As we got closer to the gym the nerves and excitement continued to build. I had to continually remind myself that it’s just climbing and I love climbing, but bringing competition into the mix definitely brings another level of mind game to the climbing.
|Trying to relax in the warm up area|
Three of us had entered the category; Diane Drayton from Wellington, Rachel Carter from Whanganui (climbing with the Taranaki club) and myself (climbing for Wellington), and we all have lower limb physical/neuro limitations, and we all had generally one limb affected. So it was looking like we were going to have a good battle on our hands for the top spot!
|Myself, Diane and Rachel|
|Concentration Face while planning Route 1|
|Rachel on Q1|
|Diane heading up Q1|
After we’d finished our first Qualifier the routes were then labeled for the next round. When I got to our route to start mapping it; my heart sank, the whole route went left, towards my “bad” side. So for Qualification 2 I had to contend with a leftward route, being later in the day my anti-spasm medication was wearing off and that I was first climber which meant I couldn’t gain some sneaky insights while the others climbed the route.
This climb didn’t really go the way I wanted. First I had a “wee moment” with my balance near the start and I came off completely unexpectedly lower than I would have liked. I think I tried to load up on my left (“bad”) foot without checking my foot placement correctly and just rolled off the hold.
The video of my Q2 climb
Both Rachel and Diane topped this climb. This left Diane ranked 1st on points and Rachel and I were 2nd equal headed into the final. It was going to be GAME ON for finals.
|Rachel headed to the top of Q2|
|Diane headed to the top of Q2|
It was an awesome day, we met a heap of people; most of whom were stoked to have Paraclimbing to be part of the National Lead Championships. The gym staff, Auckland Sports Climbing Club, route setters and all those involved in organizing the event made us feel really welcome. I had some amazing conversations with people about climbing in general, para/adaptive climbing and made some amazing connections with people who just want to see more people climbing, regardless of “functional ability”.
|Still pretty happy even though I fell off!|
We made our way back to the motel to relax, I tried to relax as much as I could, but it was another night where it was hard to sleep!
Again I’d like to thank everyone for their support getting to this competition. In particular VertX Climbing, massage.co.nz and Hawkes Bay Vapour; Palmerston North for their ongoing and continued support. Huge thanks and gratitude for those who donated to this trip! A big shout out to Sian Moffitt Photography for the use of your images!
“Part III: Finals day” coming soon!