I competed in my first rock climbing competition ever this past Saturday!
It was called The Heist, an all women competition, set and run by women climbers. What I loved about the competition was that the setting was SOOOOOO good. It was so my style compared to what I was use to at Rock Spot. I always felt like the setting at Rock Spot was so incredibly dynamic and powerful. The setting at the Heist felt more within my reach! Flexibility and balance!
During the competition, I felt like I was doing SO poorly. I think it was just mental- there was no way I knew during the time how well I was doing compared to others, but it FELT like everyone was better than me, since there were just so many great climbers! Plus, everyone looked like they were 20 years old (and younger) so I felt like an old lady.
I was super grumpy after the competition. I thought, maybe I won’t do any more comps because I suck so much. I had no evidence that I was bad, I just had these crazy expectations in my head that I should just flash everything without fail. Totally unrealistic, right?
To my surprise, a friend sent me a message a couple hours later congratulating me on winning the intermediate division! I SAID WHAT?! I was SURE he must have read the results wrong and some other “Helen” won.
BUT IT WAS MEEEE!!!! I can’t believe it. None of my friends or my boyfriend seemed as shocked as I was. I think my inner critic is the worst part of me.
Also, this may seem so silly, but I had never won anything in my life! All these years of swimming, I never WON any age groups unless I was the ONLY swimmer in the age group…that doesn’t count. Haha.
Let’s face it, I was always an average swimmer. I have accepted that and did marathon swimming for a reason- just finishing was good enough since I was never going to be fast enough to win anything.
But this felt pretty validating- at 32 years old, that I could win anything at all made me feel nice and warm inside.
I’m not aspiring to be a pro climber or anything like that, but it’s nice to know I’m kinda good at something and that feels GREAT. I would NEVER say “I was good at swimming.” I was good at “staying in the cold” or “finishing what I started in a long swim” but did I have natural abilities as a swimmer? Absolutely not. Was I fast? No. I wouldn’t say I was ever GOOD at swimming. My stroke is kinda awful, actually. Haha.
I had to go to a party after so I couldn’t watch the finals, but I heard I won a crash pad!! OMGGGGG that is so coollll!!!!! Crash pads are like $150!
Gosh I’m just so happy. 🙂