"Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it, so it goes on flying anyway. "
-Mary Kay Ash

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Hamilton World Cup 2014

I remember watching the Hamilton World Cup last year on the live feed, analyzing every move, every problem and watching intently as the seemingly impossible boulders were completed by the world's best. Last year the World Cup seemed like a distant dream for me, almost unattainable. But this year things changed; at every competition I tried to keep a smile on my face and climb every problem how I did at training - with determination. And after my first Tour De Bloc Nationals this year, I qualified to compete in the Hamilton World Cup. It was an experience I'll never forget!

The morning of the comp, I watched the men's qualifiers. I sat down in the second row of the stands with my teammate Alyssa Weber and my mom, only to find Juliane Wurm, Alex Puccio, Shauna Coxsey and Anna Stohr sitting in front of us. That's when it hit me. I would be competing against the top climbers in the world...wow! As the men's qualifiers got underway it became increasingly evident that the problems were EXTREMELY challenging, so I had more of a sense of what to expect during my qualifying round in the afternoon.

Alex Puccio and I :) - Photo Creds - the amazingly fabulous Alyssa Weber


At 3:30 I walked into iso with the Canadian girls. At first I was really nervous; I didn't know what to expect or what the vibe would be like in iso. But the first thing I noticed when I arrived was all the top-ranked girls warming up together, laughing and just having fun. I was quite surprised by this; I was expecting the vibe to be serious at an international competition but it was just like they were climbing on a normal training day which made me happy and stoked to climb.

After a long 3 hours in iso, it was my turn to climb. I was brought to the gym on a golf cart and I had ten minutes to get my shoes on and get my mind psyched and ready to go. Once I was in the on-deck chair I reminded myself to just go out and have fun. In what seemed like a few seconds, I was walking towards problem 1 with a smile but ready to crush. Unfortunately, problem 1 didn't go so well :( It was a vertical problem that consisted of a press into a corner and a jump sideways to the second hold...I bet you can all guess how that went for me - haha. After my not-so-successful attempts on problem 1, I was pretty frustrated but told myself to release all my anger on the next boulder.

Problem #1-MK Photography


Problem 2 was more my style. It began on a complete roof; the opening section was three campus moves before a giant purple volume. Once I got there, things got interesting. After I grabbed with my right hand around the volume, it was a massive bump again to a giant sloper. It took me two tries to just stick that move as I was fully extended and could only do the move with a heel hook around the right side of the feature. Once I got that move the bonus hold was next. I matched the bonus hold and campused to the second-last hold. I was so close; my heart started beating faster and the crowd began to cheer loudly. I threw for the last hold, grabbing it on the very edge. Immediately, I felt myself falling backwards. That happened two more times. I never topped problem two but after I had gotten so close I knew that the problems were actually doable and that maybe I could pull off one of the next ones.

Gearing up for the big move on problem 2-MK Photography


Problems 3 and 4. Ohhhhhhh man, where do I begin? The move to the bonus hold on problem three was the stopper move. There were two really crappy flat crimps on a feature, then it was a big pull over the lip to a tiny slot (the bonus hold). I tried time and time again to heel hook the feature, to push off the feature, to bicycle the hold to the right of the feature. But nothing was working. I later found out that a knee bar may have been slightly useful unless you're Shauna Coxsey and can do it with a double heel hook! Problem 4 was a giant sideways dyno off two very bad flat side pull crimps. Knowing dynos are not my strong suit, I was a bit worried. I tried super hard and actually managed to catch both holds every time, but had too much momentum so I swung off every time.

