Saturday 25 January 2014

Intro and Summary (PART 1)

Hey all,

             So maybe I'm a tad late, but happy new year! I hope everyone had a great holiday and got to spend it with the people they love. At the culmination of the Earth making a full circle around the sun, it's tradition to make a number of promises to oneself that, more often than not, will be left ultimately unfulfilled and piled onto the following years empty resolutions.

At the end of 2013 I made myself the new year's resolution that, among other things, I would start a climbing blog. Only difference here is that I've made sure to follow through! I figured a blog would be a good way of not only keeping my friends and family updated on the climbing related goings-on in my life, and direct some of the traffic on my Facebook timeline elsewhere, but help me better understand myself as a climber by recording my thoughts both privately and publicly.

So with my competition season not far from beginning, and this blog taking it's very first steps, I thought the best place to start would be an introduction for those who don't know me, and a summary of what I've accomplished in competition climbing over the past couple years.

Open final of a local comp at Hardrock: Nunawading.
Photo: Chris Hampton
I began climbing over 7 years ago at a small gym near where I live. I asked my dad one day if I could try climbing out, so he signed my two sisters, my brother and I up for the kid's club they ran. I loved it and continued to climb as my siblings decided one by one that it wasn't for them, and found new interests. After about 4 years climbing, the gym closed, and so I moved to a much grander gym, Bayside Rock, at which I have trained for close to 5 years now. With a new gym, new coach and new training buddies, I found a new love for the sport, and after entering a few local competitions and competing in my first state and national championships, I decided that comp climbing was something I really wanted to focus my attention on.

The 2012 Australian Youth Climbing Team in Singapore.
The real turning point for me, though, was when, after much training and hard work, I qualified for the 2012 Australian Youth Climbing Team as a Youth B. In the lead up to the tryouts it never even occurred to me the possibility that I might ACTUALLY make the team! It was the most exciting and motivating thing that could have happened to me at this stage in my climbing career.

Shortly after qualifying I began  travelling the country (at the expense of my parents, which I am forever grateful for!)  in order to participate in more competitions to contribute to my national ranking and gain experience. For the first time I was achieving regular podium placings and testing myself against older climbers in the Open A category. About a month and a half prior to the World Youth Championships I arrived at nationals with relative confidence in my ability to place. I came out of the competition with a third place under my belt. I was happy, but still hungry for so much more!

Before I knew it I was in Singapore. Tryouts felt as if they had occurred an eternity ago, and all of a sudden in this hot and humid climate I was expected to compete against the top youth climbers from across the world, some of which had impressive open rankings!! I was filled with excitement from my first time overseas and the prospect of such a competition. But the night before the opening ceremony, I came down with the sudden onset of an intense stomach bug that kept me awake and dehydrated for an entire night. I rested for a day and awoke the morning of the comp feeling mildly unwell, but capable of getting myself to the event and pulling onto the wall. I was the second climber up, so with the our forerunning video etched into my brain I pulled onto my first qualifier only to fall moving from the fifth hold......

It took a few moments for me to process what had happened.... But when it finally hit me, I felt a feeling of total devastation I had never felt before. All the hard work I had put in felt like it was for nothing. I'm not sure if what happened happened because I was sick, all I know is that I tried to pull through a moved that should not have been that hard, and simply came away from the wall. The next day went much more smoothly, and I climbed to a point I was happy with. It enjoyed my second qualifier, but came out of my first WYCH with a final placing of 46th...... I took this, and used it as motivation for my next WYCH!!
(: PART 2 TO FOLLOW!!! :)

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