Three more weeks to go and then that’s it! I will officially graduate from my high school career and then I’ll be off to Colorado State University. As the date approaches, I can’t help but reflect on the things that have made me who I am and have led me to this point. Things, of course, meaning climbing. Climbing has done so much more for me than give me some rock hard abs, it’s changed me. I used to be insecure, introverted, and not very athletic. In many ways I’m still very insecure, but climbing had taught me to see life as a grand adventure. As I prepare to leave my suburban home in Frisco, Texas for Fort Collins, Colorado, I feel nothing but excitement and enthusiasm.
One of the biggest things climbing has done for me is to teach me the importance of self-confidence. I have always struggled with trusting myself, and I certainly still do, but climbing has revealed to me the irrefutable positive effects of self-trust.
Looking back on my climbing career, I recall many people asking me who my favorite climber was, or who my “climbing-hero” was. I always struggled to answer this. I can be very indecisive and there are so many amazing climbers. Usually my answer was some female climber who I believed had in some way paved the way for other female climbers, such as Lynn Hill or Alex Puccio. No doubt they are some phenomenal climbers, but if asked the same question today; my current answer would probably be Alex Honnold. When I say this, I am by NO means saying I support soloing. Soloing is very dangerous and I would NEVER recommend others do it. I would pick Alex Honnold because he has the quality that I strive to have; self-confidence. He trusts in his abilities and he executes. No doubts. No time to question himself. Only resolution. That’s a vital quality of a true leader.
As I write this blog, I am simultaneously thinking about what I will say for my graduation speech. I’ll talk about the usual going out and making a difference stuff, but I will also talk about the importance of being a leader. Only by being a leader can we change the world.
Also I as I write this blog, I am thinking about the up-coming Ring of Fire competition. I am very excited and nervous for it. In the past, I think deep down I would have expected failure. I would think about my recent success at Nationals and think the next comp would have to be bad because the last one went too well. I know, that’s stupid and doesn’t really make any sense, but nevertheless that’s what I thought. Today, I am ready to trust myself. I know I’m a strong climber and all I need to do is go out there and do my best. I’m not saying I will necessarily have another great competition. Who knows, I may come in last. But I’m not going in expecting myself to fail.