Then came the last problem. I turned around to look at the route and thought, heck yah! As I scanned up the route I noticed the bonus was the second-last hold. I paused for a moment and thought what in the world.....the span between the bonus hold and the last hold was massive. I saw the top of the wall was not taped out and I knew I had to shuffle my way along the top to reach the finish hold. On my first try I got to the last move but fell trying to match the lip. Every time the same thing happened, no matter how much I hung down on my arms and kept my core tight I was just one inch too far from the finish hold. So with that I knew my time competing at the World Cup for this year had come to an end. As much as I wasn't happy with how I climbed, I put a smile on my face, waved to the crowd (that felt SO cool) and walked off the mat to join my fellow teammates, my mom and my Dad sitting in the crowd.

Good ol' last move on problem 5 - Creds: Miguel Jette



Quali routes getting done by the world's best!


I think what I learned the most from the weekend was to really think about the different possible ways to do problems. The reason I got stuck on problem 2 was that I was basically trying the last move the same way and not pressing my foot against the right wall, which would have been way easier. Normally at local competitions, I'll think about many different ways because if I try a move and it seems really difficult, I always think I must be doing it wrong or missing something. But when I got stuck at the World Cup, I thought I was doing the correct beta but the move was just too hard because they're World Cup-standard problems. But I shouldn't have thought of it that way. For me what it came down to I think is experience. Looking back, I know I had the strength to do problem 2 and 5, but I need to gain a lot more experience which will evidently come with time.

My first World Cup experience was one I will never forget. It was amazing to see so many young up- and-coming climbers in Finals...so motivating! I ended up placing 35th, not the result I would have liked, but so grateful for the opportunity to represent Canada. Thank you so much to everyone who helped me get to where I did this season. You all rock! :)



Current Word Ranked #1 Akiyo Noguchi

Just a quick update on what has been happening with me recently...my sister and I were featured in the June Gripped issue - shout out to Brandon Pullan for making that happen. As well, Sara and I were on Banff Center Radio last week talking about our climbing experience so I will try and find an online version of that when it is released! As for what is next, competition season is over for the summer. I'm stoked to be attending the National Team training camp here in Canmore in July. I'm going to keep training hard for the Pan American Championships in Mexico in November and try to get outdoors as much as I can!

Happy summer shenanigans,

Becca


The not so photogenic but awesome Canadian Team




Sunday, 6 April 2014

Embracing Every Moment-MEC 2014 Canadian Bouldering Championships


After two weeks of break from school including four great climbing days in Red Rocks Las Vegas my spring break has unfortunately come to an end. The long drive home from Vegas has given me the time to reflect on the past few weeks. Last weekend I was in Ottawa for the Canadian Open Bouldering Championships. Going into the competition I made sure I set no expectations for outcomes other than to just be in the moment and have fun. Although I had consistently placed top three at local competitions and I won the Western Canadian competition just a few weeks before, I knew there were many incredibly strong ladies that on any given day could come out on top; so I tried to think of the competition as just another training day.

Saturday morning was the qualifying round. I walked into isolation with a smile on my face ready to crush some boulders. I had a good three hours before it was my turn so I tried to keep myself stoked by helping my teammates who were climbing before me with their warm-up. After what seemed like an eternity, it was my turn to climb. I sat down in the on-deck chair and cranked my pre comp jam Lose Yourself by Eminem, thinking to myself just go out there and have fun, you have trained hard for this, you are prepared.

Semis Route #2 Creds: Aidas Odonelis
I got problems one and two on my first try, giving me a good eight-minute rest before problem three. I turned around only to face my nemesis, a vertical wall with few, far apart holds. I managed to get to the second hold, a giant feature. I breathed for a brief moment then I attempted to press over to the bonus hold, realizing I would have to find a way to get my foot up really high or do a one hand jump to reach it. I think we can all guess how that worked out….not very well. After not obtaining the bonus hold on route three, I was not a happy camper. So I decided to let all my anger out on problem number four. Problem four consisted of an awkward push into a corner then a sideways jump to two holds on the roof before a few more holds to the finish jug. I managed to get this problem on my first try by just grabbing the last hold with two fingers. Maybe I should get angry more often, haha.

