What kind of excuses could one use? What about my ability level, age, focus, skin, nutrition, my training plan? It's simple. I wasn't strongest enough. But why and was that all? Great Questions.
Why do the strongest sometimes loose?
If you fail you're not the strongest?
Of course it's more than being strong to win a climbing competition or be the best? Maybe in arm-wrestleling or weight-lifting you use mostly strength, very little technique and not so much strategy. Tactical challenges aren't always defeated with strength or power. In so many sports and extreme hobbies there is mostly experience, techniques, flexibility, subtleties and unnoticeable body movements matched with the right muscles, strength and power. Is it more and more training of strength that we need? More hours in the gym on the plastic? Less?!
It's a number of things. Mental strength, social pressure/strength, training plans, setting aside time for training, nutrition, sleep, health/sicknesses, improving technique. Combining all of that can be tricky to lead up to one day of competition and making it all come together smooth and without second thoughts. Who ever can do this, is the best and should be crowned the best - for that day.
Those are my thoughts, right or wrong they are my feelings about climbing competition.
Thinking back to last year, yea, I climbed better. Was I stronger too? I feel that I was. But maybe the boulders were harder this year? Could be. Maybe the other competitors improved their game more than I did? It's interesting to think about these things, they are no means excuses or negative thoughts, they are just competition realities that are worth thinking about.
5 Boulders 4min on/4min off. That's 20 min of reading the boulders, focusing on your sequence, chalking up/brushing, breathing, engaging all 'try-hard' mechanics, stepping off the mats and rock climbing to the top.
I topped only 2 boulders in this round - Blocs 1 & 4. I came close on the 5th and 2 and 3 pushed me around. Squeezing into semis in 18th place, I wasn't pleased but I had a chance to make up for it. Semi-finals started the next day and 21 men could be the top 6 for finals (and the U.S. Team selection), this is where the fighting gets tougher.
Warming up in iso was quiet compared to the 90 men that was in there the previous day. I warmed up with some friends for an hour or so. But as I walked to the chair, I thought to myself "I think I should have warmed up longer, I don't feel right". As I approached the first bloc and the time ticked down for my turn, I forgot about my lack of a good warm up and the placement I was coming in from the previous day. No room for negative thoughts, just positive and focused. "Climbers start Climbing" rang through the venue and the round began for me. --> (Fast forward) -- > By the time I reached the 4th and final boulder in the round, I still had zero tops. Sitting down, pissed off from not even doing the first move on the 3rd boulder that I thought was "my style" I was defeated. I knew finals were out and that I wasn't on my game again in this round. But, at that time, I had no idea how many tops you would need for finals, but one top is a long shot to make the cut. I got back in the zone, forgot about the failing and started problem 4. I managed to make some hight on this one, it was a really hard problem with an iron-cross on two deep pockets in a roof. I misread the sequence trying to reach the head wall and was gassed... "Climbers stop climbing"... Walking off the pads I grabbed my things, sat down where no one was around and counted to 10.... "woosaa".
16th place this year, that's a big jump down the street from my 4th place last year. But within a few hours, I was completely over the fact that I kind of sucked this year. I was thinking about the rest of the year, trips, other comps, family, friends and my lovely girl friend Charlotte. The next week, I would be heading to "Hueco Tanks" to rock climb. So many things to move on to and get ready for. But first, one week of working for USAC and watch my ol' kiddos from "Team Metro Rock" jam up the wall during Youth Bouldering Nationals.
That's it for now, thanks for reading through.