"Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it, so it goes on flying anyway. "
-Mary Kay Ash

Sunday 23 September 2012

My Summer Travels- Worlds Experience 2012

The Youth World Climbing Championships were held in Singapore this past August. I arrived in Singapore on August 24th. Just a few hours before, my climbing extravaganza in Railay Beach, Thailand had come to an end. I had been climbing in Railay Beach for just over a week. My goal was to try to become more acclimatised to the incredibly warm and humid conditions that I would be dealing with in Singapore. It turns out that about half of the National team and their families were in Railay Beach too. So my Mom, Dad, Sister, my two fellow teammates Amy Sutley, Allison Vest and I had lots of friends to climb with. On our first day climbing on Tonsai Beach, a certain route called "Tidal Wave" caught my eye. I immediately had the feeling that this would be my project for the time I was here. I spent at least half an hour just studying it before I actually decided to give it a try.

Tidal Wave started on the far right of the wall and traversed left and up about eight more meters until the anchors. It was not very long, only seven bolts but man, was it pumpy. All the moves were super powerful. I would say there was two cruxes - one about 3/4 of the way up and the second one was only one move from the anchor. The fist crux required you to traverse on one large sloper rail. Once you got to the far left side of the sloper you had to bump your left hand to a pinch and then again to a sloping pocket. From there, your feet were still out right so you had to cut loose and set a high heel hook to be able to reach the next crimp. When you got to the crimp, there was one more big move to a sloper before reaching three finger jugs, where you could rest before the last four hard moves. The second crux started after the rest on the finger jugs. From there, you moved your left hand to a sloper pinch and kept moving it along until you caught a small, bubbly tuffa. From that point, you brought your right foot up onto a ledge and executed one last dynamic move to a second pinch before you could clip the anchors. I finally sent the route on my second go of the day. It was our last day in Railay Beach so I was pretty psyched; also this route was my first 5.12D redpoint. This climb ended my trip on a high-note for I was leaving the next morning for Singapore.

I had so much fun at Worlds this year! I think the reason was that I had already experienced the same level of competition at Worlds in Imst, Austria last year so in some ways I knew what to expect. I did not have a million questions running through my mind about what the experience would be like, so I felt that I could solely focus on my climbing. Coming into the competition, I felt like I was ready to attack whatever was thrown at me. I had been training super hard all summer and I had been waiting for this moment all year, to represent my own country in the highest level of youth competition possible.

My first qualifying climb was okay (not great!). I think that I fought hard until the end so I was happy about that, but I do think I could have gotten at least a few holds higher. When I previewed my second qualifying route I thought, "Hell yeah, this is more my style." The route was steep and pumpy which requires lots of endurance and power. This is my strong suit!

As I stepped onto the wall, it was only me. I was so focused that I could not hear the music playing in the background, or the roar of the crowd behind me. All I could hear was my coach's voice in my head reassuring me, and my family and teammates cheering me on as I made my way up the wall. Once I got about six draws up the wall I made it to the first crux move. I set my foot up as high as I could, and started transferring all my weight onto my left foot. But soon after I realized that there was no way I could do the move this way. So I downclimed about four moves where I would rest for a few seconds and try it one more time with my foot on a lower hold. This way would be more powerful but I believed I could do it. I got to the move once again. Glaring at the hold, I lunged for the crimp and touched it, just popping off at the last second. I was disappointed because I knew I could have gotten further. I still had so much energy left. But looking back at the competition I am happy. I think that I could have climbed better, but for me it was another great learning experience that will help my climbing career in the future.

Throughout the whole week in Singapore I learned so much about myself and my climbing abilities. I have so much respect for all the amazing climbers around the world and I realize to be at the top you need more than just climbing skills but the willpower and determination to be able to beat the odds. This year’s worlds experience has not only taken my climbing skills to the next level but has made me stronger mentally. But now it is time to set my sights on the next big competition, the Pan Am Games in Chile coming up this November!

Another blog post to come soon!
Untill next time,

Becca :)

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