Sunday 22 February 2015

BMC Youth Climbing Series 2015 - Round 2

It was the second round of the BMC Youth Climbing Series 2015 in Boulders on Saturday. My brother Oscar and I were really looking forward to it. We went to bed early on Friday to give us the best possible chance of winning. I woke up at 6:30am and dressed into my pink shorts and hat and my black Boulders top. I next checked through my list to make sure I had all my kit, shoes, harness, chalk and bag.

All my brothers and both my parents were coming to watch Oscar and me climb. But before we went to Boulders we drove down to McDonalds for our usual pre-comp breakfast for me that is a snack wrap and a hash-brown! They were very quick at serving us in McDonalds so we got to the centre around 9:15am, this gave us time to find our climbs and read them. The routes looked ok and the blocs were ok too except bloc number 2 which had a massive slopper at the top, which looked really bad! 

At 10:30 Simon (the regional coordinator) put us into our categories and gave us a judge and a belayer. Our judge told us that we were leading first and bouldering after lunch. So we got straight onto our first route which was the white.

It was the easiest of the three routes and I was 3rd in the running order. After every route or boulder the climber at the front of the queue is put to the back to keep it fair. This meant I would climb first on the hardest route and second on the second hardest route. I was really happy about this because it mean't I was finished first and I could relax to watch everyone else!

Once the two climbers before me had climbed I felt very excited and really wanted to get on the route. I tied in and took my coat and shoe-covers off before starting the route. It was fairly easy and I got to the top. I was pleased when I came down and started to read my second route whilst watching my brother Oscar Boulder. 

I had kept warm during the wait between the first and second climb but ten minutes before the second route I did a bit of traversing to keep my hands warm. My brother was doing his second bloc when I was tying in for my second climb so I tied in extra slowly so my Dad could video me. I took off my coat and shoe-covers and chalked up ready to climb. I also had one last look before starting.

The first part of the route wasn't too hard but the final 3/4 moves were hard. I managed to clip the top from the under cut which I thought I wouldn't be able to reach but I did. I came down and put my shoe-covers and coat back on and went to watch my brother on his final bloc. He did really well and equaled everyone's score.

My last route looked easier than my second I thought because it had bigger holds. I read it and it looked fine so I went off to get a drink and have a break. Then soonish I had to go and warm up for my third and final route witch I was really happy to finally get to climb it.

I quickly tied in and chalked up also taking off my coat and shoe-covers. I pulled on and started the route well, I easily got to the overhang - the overhang was the trickiest part. All the holds on the overhang were jugs and I managed to get passed it and top the route.

I now had a lunch break because I had finished all my routes. I was very pleased with my climbing and hoped it would be the same in the bouldering. For lunch I had a cheese and ham sandwich and some cheddars. 

At 13:45 we started climbing again. The boys did the routes and the girls did the blocs. I was feeling excited about attempting the three blocs because they all looked different to each other and interesting. 

Tym our judge told us where to start the blocs and where to finish. I was last to climb because I climbed first on the 3rd route. But I didn't mind because I got to watch everyone else climb the bloc first. Most people topped the bloc so I was feeling confident about it. When I started it I found it easy as most other people did.

We moved on after this and again Tym went through the important stuff before our group started climbing. I was climbing towards the end of the group, I was happy about this because lots of people were falling off and I wanted to watch them. By the time it was my go nobody had topped it so I really wanted to be the first. I pulled on and did the first half of the route fine like all my friends did but after trying to hold the slopper for a long time it got sweaty and I slipped off. I was very annoyed that I came off but I had a good plan for my second attempt.

When my turn came around again I was feeling very confident my plan would work. I climbed up to the slopper again and held the far side of the hold and then matched the other side with my feet low. I got balanced and put my foot up high, I then rocked up and only just caught the finish hold. I was so pleased that I had topped it.

The final problem for my category looked much easier than the second and a lot of people managed to top it. I found it quite easy and reached the top as well!

In my head I did a rough calculation of the scores and knew I had won the competition. I was delighted that I had won and as I had come 1st in the last round as well I knew I had qualified for the Welsh final!

Once all the categories had finished climbing there was a presentation and I received a certificate. My brother also came 2nd and he was through to the Welsh Final too.

Sunday 8 February 2015

My first GB team meeting

On Friday lunchtime me and my parents drove up to Sheffield for the GB team inaugural meeting. I was really excited and looking forward to meeting more of the team.

We stayed in the Holiday Inn and had a meal in the restaurant as it was quite late when we arrived so we didn't have time to go anywhere else.

Day 1:

The first part of the weekend was held in the Holiday Inn which mean't I didn't have to get up so early, but I still decided to go to bed early.

I woke up at half eight on Saturday morning and went down for breakfast - it was a buffet. I had hash browns, bacon and egg! After this we went straight to the conference room for the presentation. We sat in the 3rd row and got a pack of booklets and pages about climbers safety and climbing centres. We read through some of these before the talk started. The presentation began at around 10.00am and was very interesting and helpful. The main point I remembered was that there are certain drugs that you are not allowed to take before comps or in training because they can stay in your system for a long time and will be picked up on a drug test. If you take drugs it will result in you being banned from competing for 4 years! The types of drug are on the IFSC. web page which I am going to print out.

The next part of the day was at Awesome walls. We drove there and had lunch in the cafe. But after that we didn't have much to do so my Dad belayed me on some routes. At 1.30pm we had a team fitness test. We did:
  • Dish hold for 2 minutes
  • Plank hold for 2 minutes
  • Press up's for 1 minute
  • Sit up's for 1 minute
  • Typewriters x 20
  • Pull up's x 20
  • 1 arm lock offs 15sec each arm
Some of these exercises were really difficult but it gave me some more idea's for a new core and strength work out. I managed to complete dish, plank, press ups, sit ups, typewriters and pull ups. But the 1 arm lock offs were really difficult and I didn't even manage 1 sec.

Once we completed all of the exercises we waited for the FMS screening, but I was told that I was too young as I am only in Girls C.

Tony Smith, the parents rep organised a meal at Nandos for anyone in the team who wanted to go. We went to this and I sat on a table with the other Junior team members, It was really nice to get to know the others better and I was glad I was sitting next to them rather than my parents.

Day 2:

After breakfast we gave Catrin and her mum a lift to Awesome walls for the second day. It was 10.00am when we arrived and my one to one with the GB team coaches Ian and Jon wasn't until later on.

Kirsten , Abi and I decided to do some climbing while we were waiting for our one to ones. The routes were really good in Awesome walls and I recognised some from the competition routes from last year.

I enjoyed watching some of the older members of the GB team climbing some of the really hard route of the comp wall. One of these was an 8c!

At 1:30 we went into our one to one with Ian and Jon. In this meeting we talked about entering European competitions and this year I am going to enter at least two. Another thing we discussed was the trip with the GB team to Innsbruck, Imst and Arco. On this trip, my parents won't be going so it will be just the coaches, the team and me. I am really looking forward to this and it will be amazing to climb on the same wall that will be used for the world cup in Arco later in the year.

Once we had finished talking to Ian and Jon I went to the Sports Psychologist to fill out a psychometric test. This was really quick, and as soon as it had finished the foot-person was ready to see me as well. He asked me to walk from one end on the room to the other which was hard because I was thinking about it too much. He also measured my legs and my right leg was longer than my left but he said the other one should catch up.

By this time is was about four o'clock and we had to wait about half an hour before the main medical test. For the test we had to fill in a form for medical conditions and have a blood test but this would be done by my GP at home in Cardiff. I had an eye test and a reflex test. She also weighed me and measured my height. I am 1.48m which is the average height for my age?!