After a successful winter of comps, winning the foundry and the climbing works bouldering league, the northern indoor bouldering league and getting in to the semi-finals of then CWIF, i was happy with my comp results. I was indecisive over doing the ASBO comp or not, a few weeks ago i tweaked my finger on my left hand and it still isn't right, but it feels strong on most holds when i climb, its just the odd tiny crimps that hurt it. But anyway, i thought i would go to Newcastle anyway because it seemed an amazing comp, and i had been told i had a chance of winning it, always a bonus!
So, the friday morning of the ASBO it was time to get going, setting off at 10 to pick Dom up from the works then off to Newcastle, we had an easy journey and arrived just after 1 then we got stuck straight in to 30 pink problems. I found the setting amazing and the people there were also amazing, so motivational and kind! Me, my dad and Dom made our way through most problems relatively easy, Dom scored 275, my dad i think 261, and i scored 248. During one of the problems in qualification i tweaked my finger slightly on a horrible crimp, which annoyed me because i should have done the problem otherwise! But apart from that i was quite happy with my score, it turned out to be the highest score in the women's, putting me first place into finals.
We then had to wait until 8:30pm until the finalists were announced, which took a very long time.
Going into isolation i felt nervous, i felt added pressure as i had qualified in first and i was a junior, i wanted to keep my first place. Warming up i felt good, my finger ached a little but it was to be expected. At 9pm we went to view the final 3 problems, psyche was building... The first problem looked easy, a start on a volume up to a big positive crimp, and just working through a sequence of holds, then at the top of the climb, there was a massive hold with 3 ball-shape parts to it, i held the top one and noticed the hold coming away from the wall! i could see the gap and i started to panic a little as it was my flash attempt and i didn't want to fall off because of a moving hold! below the finishing upside down triangle volume was a rubbish sloper, so i missed it out and reached out to the volume off of the wobbly hold, a bit tentative! matching the volume i felt a huge wave of relief, i knew most other women had flashed this problem so i had to follow suit. Now back to isolation..
When we viewed the second climb it was a start on a huge jug, out left to a big hold, then a dyno to a huge jug. The other women were all really nervous when we were discussing it, which made me feel secretly confident as i had been working on moving dynamically for a long time. Back in isolation i waited as each competitor used the whole of their 4 minutes and not one woman did the dyno problem. Heading out last i felt all my nerves disappear that i felt in isolation, and i worked out the climb one last time and got stuck straight into it. I knew my dad might be quite nervous for this climb for me because i did find flashing dyno's difficult, i wanted to do him proud. Getting to the second hold i stood on the foothold on the volume and looked up to the jug, my flash attempt, knowing that no one had done this move made me want it even more. I can't hardly remember what i was thinking before i jumped, my mind kind of shut off and i just went for it, keeping my right and low and my left foot low, i launched, felt my left arm throw down and before i knew it the jug was in my right hand!! The crowd screamed and cheered and i even heard Andy Earl cheering for me! I think i even shouted 'yes!' when i got the hold! The rest of the climb was easy and matching the finishing jug of my second flash put me in a very strong position, back to isolation again..
Viewing the third climb i felt much more nervous. A start on a huge round volume which didn't feel brilliant, out to a horrible looking crimp on my left hand, on my bad finger, then in with my right hand to another tiny crimp then to an arete and the rest of the climb looked steady. Waiting for my turn to climb a few of the other women flashed and completed the final problem, adding more pressure. But again as i ran out to the climb i heard Dom and my dad cheering and the nerves disappeared again. A quick look at the climb and i pulled on, i locked out to the crimp and i really didn't want to hold it, so i tried reaching out to the arete and kept budging my foot across the volume i was stood on, then my foot slipped, i hit my shin on the volume and i was stood back on the floor. The crowd went silent. It felt like my head turned to mush. I decided i would just have to man up and hold the crimp. I gathered and calmed myself down and pulled back on, i got the crimp, came in with my right hand and i was at the arete. I put my foot out on to the next volume on the vertical wall and wedged myself in the corner to gather myself and shake off the pain of my finger. The place was absolutely silent and all i could hear was myself breathing and the click of the cameras. Gently pushing myself over my foot i fell on to the volume and i began working through the next sequence of moves, i felt a smile on my face as i reached for the final hold and as i matched i knew i had won. Back on the ground i looked straight towards my dad and the smile on his face made me know he was proud, i think he had the biggest smile there.
It was time for the announcing, hearing my name being called in first place was probably the proudest moment of my life. i mean, no it wasn't the biggest comp in the world, but it was one i had won, and not just against juniors, but against women as well, I just simply couldn't believe it. I had won a pair of scarpa shoes, which i couldn't wear because of my Red Chili contract, so i decided to give them to my dad, a bit of thanks to him. I also need to thank everyone who cheered for me! Wouldn't have done it without you! Now it was time for a long journey home, which was interesting in its own right..
Got back to the van and someone had stole the mirror out of the wing mirror of my dad's van. brilliant. But we got on with it and were on our way to drop Dom off at home and about 15 minutes from Meadowhall the back tyre basically exploded on the van on the motorway. We pulled up and when we looked at it, it was a right mess. It was about 1 in the morning and we were stuck on the motorway with an exploded tyre. I just wanted my bed. We rang the AA as my dad couldn't get the spare tyre off from under the van. After sitting on the bank of the motorway on a couple of bouldering pads in the dark the AA man finally arrived at 2:15am. Not so happy. Being freezing the AA man let me and Dom sit in the AA van thing. It was sooo warm. They finally got the tyre sorted and we were back on our way at 2:30, now to drop Dom off and then back to Rotherham after about 20 hours of being awake. At 3:40 i was in bed and i had kind of forgotten my success at the comp. I looked at my camera and my dad had filmed the dyno, not very well as he had reason to be distracted! But at that moment the feeling of being so proud returned, and i felt that my climbing was beginning to really take off, now to hope this streak of winning continues at the BBC's in July..