My Sporting Past – The Fire Within
I’ve always been active. I enjoy taking part in sport. Any sport. That is where I’m happiest. In my younger years, I qualified for the French National Championships in both gymnastics in 1995 (as part of a team) and rock climbing in 2000 (individually).
The trouble is, I’m not all that good at sport. I have to work extremely hard to attain my goals. I’m just ambitious in my dreams and I have a burning desire to succeed. In all the challenges I set myself, I can feel the fire within.
I always want to do my best at each single sporting event I attend. And I have to work hard for it. I have the will to keep training when most will lose interest. I was the little girl who trained relentlessly at home every single evening.
Present – The Fire is Still Burning
My bucket list of challenges and adventures is constantly growing. I would need more than a lifetime to complete all my dreams! There are so many interesting events and challenging journeys, so many places to explore on our planet, and so many ways to condition the body for what lies ahead. Of course, as I mature as a person and grow as an athlete, my interest for challenges also evolves.
However…. I still hear this little voice inside wondering how far I could have pushed my climbing ability if I had focused on it after competing in the French Nationals in 2000…
It was my first year competing in climbing. I competed in the Regional championships (Rhone Alps) in Lyon with some friends from the university climbing team. At the end of the event, I couldn’t quite believe I had just led all three required routes (up to 7a+ onsight) and qualified for the final. A few months later, I was competing in the Nationals amongst some of the best climbers in France. I hadn’t really done any specific training and at the time, I didn’t even know what structured training meant. I was just having fun!
This also happened to be my last year at university where I had just finished my master’s degree in business. Instead of concentrating on my true passion, sport, I decided to follow the more conventional path of finding an internship. This eventually led to getting an office job in a big corporation, and so even less time for climbing…. I don’t regret it, and rarely look back. But I still have a strong desire to test my limits. The fire is still burning inside and I still want to chase my dreams.
Looking Forward – Never Too Late
So, even though I am now already 38, I have decided to train to compete in the British Lead Climbing National Championships in 2016. I have some amazing climbing partners in Sam, Anna and Michelle, and Dad when I see him. He taught me everything I know and I am forever grateful. They all keep me on my toes each in their different ways: on the wall, cliffs and boulders. I will be doing a lot of my training and preparation with one of them in particular – Anna (an amazing friend and climber!).
The competition will include some of the UK and the world’s best climbers. The qualifying routes for women will be around the 7b+/7c mark!! Definitely a massive challenge for me, but one I am so excited to undertake! I’m so excited to live my dream and take every chance I can in life.
Video about this amazing event, the British Nationals Lead Climbing Championships: http://tv.thebmc.co.uk/videos/british-lead-and-speed-climbing-championships-2014/?current-channel=competition-climbing
Other challenges for 2016: Running
On top of that, I am also aiming to take part in some other events, all running. No surprises there I guess 🙂
I haven’t yet decided on the exact list of running events. For 2015, I’m still on track for a minimum of a race per month plus London marathon and the Round The Island ultra (70 miles over 2 days). I don’t have yet a precise plan for races for 2016. I do know though that I aspire to run the London marathon in April. My goal for that race is to improve on my PB from last year. I’d also really like to participate in some skyrunning and mountain running races. Let’s see what opportunities life brings in 2016.
I’m so excited about the challenges that lay ahead. Let the training begin!