5 jours à Paris
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. Unfortunately, with the competition being on and only being off my crutches for a few days I was not able to see many of the majestic sites it has to offer. My consultant had suggested I remain on crutches for a couple of weeks to help my leg build up slowly and not cause any damage. However, I had started seeing a physio and under his guidance and with my determination to be crutch free I decided to go without. It is so strange having one really weak leg but also blissful to be off the crutches despite getting tired very quickly and my foot and hip aching lots, steps without bannisters were really quite challenging too.
Watching the mens qualifiers was really cool. The World Championships sees the best boulderers, lead climbers, speed climbers and para-climbers get together in the same place to embrace the aspects and the diversities of our unique sport. In the mens qualifiers there were 5 British men competing amongst the 114 men from more than 60 countries ready to fight their way into the semi finals. The boulder problems looked really fun – there were a lot off different angles making them really diverse and providing a good test to find the best all round climbers not just the strongest. Ned Feehally was the only Brit to make it to semi finals as the womens qualifiers were just as difficult. I knew after Munich it was going to be hard to watch again in Paris but I am glad that I went. It was so good to see my friends and watch them climb. There were 4 British women climbing with Katy Whittaker and Diane Merrick getting painfully close to making the semi finals.
After qualifers the week seemed to go really quickly. There was so much going on with the competition and it was really good to watch and have a few days rest from training . It was nice to chill out with good people and explore a few sites in Paris, taking in only a glimpse of the beauty and culture to be explored. I made sure to eat lots of crêpes and pain au chocolat and I maybe drank a little too much red wine, but its safe to say I fully enjoyed and made the most of the rest! I even got to take a few photos…
I managed to control my frustration and just enjoy being at the event as a spectator. Watching the mens bouldering final and the lead finals was really fun but when the Womens Bouldering Final came around my true feelings and emotions hit me. The competition was in a massive venue and it was all very exciting. The enthusiastic crowd created an intense atmosphere and the feeling inside the venue was electric. I wanted nothing more than to be stood lined up next to the other finalists looking out and absorbing all of this. This year was not to be for me and I have to take everything I can from the experiences my injury has brought. A massive congratulations to Mélanie Sandoz and Dmitry Sharafutdinov for their amazing performances. The lead climbing also brought lots of excitement to the event and displayed impressively high levels of determination and persistence, Congratulations Jacob Schubert and Angela Eiter.
I would also like to congratulate Fran Brown the Para Climbing World Champion. This lady is incredibly impressive and a massive inspiration. I think it is truly disappointing how few people are aware of para climbing and more needs to be done to recognise and appreciate our para climbing athletes.
Paris was a great end to an exciting year of competition for me even if it wasn’t the ending I had expected or hoped for. I came to realise at this event how lucky I have been this year, I have met some of the most amazing people ever and it’s quite sad to think how long it is before next season comes around. It seems like a while away but the next few months will be busy and I am sure my World Cup adventures will being again before I know it.
So I am now back home and my life for the next month is going to consist of doing lots and lots of rehab for my little leg whilst training for a few things I am hoping to do in the coming months 😉 This weekend though, Dave Barrans (the current British Bouldering and Lead Champion) and myself will be setting for Boulder Breaks, a competition taking place at my local wall, The Climbing Hangar in Liverpool. Unfortunately, I can not test my boulders as I wont be climbing without a rope until next year so Dave gets that luxury. If you are at all interesting in climbing on some of the best boulders EVER, having fun, winning some money or amazing raffle prizes or dancing til 4am make sure you are there on Saturday 22nd September! Find out more information HERE!
In other news.. on my return from Paris I had a package waiting for me. A few months back I had a photo shoot for a fashion Magazine, The Gentlewoman. It was so much fun to go down to London and be incredibly girly for the day. I had my nails, hair and make up done and I look like a different person in the picture. Definitely a new experience for me and I come across extremely girly in the interview but its quite entertaining. In this months issue I appear in their ‘Introducing’ section.
Here are a few more photographs that I took whilst wondering around Paris, turns out its quite hard to hobble and take pictures but I tried…