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Canadian Nationals 2013 - Erica Carlson

Canadian Nationals 2013 - Erica Carlson
Canadian Nationals 2013 - Erica Carlson
Canadian Nationals 2013 - Erica Carlson
Canadian Nationals 2013 - Erica Carlson
April 10, 2013 -  Erica Carlson    

Canadian Nationals were this past weekend and.... I placed 7th overall!!!!! I'm super stoked as this is the best I have ever placed at Nationals. I also have to say this is the comp I am able to mentally pick apart the least from this whole season. The competition was extremely strong... Any of the top 20 girls could have made finals on any given day.

By CEC rules, Nationals must have 8 Canadian citizens (and CEC eligible) in finals. As a result, there were 11 girls and 8 guys in finals. I finished qualifiers in 10th place. I don't mind finishing a bit lower as it gives me a bit of a mental break. I don't feel expectations are as high for me... But then again, maybe I just need to learn to deal with that :)

Saturday was qualifiers and Sunday was finals day... I was EXTREMELY nervous leading up to finals. I don't know why. I normally get nervous but not as nervous as I was then. Luckily, I was able to bring myself back to reality, calm down and remember what I had to do. A few months back, my Mom started using the phrase 'Calm, Strong and Focused' before each of my comps. I've started repeating this to myself and find it's great for getting myself back in the zone.

Before we started finals, we had our presentation so the audience could see who had made it. Then we had our 2 minute preview of each problem as we were running finals World Cup style to help prep those of us hoping to attend the Bouldering World Cups. Problem 1 had a tough looking start. I knew I could send it but I figured it would take me two or three attempts. Problem 2 was the one I was most excited about... The first move was a dyno and the rest of it was burly, precise movements!! Problem 3 I had no idea what to do with. My only goal for this problem was literally to get off the start holds (in my head that counted as a send haha). Problem 4 looked tough but do-able... As long as you could move off the start hold.

I had chatted with one of the route setters, Dustin Curtis, after qualifiers and told him I thought qualis were heinously tough. His response was that we need to learn to compete at that level as that's what it takes in the World Cup. All a matter of how you look at it! So I changed my tone and took on his mindset, which proved a huge help in finals.

Problem 1, I flashed. I almost didn't realize what I was doing until I got to the second last hold. I had to remind myself to calm down, breathe and finish the job. Problem 2, my goal had been to stick the dyno within 3 attempts and work through the rest as it came. I stuck the dyno on my first attempt and even made it all the way to the finish hold!!!!! Sadly, this problem wasn't mine to send :( I attached the heartbreaking (ok, that's a bit dramatic) video of my first attempt below. Hopefully you will be able to access it!

Problem 3 I actually surprised myself and got off the ground on my first attempt. I didn't get much further than that, but neither did many of the other girls. In total, I think there were only 2 girls that ended up figuring out this problem. Problem 4 was all volumes. Not a single hold on it except for the finish hold, which barely counts since it was a tiny crimp! Haha! On my third attempt I stuck the dynamic move to Bonus and everyone went bananas! I have never felt anything like that... They just went crazy! It felt so amazing to be that well supported by so many spectators and fellow climbers. I misread a heel placement which unfortunately cost me the send but I'm still extremely proud of how I did on this problem as it's not something I'd have been able to do a year ago. :)

For now, I'm going to take a week and a half 'off' and get my massage therapist and physiotherapist to work their magic as my whole body is incredibly sore. Right after that, I get right back at it and start training for the World Cups in Vail, CO and Toronto, Canada!!! Fingers crossed I get invited to compete at both!!!!!!


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