Last weekend I competed in the youth world championship in Victoria, Canada. It was a fantastic comp! It was an emotional, exciting week and I feel so blessed to have experienced it! I stayed with the US team in the Victoria University dorms, which were not far from the climbing wall. It was incredible to really connect and bond with all the other US team members. I will never forget the memories and relationships that were formed! Before the competition began, I was honestly in a very depressed mood. I was upset to be leaving my beloved home, friends, and family behind in Texas. I couldn’t stop thinking about the people I wouldn’t be seeing for months and about what my new life would be like in Colorado. Thank you to all of the US kids who listened to my depressed complaints and who were there to comfort me. I couldn’t have asked for a better support system! I love you guys so much!!!!
For me, the competition began on the most majestic qualifier route I think I’ve ever been on. It was a very euro route with sustained movements on ok holds. There was so much flow! I sent the route along with four other climbers. I was so psyched to start the comp out on such a good note! It gave me a good boost of self-confidence that I really needed for the rest of the week. Overall, the day was good for the other US team members as well. It was clear from the start that the US was there to kick some ass!
The second day didn’t go as well for me as the first. I didn’t climb the route as efficiently as I should have. I think my biggest problem was my concern for time. I was anxious that I would run out of time (we only had six minutes) and so I tried to climb quickly and not take too many breaks. From the beginning I was off my usual pace and movement. I fell somewhat early and found myself in seventh place for the day. This placement hit me hard. I really wanted to do well at this comp and was not at all satisfied with my performance. Its not that I didn’t think seventh place was good, but I knew that I had more in me. I resolved to not worry about the time the next round.
The third day was speed only. To be honest, I hadn’t been training for speed. Leading up to the competition, I had been focusing on preparing for the Psicobloc comp. I had a week in between returning from Utah and leaving for Victoria, so I choose to just concentrate on lead, as it is the discipline that has always mattered the most to me. I resolved to just do my best in speed and not worry about the results. I ended up in 12th place, which sounds respectable, but there were only 14 girls in my category. Oh well… I’m still proud! The other US team members killed it!!!!!! It was the most incredible, inspiring thing to watch! I’m so proud of everyone!
The fourth and final day of the comp was sport semis and finals. I tried to just stay calm and confident in my abilities. I tend to over think things at big comps and second-guess my movements. I knew that I had the ability to make it to finals, but I needed to keep myself relaxed. That was easier said than done. My semis route ended up being on a mostly vertical wall and was comparatively short and bouldery. So basically, it was not my style at all. I do best on long, endurance routes with steep angles! When it came time for me to climb, I was hesitant. Despite my best efforts to control my head game, I just was not confident enough in myself. I fell about half way up the route but still managed to snake my way into finals in eighth place. That was the first time I had ever made it into finals, so I couldn’t have been more psyched!
The finals route ended up being much more my style than the semis route had been, but it was still very tricky. I don’t think any of the movements were particularly hard, but they were all very precise. If you didn’t do the route correctly, it became way harder. I did ok in the beginning, but got a little mixed up in the middle. I fell about the three quarters of the way up because I was pumped and my feet weren’t high enough. This put me in fifth place.
At first, I was disappointed in this placement. My goal had been to podium, and this was probably the last youth world championship that I’d have the opportunity to compete in. It was my head game that ultimately killed me. I needed to trust myself completely. I had realized that this would be an issue from the beginning, but it is not something that can be easily fixed. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized how much I’ve improved over just the last year. I have definitely made huge improvements in my mental approach! I am so psyched to see my progress and I know I will continue to grow as a competitor and a climber!
Thanks to all the US coaches for all the support and encouragement! Also, thanks to all the comp organizers and volunteers! The competition went very smoothly and the routes were great!