2014 has been a pretty good year of competing for me. Though initially I never thought I’d return to the competition scene as a player, the motivation that came around was too high to ignore. I made many sacrifices this year - giving up projects and money (working freelance gives me that luxury/dilemma,) traveling a whole lot less (i barely remember any trips i made this year) and leaving a relationship to focus, zone in and continue building on the motivation.
It hasn’t been easy. Working around odd work timings - full days, late evenings, split calls - meant squeezing in some form of training into the pockets of time. Most of them were in the morning, starting as early as the setters at Onsight Climbing Gym, where I mainly train. 9am in the gym - after ending work at 11pm the night before - out by noon or 1pm. The better days would see me at the gym till 4 or 5pm. Off days = Double sessions. I had a lot of catching up to do after a year of not competing. In the beginning it wasn’t so tough since motivation was through the roof but as the weeks went, learning to maintain a steady fire became a part of the sessions.
I train alone mostly. Partly because of the odd timings (nobody wants to train so early in the morning/afternoon, especially with the weather we’ve been having here.) I’ve grown to enjoy it though. I find it a lot easier to focus on my training with nobody else around, nothing else but my music. I think it’s helped strengthen me mentally too. All the getting out of bed early to burn skin on the campus rungs, sets on the trx bands, circuit trainings. I feel tired just recapping the sessions I had.
That said, I am looking forward to more. My trainings aren’t perfect science, though after about six weeks I normally sit down and review the results. It’s been good so far. And I already have more things lined up, the biggest being The North Face Cup 2015 in Japan. Getting invited was always a dream for me. At the same time, I know that there’s more beyond that too.
Prior to the start of the year, I used to (from time to time) approach climbing with the mentality of “i’ve already been in it for so long, I can’t give up now” and hope that someday I’ll achieve something noteworthy. It took me a long time to realise that I never actually had the motivation to win. All I wanted was to make Finals in the Open Category. For many years. I’ve done that quite a few times now. It wasn’t until Pumpfest Finals that something changed. I consciously said to myself that I’d make podium. And at Boulderactive, I came out of isolation for observation wanting to win. I was always too afraid to want something that had a high chance of disappointment. But now, like Shauna Coxsey said, “I am no longer competing for the unknown. I have a gold medal, it’s real, it’s possible.”
I have a long way to go still, but my focus is clearer and motivation higher than ever. On to the next one.