing events for the past 10+ years, including but not limited to the Gravity Brawls, the Nor’Easter, and the rooftop competitions during the OR Tradeshow in Utah. I’ve come to love how much of a show these events turn out to be with motivated crowds, creative setting, decent cash purses, entertaining lights, music, and an overall air of professionalism. The fields of these comps have always been stacked with a lot of strong climbers showing up. I’ve never made Finals, though prizes for the second-day Open category were still pretty awesome.
Why 6th Place is the Best - Nina Williams
This year was different however, when I actually pulled through Semis into Finals by a mere 3 attempts… quite a close call! Placing 6th into Finals, meaning I would be the first climber on each problem, seemed to be the most relaxing slot of all. There was no pressure to reach a high point and I could only improve from 6th place. Plus this was my first Finals at one of Pete’s events since I had started competing! I was PSYCHED!!
My second close call was a mistake that still cost me a point, but could have been much worse. Women’s #2 had an amazing sequence that involved upside-down toe-hooking and scrunchy moves up top, but I figured it out and flashed it! I hadn’t really expected to get to the top of a Finals problem so when I grabbed that finish hold I gave a bunch of excited fist pumps and dropped down… without matching the finishing hold. Definitely pulled a Bautista on that one ;) Luckily I still had 4 minutes left and flashed it again to secure the points for a top (lost my flash point though).
In the end I placed 4th overall, which I was really happy about. Going into Finals in 6th place allowed me to really have fun with my climbing and the energy of the crowd. I can get way too serious about my performance and it affects me on the wall. I’ve learned that calming my mind and not worrying about it so much helps me in the long run! I can’t change how any other competitor climbs; I can only control myself. Therefore I’ll climb my best and enjoy every minute of it J
(Also… always match your finishing hold!!)