|Place of residence:||Melbourne|
|With EDELRID since:||2016|
|Sponsors:||EDELRID, La Sportiva Australia, Connect Building Group, Friction Addiction, Force of Nature Coaching, Bayside Rock|
I started climbing in 2006, but I don't remember what initially made me want to start. I love that climbing is an ever evolving challenge. You can never get bored, because there's always something different to move your attention too. I can get frustrated if I'm not always moving towards my next goal, and climbing gives me an endless avenue to explore what's possible.
Who was your childhood heroes and do you consider yourself a role model now? Does it influence you at all that other people look up to you?
As a young climber I spent a lot of time watching World Cups outside of school and training, and I was always inspired by the underdogs. One of the more prolific climbers that I looked up to, though, was Jain Kim from Korea. Her style of climbing is so graceful and effortless, which I think is very different to mine, so watching her always prompts me with new ways to improve.
I try my best to be a good role model, but it's important to me that I don't sacrifice my own values. Sometimes standing up for the things that you believe in means going against what people in the community are going to expect from you and maybe turning a few heads, but I think to me that's the kind of role model one should really aspire to be.
Last year's comp season saw a huge change in my attitude toward my climbing. I started the year a little unsure, but over the course of my travels I formed some strong relationships, gained new insight, and was able to fully realise where I want to take my climbing and what I'm willing to put in to get there. I'm still on a journey of figuring things out, but I think that's a big part of life that will never really change.
In 2015, whilst competing in my first Bouldering World Cup, I suffered a full rupture of my A2 pulley on my right ring finger. I was then unable to compete in my first Lead World Cup, and then the World Youth's in Italy. After working so hard for a really long time and feeling in such good shape, I really struggled to stay focussed on my recovery and get back into optimal physical condition, which I really think took the better part of the following year. In the end it was an experience that taught me a lot about how I cope when things are out of my control, but also what climbing and the privilege of competing internationally means to me.
During last year's season I undertook the mammoth task of trying to get a Chinese visa as an Australian citizen whilst staying in Europe. It involved sending my passport back to Australia, and barely getting it back in time to fly to Scotland for a World Cup. Then I flew to Rome, which was the only city in Europe that could help me out, leading to a desperate series of phone calls with representatives back in China to get all the information I needed to apply. It was probably actually the worst experience I've had competing internationally, but it makes for a good story!
My training regime changed a lot this year, going from very sporadic to very strictly programmed. I've struggled to find the right balance and have battled with some injuries as a result, but in a lot of ways it has made me a better athlete.
Find a coach that you respect and trust to help you figure out your weaknesses. Coaching is expensive, so it might not be a permanent option, but you'll get a much better idea of how to build your own programs.
I know little about the Eiger or Matterhorn, but I absolutely think that any able-bodied person can do a one arm pull up if they are thoughtful and serious enough about their training!
I think it's important to have lots of short term goals to keep you on track, and then a big long term goal that scares you a little to keep a big picture in mind and not limit yourself. Having made my first semi-final in China last year, my next short term goal is to make the semis in a European World Cup. The ultimate goal of course is to win a Lead World Cup, but that's a lot of hard work away ;)
I think the Olympics is an amazing step forward for climbing, and the combined format is necessary to facilitate that growth, but I dislike the way that the individual disciplines are changing to better suit this model, when they already exist successfully in their own right.
I'm interested in seeing what happens with our sport when the 2020 Olympics are over. I think that with only 20 spots in each gender there are going to be a lot of broken hearts come the Games in Tokyo, and if we lose our place as an Olympic sport I think attitudes will quickly shift back to specialised disciplines moreso than the currently favoured combined approach. I plan on continuing to improve my climbing over hopefully the next ten years or so, and when I'm done I'd like to use what I've learned to help better prepare Australian athletes to compete at an international standard.