After my attempts on the five boulders were complete, I ended up in 8th place qualifying in the top twenty for the semi final round Sunday. I knew I had given it my all on Saturday, topping four out of the five possible boulders, which I was extremely happy with. But I knew I would have to climb even better in Semis to move up to the top six to qualify for the final round.

Unfortunately semis did not go as well as qualifiers on Saturday. I was not able to top any of the boulders, falling numerous times on the last move of problems one and three. To make finals, the females needed at least one top and two bonuses to advance. I had four bonuses and no tops, so sadly my semis climbs were my last for this year’s MEC Canadian Bouldering Championships.

Alberta girls representing!


As much as I was a bit disappointed with my result, I am really proud of how far I have come this year. I ended up placing 12th at the competition and 5th overall in the national ranking (top 3 local+regional+national). Thinking back to last year when I couldn’t even make finals at local competitions to where I am now feels incredible. My first Nationals experience really made me realize how important it is to embrace the journey, every single moment, the good and the bad. When things don’t work out it’s not the end of the world. After all, there is always another competition and another route to climb.

Thank you so much to everyone who has made this bouldering season enjoyable -my coaches, friends, my mom, dad, my twin sister and my sponsor Flashed. You guys rock!

As for what is next on the agenda, I have Youth Lead Regionals in a week and a half in Coquitlam followed by Youth Lead Nationals in Montreal during the May long weekend.

Another post to come soon,

Becca 

The top six finalist receiving their prizes!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Journeying Upwards

The competition season has been busy in Alberta. With a competition almost every weekend, it is evident it is getting closer and closer to the height of competition season. Which means Regionals and Nationals are right around the corner!

The past month has been quite the whirlwind, between training, competitions and final exams and I have finally found some time to share my latest blog post, which is exciting.... I have so much to talk about. For this post I want to mainly focus on two important competitions that just recently took place. Bouldering provincials in Calgary and my two favorite lead competitions in Edmonton this past weekend.

On my way to sending open female final #2-Creds: Sara Frangos


Going into bouldering provincials this year I was pretty psyched. After surprising myself and making open finals at every bouldering competition this season I was ready to give it my all. I really used to dislike bouldering competitions, last year i kept getting shut down at every competition. Maybe it was self doubt or just getting too frustrated at the seemingly impossible problems but either way, something changed this year and I think I have a pretty good idea of what that is. Ever since I first started competing I have looked up to local climbers such as Stacey and Vikki Weldon and many of the other strong Calgary adult bouldering team. When I got the chance to compete with many of them last year I felt intimidated, how will I ever be as good as them I asked myself. But after the first bouldering comp this year I realized I was not that far from the top adult competitors. Their dedication and drive to train and win the competitions only made me stronger and more motivated to try and catch up. So when bouldering provincials arrived this year, I knew I would just go out, have fun, give it my all and see what happens. It ended up feeling like I climbed the best I ever had in finals at that competition, despite the jump start on problem #3. Haha at least I know what I need to work on :)

Check out this video from Bouldering Provincial Finals!

After bouldering provincials we had a week of rest then it was off to Edmonton for the two rope competitions at Vertically Inclined and Rock Jungle Fitness. These are two of my favorite rope competitions of the season, I'm not exactly sure why but I think it is just the fun vibe both comps give off and all the super motivated competitors that attend them. For the first time in a while (at a lead comp) I felt like I climbed confidently and I just had fun. After all, like my coach Sonnie Trotter says, "if ya screw up there is always another competition!" That is what I kept in mind last weekend and what I will keep in mind as I journey upwards towards the National Championships.

