Below is a a clip of an interview i did with Squamish Climbing Magazine just before the going to the Toronto Boulder World Cup. To find the rest of the interview follow the link below! Many thanks to those who helped get me to Toronto and thanks for reading! Big thanks to the Squamish Climbing Magazine for the interview!
IFSC Bouldering World Cup Toronto: Interview with Thomasina Pidgeon
By Tim Schaufele | May 30, 2015
Thomasina Pidgeon has been a familiar name in Canadian climbing for as long as I can remember. Originally from Newfoundland, Thomasina moved to Whistler and then Squamish, BC to pursue her love for outdoor climbing. Quickly turning to life on the road, Thomasina perfected her talents climbing outside in her stomping grounds of Bishop, Heuco, and Squamish. She was the first Canadian women to climb v10, v11, and v12, and more importantly, she has always been dedicated to her craft.
A few years ago, Thomasina decided to start a new journey into the world of competition climbing. Her adventures led her from the forest of Squamish to the indoor climbing gyms of Europe and the European competition circuit. Despite a number of hurdles, Thomasina has stayed steadfast in her desire to learn from her experience and continues to pursue the unforgiving world of competition climbing.
With the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Toronto this weekend, we thought it was a great opportunity to talk to Thomasina about her experiences in Europe and her return to Squamish. After interviewing her, we knew that just one interview could not capture her experience. Thomasina will be representing Canada this weekend and then at the IFSC Bouldering World Cup in Vail, CO. Here is part one of our interview with Thomasina Pidgeon.
|Thomasina and Cedar. Photo courtesy of Thomasina Pidgeon ©
You are headed to Toronto. How do you feel going into the first IFSC Bouldering World Cup of the year?
It feels strange to say this but I actually feel slightly excited for this comp! It is kind of a new feeling for me because although I do enjoy and get a lot out of comps, it’s in a weird sadistic sort of way, I can’t really say that I have ever been excited for one. There has just been too much fear and doubt behind my being that the very idea of relaxing seemed as foreign as all the languages I’ve heard in Europe.
Leading up to the comp, have you been doing anything specific to train or get ready?
It’s been a rough month for training as I hurt my right shoulder, then my back, then really tweaked the left shoulder, then had an attack of the flu… so, training didn’t go as planned. The left shoulder is still tweaked because of my impatience but looking on the bright side, it slowed me down and prevented me from the usual overtraining. Next time I will try not to be so short-sighted with injuries. With all that, my preparation consisted of doing what I could without further injuring myself which meant focusing on what I wanted which was bouldering in the forest, mixed with a combination of strength training at the Squamish Co-op, and a few days doing 4*4’s! Way less prep than Nationals but man, the time spent in the forest was special!
|Mom and daughter heading into of the forest. Photo courtesy of Thomasina Pidgeon ©
You almost didn’t make it to this one. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Oh the disastrous Nationals. Basically, I worked very hard under the guidance of a trainer from SLC who knew what he was doing and I trusted him. Physically I was prepared though perhaps I could have tapered a little earlier. But my biggest problem however was the mental side. This has been a big crux for me so I tried everything to improve. From visualizations to meditations, to stressing myself out so to practice under pressure, you name it, I did it. It was one of few comps that I felt prepared for but in the end, I way over did it. At problem one, I was a deer in headlights. I froze. Any mindfulness went out the window and the sweating hands to parched mouth didn’t register. I copied what others did instead of listening to myself and basically ran through the semis without a breath. I fell off the last move of every problem in a most hesitating and self defeating way, I questioned myself and lacked all trust in my abilities to finish. It was unfortunate because the next day I did the problems in one or two goes so I knew my climbing skill wasn’t the problem. My ability to relax and be calm under pressure, however, was a major issue. In retrospect, I learned a lot from what happened; perhaps more than I would have learned had I done well.
How hard is it going to these comps without full financial support?
People often say to me that they don’t know how I do it and my response is yeah, I don’t know how either!! It has been pretty hard to say the least.