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    Notes and advice from Sean McColl.

Valence World Cup

The most recent world cup of the 2013 season was in Valence France this past weekend. It was an interesting one to say the least. It included a crowd of 3000, it marked the last International competition the venue would hold and the night between day I and day 2 of the competition, I was up all night with food poisoning! Let’s go back a couple of days before I catch up with that last sentence. I took off from Toulouse Thursday afternoon and was in Valence 4 hours later. It was past the technical meeting but I was already registered so I got something to eat, checked my running order and chilled in my apartment. I booked an apartment so I had a water boiler and I could cook my own food if I wanted. Qualifications were Friday morning and everything went really well. It was a bit cold in the morning but getting to the competition motivated me to start warming up. Over the course of a couple of hours I had warmed up and topped both qualification routes. It was sometime in the afternoon by the time I had finished and I was starving. I went and bought some food from a small local store and went back to my apartment. [singlepic id=606 w=500 h=400 float=center] I had a sandwich made up of a traditional baguette, sliced meat in a sealed container and some camembert cheese. I went to bed around midnight but at 1am things started to get bad. I could feel it the whole night that my stomach was grumbling but I never thought I’d actually throw up. At 1am I did… I puked and felt better. I ate a couple of tums and tried to go back to sleep. It didn’t work and 20 minutes later, round 2 came full swing. I spent the next 3 or so hours puking and sitting in the bathroom feeling like I wanted to die. I managed to get back and remember checking my watch which said 4:21am. Luckily for me semi-finals isolation didn’t close until 11:30. I woke up the next morning feeling terrible. I couldn’t even think of food. I forced a protein bar down my throat before walking back to the competition. On the way, I grabbed some liquids. I needed water, sugar anything… I spent the morning basically laying around in isolation with the occasional walk outside in case I needed to throw up again. Preview was followed by more laying around in isolation until I was forced to warm up. It actually felt better climbing than I anticipated. I felt like I had no energy and I knew the semi-finals were going to be a battle. I spent the rest of the isolation time just sitting underneath the heater lamp to keep warm. [singlepic id=607 w=500 h=400 float=center] I climbed much slower than usual mostly because I was just really tired. I climbed pretty well, made a mistake in the middle but climbed within the last 5 moves of the route. I fell pumped, tired and exhausted; I wasn’t going much further on a good day. As I lowered, my stomach grumbled and I felt sick again. After untying I ran off to get some air. When I came back inside I felt miserable. I found out it was enough to make finals which made me smile but overall I still felt sad. I compete because I love being there, climbing and feeling good. When I compete and I feel so crappy like this, I just don’t want to be there anymore. I left the competition feeling sad and went to rest in my apartment. During the rest, I had a nap, ate a couple of bananas and tried to regroup. I hoped the finals would motivate me and I hoped even more that I would just have fun. The most important thing for me is having fun… During the finals isolation, all my friends inside cheered me up. For most of the hour or two I was in there, I just laughed and talked with the other finalists. I barely remember what we talked about but it was exactly what I needed, to talk listen and laugh. I also found the time to do a few boulders so I was warm for finals. The presentation and observation was also fun in front of the crowd of 3000 and I was the third climber out. Before starting my route I listened to music, I didn’t want to know where they were getting on the route, I didn’t care. I came out and knew I was only 5 minutes away from the end of the competition. I took some deep breaths and got inside my own head. The route was bouldery, hard and I took the risks I needed to take. I climbed pretty fast but consistently until I was near the last traverse of the route. I achieved my goal of where I wanted to get and I actually didn’t feel very pumped yet! The next few moves changed that completely; as I was climbing I felt like I wasn’t going to do much better. After my feet cut a bit un-expectantly, I lost a lot of juice and I knew I hadn’t clipped yet. I chose to do another 2 moves and skip the clip. I fell on a hard move out right towards a big volume sloper. Check out my video just below… As I sailed down towards the ground, I didn’t feel sick at all. It made me smile and I waved to the crowd. They cheered and all I could was keep waving. I was so happy that I had enjoyed the route and didn’t feel sick. As I untied I actually thought I was in 2nd place. It wasn’t until they said I needed to sit in the leaders chair that I realized I was actually the highpoint. It didn’t last very long as Adam Ondra was the next climber who beat me, but it was nice while it lasted. After Adam, I’m sure most of you know what happened, everyone else made mistakes, some big some small. In the end, they all fell lower in the route and I held on to my second position. I’m honoured to have another silver medal and again so close to the gold. After the night I had, it was nice to have fun in finals once again. I knew it was possible to be on the podium but I didn’t expect it! [singlepic id=605 w=500 h=400 float=center] So that was my weekend. I walked away with another Silver medal, a funny story and good and bad memories. It also re-enforced my mentality on how much I tie having fun to competing. If I’m not having fun while competing, I’d rather not be there at all, regardless of my placing. Full results are at the following links: MENS & WOMENS I’ve had another few days to relax and I’ve found my appetite again. The last world cup of the year is in a couple of weeks in Slovenia and I’d like to be in tip-top shape if possible. If nothing else, it will mark the end of a huge world cup season which started in April for me.

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Comments (6)

  • Avatar

    amir

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    Great story man 🙂
    Hope u win at kranj like your first win there.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Michal

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    They cheered and all I could was keep waving. I was so happy that I had enjoyed the route and didn’t feel sick. As I untied I actually thought I was in 2nd place.

    You found that you’re first 🙂 or am I mistaken?

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Sean McColl

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      I was first but only for a bit as there was still 5 climbers after me.

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Pierre

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    Hey Sean,

    It’s always nice to read your stories, i was very happy for you for the second place. You actually crushed most of the route !
    KEEP EVERYTHING UP ! 🙂

    Reply

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