It’s been one week to the day since the Atlanta IFSC Lead World Cup. This was an event that I had been looking forward to for a year. It really meant a lot to me for a few reasons:
- This event was held in the town I grew up in. As a little climber, I always hoped for a big event to come to Atlanta.
- Last year I missed finals by 3 places at the IFSC Lead World Cup in Boulder. This year, I had high hopes to qualify for the finals (top 8).
The event was great: everything from the overall organization, warm up area, the routes themselves, and the energy in the building. I had been preparing as much as possible through the summer months, although I had limited time due to the amount of coaching I was doing.
Regardless, I felt strong entering the competition. Just a couple weeks before the event I sent my second-ever 5.14a in Clear Creek Canyon, Kinky Reggae. This was a great confidence booster for the World Cup since my training was limited and I was having doubts in my mind about my abilities.
Then came the weekend for the World Cup. Just to cut to the point, I did not reach my goal. In fact, I ended up in 18th place, which was quite far from my goal. For a very short period of time after my performance, I thought “I just blew it in front of my home crowd,” “I didn’t train enough,” “I suck,” etc. etc. You get the picture. But then I took a step back and really analyzed my climbing. Here’s what I came up with:
- Route 1 (Qualification): My climbing was good, but I was too slow. I timed out near the top. This was quite disappointing since I try to focus on climbing at a quicker pace.
- Route 2 (Qualification): I grabbed a sloper and stuck with the first way I grabbed it instead of situating myself differently on it so that it worked for me. I guess you could say I panicked and made an irrational decision, which led to me falling low on the route.
- Route 3 (Semi-Finals): I felt like I was climbing quicker than in the qualification round. But as I entered the first major crux, I resorted back to ‘chelsea-style,’ which is to get my feet up really high to control everything. Unfortunately when I got my feet up too high, it pushed my butt out too far and I fell while doing a larger move to a pinch. Again, this was a result of me panicking in my mind.
My conclusion to all of this: I am extremely dissatisfied with performing mediocre in these large competitions. And it seems that EXPERIENCE is the major thing lacking here. I want to be in finals and on that podium sooooo badly!!!!!!!
So how do I get there? Well, the only way to do this is to compete in more competitions like this. Unfortunately there’s no such thing (doing more competitions at the National level or higher) in the US. In fact, we only have 1 larger lead competition- SCS Open National Championships. And as of last year, we’ve also been hosting one Lead World Cup a year on US soil. These two competitions do not bode well for getting on the podium, or in finals for that matter.
Therefore, I’ve decided that I MUST go to Europe to train and compete in most, if not all, of the IFSC Lead World Cup circuit. It’s EXTREMELY important to me because it’s something I’ve talked about doing since I was 17. The biggest obstacle that I must get through is how on earth I’m going to afford to do such a thing. Since the US Government does not support climbing, money is hard to come by as an athlete here. But where there’s will, there’s a way, right?!?!!???
Now I’m at the Red River Gorge. Stay tuned for a write up about my first week…