Reflections by Canada’s Top Comp Climber
And Why You Should Celebrate Your Victories
Back in 2003, I did my first world cup with my coach Mike Doyle. Little did I know that world cup would be the first of more than 100 by the end of 2015. After my first world cup, I was hooked; the competitors, the atmosphere and the competition was everything I wanted. The competition in 2003 gave me enough motivation to train and in 2008 I committed myself to the circuit.
As the years progressed, my results improved. I swapped between lead, boulder and speed, which is something I still do today. I’ve always enjoyed the diversity of the different disciplines and I’ve never wanted to be labelled as a specific type of climber. I love climbing and competing, so if there is a different format, I’ll try it at least once to see if it’s fun. People often ask me what is my preferred discipline and it’s always impossible to answer because I love it all (lead, boulder, speed, duel, psicobloc).
I don’t know when and where I realized I had been competing for so many years, but I do look back on my climbing career and ref lect on everything I’ve achieved. I think the number one reason my career has been long and I’m still able to compete is my training regime and overall fitness. As I was growing as a climber, I didn’t use any extreme training programs. It also helped that as a teenager, when I was going through puberty, I was climbing and playing soccer both three or four times per week, which helped my body develop into that of an overall athlete.
Athletic f itness is very i mportant with the now physically demanding style of the world cup. Because of my physique, I can train and test my body in ways that other climbers cannot. I also analyze my training every year and see where I can or want to improve. I stay open to criticism but at the end of the day, I know what my body can do and what it’s capable of. After so many years competing at a high level, I also know where I need to be to be successful in competition.
The biggest tip I have to achieve a long career in climbing is to listen to your body and stay injury free. The worst thing for a competitor to be is injured. For example, if you lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time and keep training at a high level, your risk of injury is much higher than if you lose the same