After two weeks of break from school including four great climbing days in Red Rocks Las Vegas my spring break has unfortunately come to an end. The long drive home from Vegas has given me the time to reflect on the past few weeks. Last weekend I was in Ottawa for the Canadian Open Bouldering Championships. Going into the competition I made sure I set no expectations for outcomes other than to just be in the moment and have fun. Although I had consistently placed top three at local competitions and I won the Western Canadian competition just a few weeks before, I knew there were many incredibly strong ladies that on any given day could come out on top; so I tried to think of the competition as just another training day.
Saturday morning was the qualifying round. I walked into isolation with a smile on my face ready to crush some boulders. I had a good three hours before it was my turn so I tried to keep myself stoked by helping my teammates who were climbing before me with their warm-up. After what seemed like an eternity, it was my turn to climb. I sat down in the on-deck chair and cranked my pre comp jam Lose Yourself by Eminem, thinking to myself just go out there and have fun, you have trained hard for this, you are prepared.
I got problems one and two on my first try, giving me a good eight-minute rest before problem three. I turned around only to face my nemesis, a vertical wall with few, far apart holds. I managed to get to the second hold, a giant feature. I breathed for a brief moment then I attempted to press over to the bonus hold, realizing I would have to find a way to get my foot up really high or do a one hand jump to reach it. I think we can all guess how that worked out….not very well. After not obtaining the bonus hold on route three, I was not a happy camper. So I decided to let all my anger out on problem number four. Problem four consisted of an awkward push into a corner then a sideways jump to two holds on the roof before a few more holds to the finish jug. I managed to get this problem on my first try by just grabbing the last hold with two fingers. Maybe I should get angry more often, haha.
After my attempts on the five boulders were complete, I ended up in 8th place qualifying in the top twenty for the semi final round Sunday. I knew I had given it my all on Saturday, topping four out of the five possible boulders, which I was extremely happy with. But I knew I would have to climb even better in Semis to move up to the top six to qualify for the final round.
Unfortunately semis did not go as well as qualifiers on Saturday. I was not able to top any of the boulders, falling numerous times on the last move of problems one and three. To make finals, the females needed at least one top and two bonuses to advance. I had four bonuses and no tops, so sadly my semis climbs were my last for this year’s MEC Canadian Bouldering Championships.
As much as I was a bit disappointed with my result, I am really proud of how far I have come this year. I ended up placing 12th at the competition and 5th overall in the national ranking (top 3 local+regional+national). Thinking back to last year when I couldn’t even make finals at local competitions to where I am now feels incredible. My first Nationals experience really made me realize how important it is to embrace the journey, every single moment, the good and the bad. When things don’t work out it’s not the end of the world. After all, there is always another competition and another route to climb.
As for what is next on the agenda, I have Youth Lead Regionals in a week and a half in Coquitlam followed by Youth Lead Nationals in Montreal during the May long weekend then the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Hamilton.