I am quite an ambitious person and measuring myself with others in competitions has been fascinating and has helped motivate me since I was a child.
For years now I have participated in the Ice Climbing World Cup, travelling to different places around the world, making new friends and challenging myself against others. I have won three World Championships which have been tremendous moments and in 2012 I won the World Cup overall ranking.
Having finished 2nd on four separate occasions, it was often the final stage held in Russia that dictated whether I would finish first or second in the overall ranking. In recent years other than 2012, I had travelled home from Russia feeling very very disappointed. An accumulation of all my training, competing and travelling seemed futile.
This year I had won the stages in Switzerland and France, came 2nd in Italy, while in the US I finished 5th. Going into the final stage in Russia I was top of the leaderboard. I had 4 weeks to prepare for this last competition, keeping in good physical shape and concentrating on the final event.
Qualification had gone well but on the day of the semi finals I didn’t feel 100% and made a mistake. For those of you who know, one mistake in climbing competitions and you pay. A hold not taken in the right way, the bodyweight not balanced perfectly, a food slipped off and you pop off the wall and it’s finished.
I felt incredibly disappointed, I thought this had cost me victory at the World Cup – at the very last stage of the competition. But you always have to wait until after the finals to find out the results and thankfully I had accumulated enough points to be crowned the winner of the UIAA Ice Climbing World Cup 2015.
In competition you always need to give your all, mentally as well as physically. You need to train hard, be in perfect shape on the day, fully focused and have a bit of luck on your side! At times you come across negativity – but you can’t let this prevail! You love what your doing, you love your sport, the challenge and all that comes with it and so the disappointment soon becomes determination to try again and be better.
On some occasions after winning you feel happy immediately. But when you achieve a long-term goal, something you have wanted for years, day after day you look back on what you accomplished with immense satisfaction.