May 18th to 20th I was competing in this year’s Canadian National Climbing Championships in the Youth A (16-17) category, at Allez Up in Montreal, Quebec. I felt a lot of pressure going in to this comp for multiple reasons… The results from this competition are a deciding factor on who is on the National Team, I had been a bit sick and missed a lot of training the two weeks before the competition, and the other athletes in my category are extremely strong, many of them had been on the National Team last year or did really well at last year’s Nationals.
All these factors however, were out of my control, and when it came time to compete I had let go of the uncontrollable, and re-focused on the controllable.
I felt great the day of qualifiers. I had a decent breakfast- oatmeal, fruit, and water, and had gotten a good sleep. I climbed pretty well. I topped both qualifiers, and had fun climbing them. Both the routes were really good. They both flowed nicely and both had interesting movement. They looked really cool, I was excited to try them. Qualifier 1 was juggy and steep, where as Qualifier 2 was slabby and more balancey.
Semi finals was on the next day (May 19th). This day I felt awful. The night before the neighbors of the apartment I was staying in decided to throw a party that was just a bit to loud, so I got very little sleep. I was very low energy, and really nervous. During preview my nerves got the best of me, which ended up in a very poor and inefficient preview. The way I previewed felt frantic. I let the adrenaline that comes with being nervous keep me from thinking. When it came time to climb I knew I had a bad preview, and there was nothing I could do about it. I tried but in the end I had a “not great” climb. I qualified for finals in 4th.
My performance in semis really got me focused on finals, I was determined to not have the same issue during my preview of the route. I had a good sleep, dinner, and breakfast. I felt really focused on finals. The finals route looked really cool as well. It followed this line of real big round volumes with interesting moves.
There was a four-way tie for 1st – got to the same move as other climbers, so results where decided through a countback to semi finals and qualifiers. I ended up on the podium in 3rd place, and got a place on the National Team.