Quali #1 RJF- Creds: Pam Eveleigh

As for my busy upcoming schedule I have two rope competitions this coming weekend in Banff and at our home gym in Canmore. Then I'm off to Edmonton the next weekend for Tour De Bloc open bouldering Regionals, should be a blast! Lastly a HUGE thank you to Flashed, my parents, coaches and friends for all your support :)

Happy Climbing,

Becca :)

 
Team Trotter (Canmore Climbing Team) representing Five Ten- Creds:Monika Helbig


My Results
2nd Place 16-17 Female Bouldering Provincials and Overall Provincially
2nd Place Open Female Bouldering Provincials and Overall Provincially
1st Place 16-17 Female Verticaly Inclined
1st Place 16-17 Female Rock Jungle Fitness
2nd Place so far for Lead open Female



Saturday, 7 December 2013

Mind Control



It was last Friday when my coach Sonnie Trotter and the rest of my team were going over mental preparation before the Tour De Bloc at the Calgary Climbing Center. Sonnie mentioned the infamous quote, Whether you think you can, or think you can't you're right - Henry Ford. This made me realize how much control my mind has over my body and that if I was to do well at the competition, my mental state would have to be in tip top shape.

After already finishing a respectable second place in female open at the first bouldering competition in Edmonton, I was feeling confident about my climbing abilities but I could not stop thinking about how every year the boudering competitions in Calgary always go terribly wrong for me. Every year before the comp I would try to figure out why I had done so badly the year before. Was it the routes? Was I not prepared? Did I just fail miserably? These were the thoughts going through my mind until this year. This year I realized maybe I was doing so badly because I was psyching myself out by believing I can't climb well at specific competitions because I never had before.

Well this year that changed. I went into the competiton thinking positively and I just climbed and had fun. I ended up placing third in open female and first in youth A (16-17) female and I think it was all because of my mental state. So now going into the height of competition season, I am going to think positively and just go out and crush some holds. Next competition is January 11th at my local gym in Canmore!

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it is always your choice - Wayne Dyer

Happy Climbing,

Becca :)

P.S Thanks so much to the Calgary Climbing Center for putting on such a great comp and thanks to Flashed my awesome sponsor! Make sure you guys check out their new shirts on their website! http://flashed.com/

Rocking my new Flashed tank on Finals Route #2. Photo Creds: Ben Haley


Eva Thompson crushing...like always :) Photo Creds: Ben Haley

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Chasing Summer!

For a good year I had been staring up at a route called The Hood a 5.13B up at Acephale. Every time I walked by it I had to stop and look up at the beautiful piece of rock looming over me. Every thing about the route was perfect. The angle, the way the holds were shaped, I had to climb it. So this summer I thought why not give it a try.

The crux sequence consists of four really difficult and precise movements on crimps, pinches and side pulls. After that it is just a matter of keeping it together on the 12b/c section to the top. I remember coming home every night feeling so frustrated because I was falling on the same crux move to the pinch over and over and over again, even though I could one hang the route so easily. Either my foot slipped or I just did not have enough energy to keep going. After so many failed attempts I realized that every move had to be perfected.

Working the Crux! Photo Credit: Sara Frangos
Standing at the bottom of the wall on my sending burn, I slowly started get psyched. I glared up at the route thinking to myself this is going down. I looked over and smiled a cheeky grin at my sister Sara. Then finally I took of my cookie monster mitts and I made my way to the start. The first few moves felt quite good, and I was feeling super strong. Every clip was fast and I rested only when I needed to. So far every movement felt effortless. After what seemed like an eternity I found myself face to face with the crux. I did the first crux move and let out one long breath as geared up for the next, most difficult moves. I made it to the last crux move and in one swift motion lunged for the side I screamed as loud as I could, I was not going to fall now. When I made it past the crux I was all smiles but I remembered to stay calm and focused making sure to not make any stupid mistakes. I reached the top just a few minutes later, letting out a yahoooo as I clipped the anchors.

Working on the hood was frustrating, annoying, and it took a lot of mental energy. But every attempt was worth it because the moment when every thing came together and when every movement felt effortless made sending that much more divine.

One more piece of exciting news, I just recently got sponsored by flashed!I am really excited to be a part of their team they are a great company!

Stoked on life!

