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SCS Nationals 2013 - Delaney Miller

SCS Nationals 2013 - Delaney Miller
April 09, 2013 - 

This past weekend was SCS nationals. I placed second behind the phenomenal climber Charlotte Durif, who is French, and earned myself the title of National Champ. The comp took place April 5th and 6th, and the 6th just happened to be my 18th birthday. Needless to say it was a good weekend.

To be honest I still can’t believe how amazing it all went. I really did not feel prepared for this comp. I’ve had A LOT going on these past couple of months. As of last June, my family took in three foster kids. We had some good times with them. And we a lot of bad times, as would be expected. In March the kids got moved from our house, and I struggled for a long time to fully accept this. While I was being conflicted mentally with this life adjustment, I was also struggling to accept that I needed some time off from climbing. Climbing is my passion, but apparently you can have too much of a good thing. My wrists started to bother me and before I knew it I was reaching for the Advil daily. It was nothing serious, but I’ve never had that issue before, and I knew that rest would be the key to recovery. On top of dealing with that, I’ve been struggling to study for my upcoming seven AP tests and to maintain my valedictorian status in school. It’s been tough to deal with all of these things. I’ve been worn down mentally and physically for a long time.

Going into this comp I don’t think I was any stronger than last year. With everything that has been going on in my life, I really didn’t even know what to expect. I resolved three things going into qualifiers. One: The routes were going to be hard. I know this seems like a no brainer, but sometimes I think I can forget this. I will get to a cruxy section on a route and start to freak out. I knew that if I was going to succeed in this comp, it would be important for me to stay calm. Two: I was going to get pumped. Again, another obvious point. I resolved to accept this and to keep in mind that I’ve been training pumped for the last couple of months. I therefore know how to fight through it. Three: As Bob Marley said “Every little thing is going to be alright.” I decided that even if I fell early and blew the comp, it was going to be ok. I’ve had a rough couple of months and there’s always next year. Following these three guidelines, I climbed well in qualifies. I tied for third after sending my first route and falling just below the top on my second route. I was very psyched at my performance.

Going into finals, I made one more resolution. This last one was based off of some advice I had received from Justen Sjong and my coach Kim Puccio. They told me to smile more. I have always taken my climbing very seriously, and to an outsider, it can appear that I’m not always having any fun. I realized that, following my third resolution from the day before, there was no reason why I shouldn’t lighten up. I took their advice and decided that no matter what, even if I fell off the first bolt, I was going to come off the wall smiling because I was stoked to be in Boulder climbing in finals.

I think that last resolution is what truly did it for me. Just climbing. Totally relaxed. That’s what carried me to the almost top. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Just going to have fun and not caring about the results really helped me. I’m not trying to say I’m just going to stop caring about comps. I’m just going to start aiming to have more fun. A big thanks goes out to my parents and coaches Kim Puccio, Matt Dendy, and Kyle Clinkscales for getting me ready for the event and supporting me. Thanks to the route setters, volunteers, Movement staff, and spectators for making the comp as rad as it was.


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