Last week I spent some time in Utah, this time I wasn’t going to Joe’s Valley, but to the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show, and the inaugural Psicobloc Masters Series competition. The last time I attend the OR I was probably 14 years old, but lucky for me the OR hasn’t changed too much. The biggest change was that I am now 23, and trying to make a living as a climber. Which means that every meeting I had was that much more important, because I need to be able to support myself now. Coming back into the climbing community has been a great experience for me, and the OR made me more aware of how awesome this community is. The climbing community is a very close and supportive one, and when it comes to the outdoor companies the vibe is the same. It was nice to sit in a meeting and feel at ease talking to athlete managers at various companies about my passion for the sport of climbing. I felt as though I was talking to a friend about my favorite thing in the world, climbing, which happened to be their favorite thing as well. Thus, I have nothing but good things to say about my summer OR experience.
Working out the moves on the route during semi-finals (Photo by Tiffany Hensley)
When I heard that there was going to be a Psicobloc competition in the U.S. I just wanted to know how I could be a part of it. The idea to create this particular event was one that had been on the minds of many American climbers, but it was Chris Sharma and Mike Beck (along with the many other dedicated people) that were able to make the dream a reality. The idea that we were going to be climbing 50+ feet over a 12-foot deep pool excited the thrill seeker in me. I have always loved the feeling of falling, whether it is on a roller coaster or falling into water from a high height, it is the moment of weightlessness that a free fall creates, that is the moment that I love. The main aspect of the competition that made me nervous was the fact that 50+ feet meant a lot of moves! Since I mostly boulder, I was worried that my endurance wouldn’t be up to par in comparison to some of my talented competitors. Since the format of the competition incorporated the duel aspect I knew that I at least had a chance to do well in the competition. I am naturally a pretty fast climber, which is exaggerated when I climb routes due to the fact that I lack the endurance to move at a slower pace. In the end my speed did end up working to my advantage, and I was able to pull off a third place finish! I couldn’t be happier with my performance; I had fun and put forth my best effort, which is all anyone can do. The women's field was made up of so many talented climbers that it could have been anyone up on the podium, which made the competition all the more exciting.
Lynn Hill climbing on the wall during semi-finals! I was so psyched to meet her :)!
Even though this comp was unlike any competition I have ever been to, one thing remained the same, and that was the fun I had with my friends. Competitions are serious, but no matter how serious they are, I can always count on the fact that I will be laughing 90% of the time. This is said a lot, but getting to see some of my friends is one of my favorite parts of competitions. Since climbers tend to lead a more transient lifestyle we don’t get to see one another as often as we would like, so competitions give everyone that chance to catch up and have a good time!
Having fun with the girls reading the semi-finals route! (Photo by Kim Puccio)
Coming back to climbing has proven to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am so thankful for the opportunities I have had since I have been back, one of them being the opportunity to be a part of the Psicobloc Masters Series. The event was epic! It was obvious, with the presence of the roaring crowd, that it really resonated with a mainstream audience. Climbing outside, competing, and traveling is really all I want to do, and it wouldn’t be possible without the help of a few key people. Rockwerx is one of my sponsors, and from day one they have believed in my abilities as a climber, and supported my dream of being a professional climber. I feel so blessed to be working with a company that allows me to do what I love! I am excited for what is next, which will be the Munich World Cup, so I will be off to Europe in couple of weeks J! Until then I will be training and climbing outside, I have to say I am quite happy with my life right now!