Tag Archives: competition

Southern Comfort XVI

This past weekend Appalachian State University’s climbing team hosted their spring climbing competition, Southern Comfort XVI.

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It was a total blast! I haven’t competed in ages, and I thought it would be a fun excuse to visit all my friends in Boone. I didn’t climb as well as I had hoped, but placed #1 in Women’s Advanced and came home with two sweet Organic bags.

omg bags
OMG BAGS!

When I first got into the gym and started feeling out the problems, I’ll admit that I experienced a fair share of frustration at so many climbs being height-dependent. In general, I feel there is a lack of understanding in gyms about how short a “short person” is. Perhaps setters just don’t believe a person can really be so short? I understand sometimes larger moves can be compensated for with tricky beta, and sometimes it’s just my fault for not being strong enough. But especially at indoor comps, it can feel like being a child on one of those roller coasters when you just don’t meet the height requirement and you have to stand by and watch all your taller friends having the time of their lives.

Just as a quick ruler idea from Drexel: when setting a move that is not intended to be a dyno, check the span from one fingertip to the opposite elbow. This may seem ludicrous, but that is actually my span compared to his.

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THIS ^ IS MY LIFE!

Accepting the fact that I would not be able to do some problems, I decided to give everything a three-go limit, starting with the hardest problems and working my way down. I’ve learned from previous comps that sieging is not the way to go. It quickly became apparent that all the advanced problems and most of the higher level intermediates were not feasible. I felt my capacity to let this get to me. I felt the tension and despair in other climbers. I saw other shorter girls getting upset. I actually saw one girl crying. But I didn’t want to go there. It’s not “real.” It’s just a fun gym competition. I forced myself to reframe the situation and told myself that it was my attachment to a certain outcome that was the problem, not the outcome itself. If the ultimate goal is fun or happiness, then winning a comp should really just be a middleman. Which means it is completely arbitrary. I shouldn’t need to “win” to have fun and feel good about myself.

I had left the competition early to answer my phone, went back inside to turn in my scorecard, and then finished up dealing with some really ridiculous situations going on back home — one of the plights of being an on-call therapist is that I have to stop whatever I am doing, 24/7, and deal with a client who was, in this situation, pooping all over the place as a power move against their parents. And then I got another call about a person trying to kill herself and had to somehow wave my magic wand and fix everything.

Sometimes I wonder why on earth I would choose to work in the mental health field, especially with high-level children and their families. Why didn’t I just stay in the minivan with Drexel, where everything was clean and calm and free of feces?

why god

I took a walk to clear my head, ate lunch, cuddled my puppy, and still ended up scoring a front row seat to watch finals. I got super excited watching Melise, Rose and Kelsey cruising through all the Women’s Finals problems. I appreciated that they switched up the format from top 3 coed to having both the top 3 males and top 3 females compete. Everyone took their seats and the heat was on.

Southern Comfort Girls
You can’t see it, but that dude on the right was super jealous of Melise’s guns (do you have a permit for those?).
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Carter was able to make that cool face in the split second after noticing I was take a photo. That takes some mad skillz.

The highlight of the finals was most definitely catching Melise flying through the air in slow-motion and completing potentially the hardest single move of the day:

When everything was said and done, it was a great competition and a great weekend. Everyone went home with something cool, whether or not they placed, because of the insane amount of raffle prizes. On top of that, we ate Cha Da Thai for dinner two nights in a row, some ladies took the plunge and bought themselves a pStyle, AND we (minus Carson) had a really nice group hug slash kumbayah circle to say goodbye. Already looking forward to our next trip back to Boone!

pstyle
Photo stolen from http://cruxcrush.com. This could be you!

Comment below and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win your very own pStyle!!!!

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Triple Crown – Hound Ears

This weekend marked the beginning of the 2014 Triple Crown Bouldering competition series, and also the first weekend that was super friggin’ cold! It felt like one of those middle school nights where first you soak in a hot tub, then plunge into a frigid cold swimming pool while shrieking with delight, and then pop back in the hot tub and do this over and over again. Except that the hot tub just closed for six months and you have to stay in the pool until then. Yes, winter has arrived this weekend and it’s here to stay, so you better learn to enjoy it.

(If you didn’t do that hottub/pool thing in middle school, sorry, but you missed out big time.)

We were both psyched to help out during Hound Ears as judges, arriving at the campground at 6:45am on the day of the comp. While waiting around a couple hours for the morning drizzle to dry off the rocks, we took advantage of the free coffee provided by Thea from Footsloggers (thanks!). After five cups it was time for me to do… something! Anything! SO MUCH ENERGY. Soon the rocks were dry enough and I (very excitedly) helped herd people onto shuttle busses and made awkward caffeine-fueled conversation with folks as I collected their waivers. Despite one bus breaking down, all 400+ people finally made it up to the boulder field and things could start.

I was initially looking forward to running around Hound Ears climbing with all my friends. Then last weekend, my ankle was kicked out during a soccer game and plans changed. My new goal became hobbling around slowly without hurting my ankle worse, cheering on friends and strangers, and signing scorecards as an official judge.

Olivia’s recent blogposts have been super inspirational about having a positive attitude while injured.  It also helps that the world is a beautiful place (especially in the fall) so my view of people climbing looked like this:

Hound Ears
Not a bad view of fall foliage… and Julie really got to get up close and personal with nature as she ascended this sketchy v3 into lichen, moss, trees and leaves.

When I wasn’t busy signing scorecards or hiding my frigid fingers deep into pockets, I managed to snap off a few photos:

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With Brennen Bull star-chasing all over the place, we saw a lot of this view. It all paid off, because Brennen and his bright blue pants went home as winners!
Hound Ears Blade Julie
Julie Hwang and her crazy strong fingers on the classic Blade V6.
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Lisa Hummel slicing her way through the Blade V6. (Like buttuh.)
Hailey racking up some points with Woody’s v3 (a V5 with a misleading name).
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Dan Horne wanted to be cool like Hailey, so he hopped on Woody’s v3 and crushed the pants off of it.
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The Clawwwwwww V4. (It’s hard to say the name of this problem without thinking of Toy Story.)
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Julie was chosen to ascend The Claw V4. (Oooooooohhh.)
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Ian Rogers having a power struggle with The Controller V6.
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Cold widdle Rumi made a new friend and crawled inside Al’s puffy jacket. So crazy to bump into a dude we met in Arkansas back on our road trip!

People turned in their scorecards and meandered back to the campground to eat chili. Slowly but surely, the sky darkened and things got more interesting. There was a pad-stacking contest (who can balance atop the highest # of crashpads), winners were announces, and some numbered balls were thrown into the audience. I was busy cuddling with a shivering puppy in the minivan, but Drexel and his brother Carson caught ALL THE BALLS and won some legit stuff, like a new chalk pot, down jacket, and framepack. These are not your average door prizes ladies and gentlemen.

Back home again, but we’re looking forward to Stone Fort at the end of this month. I’m crossing my fingers that my sprained ankle will be healed up by then, but if not, I look forward to signing everyone’s scorecards again with a big red “J.”