Happy Climbing,

Becca

Post Sending Stoke! Photo Creds to the fabulous Vikki Weldon










Thursday, 29 August 2013

Summer Update

Hope everyone is enjoying the last few days of summer!

Over the past few months I have had the amazing opportunity to climb/train with some very talented people. I got to train with Sonnie Trotter and Stacey Weldon for a few weeks which was such a great learning experience; they are so inspiring and have so much knowledge to offer. I also participated in an amazing week long outdoor training camp with National Team coach Dung Nguyen, which consisted of a week of outdoor climbing at some of the Bow Valley's best crags including Acephale, Heart Creek, Carrot Creek and Grassi Lakes! I sent my second 5.13A of the season called "Hecubus" and I am currently working on "The Hood" 5.13b at Acephale. I have only gotten on the route about seven times but I am so close!

Cold day up at Acephale
After the week of outdoor climbing in Canmore my family and I drove to Victoria to drop my sister Sara off with the National Team. While Sara was in Victoria the week before Worlds, I went to Horne Lake for four days. I got on "Jesus Save The Pushers" a super cool 15 bolt 5.13A that follows the steepest part of the cave. Unfortunately I did not send the route or any other route for that matter, my body and my mind were definitely exhausted from two weeks of climbing everyday.


 As for the competition part of the summer, I cheered on my sister and the rest of team Canada at the World Youth Climbing Championships. This year the competition went really well for the Canadians. We had ten athletes advance to the semi-final round in difficulty and we had a few speed athletes who set personal best times! I am especially super proud of  my sister who came 30th in lead at her first Worlds!

Spending my summer training, outdoor climbing and watching worlds has really reminded me of how much I love climbing and how much better I preform when I'm not thinking about outcomes. So - for this season at every competition I am just going to enjoy myself and climb my best without thinking about the end result. As a wise man (Dung Nguyen) once said train, climb and wait for results!


Still one more week left before school starts again so climbing in Skaha for the next few days...should be a blast! Stay tuned for another post to come in early September :)

Until next time,

Becca






Opening Ceremonies at the WYCC

View from the bottom of the wall-Horne Lake


The finals routes are up and ready to be climbed at the WYCC



Sunday, 26 May 2013

To Infinity and Beyond!


Hi Everyone!

The National championships in Victoria this year did not go so well for me. I think it was definitely more of a metal problem rather then physical because I had been training so hard the whole year. With the exception of my first route I climbed, on every other route I just did not feel like I normally do. I was not climbing with my normal confidence and I could tell this from the second my feet left the ground.

So the reason I am deciding to share this blog post with you guys is that I think I will get a sense of closure from what happened at Nationals this year, and I will be able to move on and take this experience as a good one! So here it goes..

I believe that you can take failure in two ways. You can either give up on yourself and say this sucks I am never going to do this again or you can take it in stride and use it to your advantage; as motivation and this is exactly what I am doing.


First Quali-photo creds Kevin Segedi@segedi.com
A few days ago I came across two videos one was about Lynn hill and the other one featured Huji Hirayama (both movie links below) despite the differences in the movies I found that I took away the same message after watching both movies. It was to just enjoy climbing. To be one with the rock, to just get into the flow and movement and to forget about the end goal or about getting to the top of the route on an onsight attempt. I think this is exactly what I forgot to do last weekend.

Yuji Hirayama Video
Lynn Hill-Patience and Climbing Video



So in the end what did I learn from my Nationals experience this year? Things don't always work out the way you would like them to. But that's okay because if you learn from your mistakes you will come back even stronger then before.
And I always remember that when life gives you lemons make fruit punch!

I would also like to take this time to thank everyone that has supported me this year, especially my parents, my teammates, my incredible sister who by the way crushed at Nationals, and my amazing coaches! I had an amazing year of competing and I am looking forward to this summer which will be filled with outdoor climbing and of course fun!!! :)

Stay tuned for another post to come soon,

Becca :)