Swedish Cup Cakes :)
After CWIF my body hurt for days, my hips, elbows and entire back were in pain! It took three whole days of rest for the aches to subside and I then had two days of route setting at Reading Climbing Centre and team training the day after. My body was back to its feeble state once again.
I managed to fit in a few sessions back at my local wall, The Climbing Hangar, I was happy to find that I was feeling quite strong and ready for my next adventure. UNTIL… I got a slight pain in my shoulder, not from training though, from holding a thera band, I thought those things were supposed to help you repair injuries and get you stronger? I had no idea what I had done or how long might take to heel but I only had a day of rest to give before it was off to Stockholm, Sweden, on a 5 day trip to compete in the Tierra Boulder Battle. The format of this competition is very different to anything I have ever done before. Firstly there are only 5 girls and 5 boys and it is an invitation only event. Then theres the part where each climber sets a boulder problem, we each had 5 hours to set one boulder problem and then we were then given 2 hours to try out all of the problems. Crazy, considering most competitions are onsite or flash style, meaning you never get to try or sometimes even see the problem before you compete on it. This format meant the boulders had to be hard, really hard. Just what my shoulder needed!
So setting day had arrived the selection of holds I was given were yellow, a happy colour, they were also CORE holds and we use these a lot at my local climbing wall so I am familiar with most of them. My selection of holds was quite limited though mostly slopers and the wall was steep. I was asked a lot about my ideas for the boulder, what my plan was and what moves I wanted to set but I decided to just go with it and see what happened. After five hours it was complete, consisting of a bunched tension required start into a big flick and then some burly moves at the top…easy eh? We were given two hours to try each others problems and make any adjustments the group felt necessary. After this period of time only two boulders were left untouched and all of the boulders incredibly hard in totally different ways. The guys problems were a whole new level of insane with a futuristic dyno, the smallest crimps and biggest pinches found indoors and a horrendous press.
At the end of day one I was so tired and my shoulder was not so happy at all. I definitely got lucky as the commentator Steve and his girlfriend Ida kindly let me crash at their place and Ida is a Physio! Ida informed me that my shoulder pain is due to a muscle strain and gave me a good massage the night before setting. This meant my shoulder felt really tired for testing but the pain had reduced massively. Thank you Ida! We had a full rest day on Friday so we go to explore the beautiful city of Stockholm and also check out the shopping of course. The competition did not start until 8pm on Saturday so to make the most of the day I met up with Matilda, Sasha and Daniela to have an epic girly day, shopping was done the day before so it was time to make the pinkest cupcakes, watch a movie and paint our nails.
The competition was so surreal. No isolation, no wondering what the problems would be like, no wondering how other people do on the problems…. no nerves? Unfortunately there were definitely nerves, knowing I had only done one of the boulders from start to finish after two hours of attempting them was kinda worrying. The boulder problems were so much harder that you would ever normally get in any competition and this showed as some boulders were left unclimbed.
The first boulder went well I flashed this one and it was my boulder next. I had not yet completed my boulder from start to finish but I had done all of the moves. I was fourth to climb and no one had managed to get past the first few hard start moves. On my third attempt I managed to stick the big flick crux move and not let go of any of the other holds! I was psyched to be the only person to top my boulder but Sasha’s crimpy, painful, technical boulder problem was next to come. Due to my shoulder injury I could not do some of the moves as Sasha had intended them but I had figured out my own way though the technical gymnastic climbing at the start. I felt good on the problem until I totally missed a hold, for some unknown reason I hit the wall just to the right instead. My shoulder felt tried and weak after this and my further attempts were not so successful. Melanie’s boulder was next, this is the one I had been dreading, a run and jump then a double dyno and a huge move with really low feet to finish. Firstly my should would not do what i wanted it to on the run and jump, it wouldn’t engage, but I kept trying, consciously thinking about lifting my arm until it worked. When I did I stuck the dyno, but the last moved looked and felt impossible for me.
On the last boulder we climbed in reverse order of our currently position. I climbed second to last, no one had managed to top the boulder when my turn came around. This climb was steep, the holds were good and the moves were big, this is possibly my favourite style of climbing! I was psyched to have the finishing jug was in my hand on my first try. With no one else completing this boulder it meant that I had placed first. It was a really tough fight and I don’t think it was my best performance but it was a really interesting and fun experience!
It’s only three weeks until the first world bouldering cup that I will be doing in Slovenia and the next one the following weekend in Austria. Unfortunately I have been ordered to rest for 5 days by Physio Ida so the training that I am psyched out of my mind for will have to wait yet again.
Stay tuned people there will be a video of the competition up soon and you definitely want to watch to see the insanely impressive performances the guys gave!
UKC Report of the comp here!