For a number of reasons it has taken me weeks, well, many extended weeks, to start this blog. First off all , telling folks about my indoor comp life as of late does not really seem that exciting as does talking about my being plagued by a badly behaving shoulder. On top of that writing about my gym climbing abilities or there of lack of seems somewhat like self sabotage which is not really a healthy habit as some wiser folks would point out. Mind you, this post is just about that.
This time of year I am usually walking in the desert sun with fresh air in my face, sore finger tips and a trashed body resulting from a full day out on rock the shade of crimson. However, not this time around. As I sit here in front of a computer, in a warm house, my van sits outside stuck in a pile of snow and ice. The air is fresh, but it is bitter cold. The sun is bright but offers no warmth. I find myself in unfamiliar surroundings yet feel completely at home. On January of this year I decided to spend some time climbing plastic. Though I love the rock, the road, being outside more than anything, too much of a good thing can sometimes be taken for granted. So what a better place to remove myself from such an Eden and do some training than in a gym.
A few months ago I told a friend that I kind of wanted to start climbing inside, train, get stronger and well perhaps start competing. Perhaps a bit late in the game being somewhat of an old bird who is out of practice with the gym let alone competitions but an idea is an idea. My friend nodded her head at the first 3 ideas and paused at the forth. Her reply: ‘well, my only concern is that you have gotten such a good reputation from climbing so strong outside, I am afraid that if you start entering comps and it doesn’t go well, you could possibly tarnish that rep’. This was taken not at all as discouraging but more from another person’s shoes who was looking more at the ‘business side of things’. I didn’t know how to respond exactly as the reason I had the idea was not for the attention but more for the experience. After all, everyone who knows me knows, well to put it in Sunny’s words: “Everyone knows that Thomo isn’t known for her gym climbing sass.” After a few seconds I agreed with my friend but I mentioned that – ‘hey but… it is just for the experience, it is something I haven’t really done in my 11 years of bouldering minus a handful, besides, it’s good to get out of my comfort zone. I might get stronger and learn something’ – right??
Feeling very insecure in my abilities and not having fun at all, I almost tore up my scorecard but a friend with years of comp experience gently slapped me in the face. She reminded me to believe in myself and to pay no attention to others. “You have no control over what they do but you do have control over what you do.” Once I got out of my way and stopped watching and comparing myself to others, I found my focus and started to not only have fun again, but also to send some problems which helped get me into the finals. I flashed all the final problems but the win went back to qualifiers which clearly weren’t in my favor. Though I was happy that my flashing skills were improving I also kind of think it might have been due to the fact that the final problems, though good, were too easy and straight forward.