I recent came back from the annual BUCS meet in Sheffield at the works bouldering wall. First off...wow, the place is massive with some pretty steep and high problems. I have to admit on one of the problems I was a little scared of blowing the top move as It felt more like a solo than a problem!
The competition itself was really good with a great atmosphere and some really class problems. Everyone was getting stuck in and sharing beta along with some great support for the climbers on their routes which made it seem less like a competition and more like a social meet with your friends which was really good!
What I like about competitions is the fact that you get to watch people try there hardest at each problem and focus solely on getting to the top! This for me is great as It gets me in the right frame of mind and ready to crush. Well it usually is, but something was wrong this time. I felt generally horrid, no psyche, no energy and no enthusiasm. It was the worst possible scenario possible for me, I had waited months for this to come around and when it finally came it was like someone had turned off a switch. Coupled with the fact that I had by that point been up for 24 hours I knew that It was downhill from there.
However rather than go at it hammer and tong I decided to cut my loses and not risk injuring myself before my trip on Font next week and play a spectator role. From doing A level P.E the year before I have a fairly sound knowledge into analysing performance and decided that to get the most out of the next couple of weeks climbing to come it would be worth learning from what I could see here.
Luckily for me some fairly well know punters were lurking around sending some of the harder problems, so I sat back and took note. Cheeky heelhooks were thrown in along with some impressive rock overs and lock offs which all made me want to review my own performance and improve to have some of the fluidity of some of the competitors.
For me though one competitor stuck out, Natalie berry. Yes she one the overall event in the women's and is a GB team bandit, but from watching her from the few attempts she had on the harder problems I learnt a fair amount. Now I could go through all the technical moves etc that went on but for me the biggest part was her determination and effort put in. It was clear each problem was tried with 110% without any lapse of concentration or from what It seemed any thought of failure.
This is a massive thing for me, Hanging in there until you cannot go any more and giving It your all without a single doubt you will not do it! So as I came away from Sheffield slightly disappointed in my performance but not empty handed as now hopefully I have the all ingredients for a crushing summer!