Tour de Bloc at Seven Bays in Halifax


Open Qualifiers: 4/10

Open Finals: 2nd

Format: 3 hour scramble qualifier. Finals consisted of 4+ minutes on each route, cycling through each problem at a time (ie. all finalists completed problem #1, and then all finalists moved on to problem #2, etc.) with 3 problems in total.

**Disclaimer: If you read the captions for the pictures in unison with the text, you’ll be very confused. Read the post first, then go back and read the photo captions; the pictures do not correspond with the text making the captions entirely out of place.

The day before we left for Halifax, I had a nice conversation with one of my teacher friends about attitude. She was constantly being interrupted by students and she was constantly dealing with said students, turning her fun lesson into something completely not what she planned. She invested so much energy in focusing on what was going wrong with the class, that she felt completely burnt out and discouraged by the end of the day. Finally one day, she decided to make an effort to do the complete opposite. Instead of focusing on the disruptive students and the negative aspects of the class, she opted to focus on the positives.

Big turnout to watch Finals! The crowd was definitely hyped.

Surprise! Her lesson was a success! The kids didn’t change, but her mind-set did. The disruptive students were disciplined as usual, but she actively directed her energy to implementing the lesson and helping the students who were also trying to ignore the disruptions. What a great realization; teaching, or any profession for that matter, comes with a great deal of stress and turbulence and it’s so easy to focus on the negative. This is all something we know and understand, but sometimes we need to be reminded to focus our attention on the positives for a change. It does make a huge difference.

Shawn giving me some much needed beta during qualifiers

This reminder came in handy this weekend. We had about an hour left in qualifiers and I hardly had any points. Our total score counted our best 6 routes, and so far I had only 4. Discouraged was an understatement – I had tried so many problems with nothing to show for it on my scorecard. My friend told me that problem #16 on the slab was good, so I gave it quite a few goes only to get shut down every time in the same spot. You had to pinch a not-so-good volume with both hands with your legs spread a part, and reach over to an undercling crimp. The balancing part was not so good for me. On the outside, I probably just looked really bored, but on the inside I was feeling anxious and frustrated.

Starting Finals problem #2. This one was tough, and it was ONLY volumes the entire way up. Only one out of 6 girls in finals managed to stick the bonus hold.

Why couldn’t I do it? Why could other people do it and I couldn’t? What if I don’t have enough points? I had a moment where I just stood there. My friend was giving me beta and talking me up, and all I did was nod. My boyfriend also couldn’t get that move, and all I did was passively watch. I remembered that conversation from yesterday and decided to do something about my mood. Frustration is hard to switch off though – it’s definitely a gradual thing.

Me and Francois climbing men’s and women’s problem #1. The format for finals was that everyone would climb problem 1, then we would all move on to the 2nd problem and so on. Basically, all eyes are on you and the other person you’re climbing with. I’m glad I knew Francois… it definitely kept things light when we could joke and talk before going out to crush.

I decided to watch some of my friends climb and cheer them on for a little bit. It helped take my mind off the competition aspect, and it brought me back down to earth. I watched my boyfriend climb as well, and cheered him on too. After relaxing a little bit, I told myself I would try the route one more time and then move on to something else. I gave it another shot, fell at the same place, grabbed my score sheet and moved on. I forget exactly what I did after but I think I just went and did some easier climbs so I had 6 routes to make up a score. I was totally fine after that.

Climbing problem #3. This one starting low on the left and pulled up and out on the volumes. Each volume had a small crimp at the very top, but you had to carefully bump your hand up to get it. I managed to get the bonus first try (the high hold on the left with the red tape), but kept getting shut down moving up. I enjoyed this one though!

Against all odds, I made finals! Turns out, most other girls struggled on a lot of the routes as well so all of our scores were lower than usual. I was incredibly happy to have another shot at climbing that day. Physically I was quite pumped, but mentally I was feeling pretty good!

Before finals began, we all had 6 minutes to view the problems (2 minutes per problem). Here’s the girls looking at problem #3, trying to figure out how to get to the bonus and how to move up. Many of us went back to isolation still unsure how this problem would go down.

 Isolation was a very positive environment as well. They had a cool overhanging warmup wall ready for us as well as a hangboard and a beastmaker. Everyone there was there to win, but no one took it more seriously than anyone else. We all talked climbing experiences and how many years we had been climbing. We discussed beta after each of us had completed each route, and it was just generally an incredibly fun experience. No one topped any routes from both men and women’s problems, so bonuses were quite important. The routes were tough but interesting, which made finding the right beta incredibly important. The positivity around me and the positivity I had consciously steered myself towards helped me score 2nd place in finals! The crowd, the other climbers and my supportive team all had something to do with it. The routes were tough, but all of us, including myself, got back up and kept trying.

The New Brunswick crew at the end of the day, still smiling! It’s really fun competing in the Maritime provinces – we don’t get that opportunity very often!

We have one week before we’re off to Quebec City for our first CEC National Qualifier competition. (We  need to rank top 20 in order to reserve a spot at Nationals, although we can always claim a vacant spot later if we don’t qualify at this round.)

TL;DR: Block out the negative and focus on the positive. It will get you far 🙂

climb on xx


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