"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

Saturday 25 July 2015

Toronto and Vail Bouldering World Cups

It's been a busy but exciting few months! Between taking the top spot on the podium at Lead Nationals in Victoria, studying for finals, graduating high school, competing in my second and third Bouldering World Cups in Toronto and Vail respectively and training for Youth Worlds I have been really busy. But over the past few months I have gained so much valuable experience in my climbing that I am so excited to share! Instead of giving you guys a play by play of each competition I thought I would write about what competing at world cups means to me and my experience in Toronto and Vail this year. So here it goes!
When you finally figure out the beta and the time runs out Photo: Terry McColl

Stace and I reppin da sponsor in Toronto! Photo: Laurie Weldon

Whenever I watch Bouldering World Cups live or on the stream I can't help but try to imagine myself climbing to the top of those foreign looking problems. Yes, they are different then what we train and compete on in Canada but they still are doable. What I found most interesting this year competing at two separate Bouldering events was that the problems weren't that out of reach. Last year competing at my first World Cup I felt like I was flailing on everything, and although this year I only manged to top one problem out of both separate qualification rounds the problems didn't feel so difficult. I found myself falling not because I wasn't physically capable of doing the move but because I had never done a move similar to that before, I just didn't really know how to approach it.

Knowing I will be competing in the Munich Bouldering World Cup and Youth Worlds in just a few weeks time I have been working on some of the things I think will make a big difference competition wise. After Toronto and Vail I wrote down a list of specific movements I saw practically every round and I tried to implement those into my training.. Ie. explosive moves from non existent feet, moving from feature to feature with no holds, slab jumps etc. What I realized after Toronto and Vail are that the best climbers in the world aren't necessarily the strongest climbers in the world but they are able to climb on all terrain, they are strategically smart and most importantly mentally strong. I guess what I am trying to say is what I've realized is the be able to excell at the World Cup level its not just about training 5 or 6 times a week it's about what you do all around to make yourself into the best athlete possible.

The beast that was problem 5 in Vail Photo: Terry McColl

Knowing this, I am really hopefully for future competitions and I am so ready to become the best possible all round athlete I can be over the next year. Competing at the Toronto and Vail World Cups were such incredible experiences and I am so glad we had such an amazing group of Canadian athletes competing this year. Although I didn't do as well as I hoped the knowledge I took away from these two comps will most definitely help me to achieve my World Cup and competition goals in years to come!

The Vail Canadian Team training at the Spot gym in Boulder Photo: Mom

As far as what is next; I leave on August 10th which marks the beginning of my four month European adventure! I will be competing at the Bouldering World Cup in Munich then the Youth World Championships in Arco Italy and after that I am heading to Greece, France and Spain to climb my heart out on some rock with some friends and family, before heading back to Canada for the more important half of the competition season! I will try to update my blog while I'm away every 3-4 weeks or so but internet access could be intermittent!

To finish off this post I would like to say a huge thank you to my sponsor Flashed, my parents, coaches and my teammates for making the past few months possible!

Adios amigos and hope you all have a great rest of your summer!


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