I remember one day back when I started competing (forced to compete in the open category, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise and a whole other story). I was intimidated, lacked confidence, had never put myself to the test amongst the ‘best’ and I believed I didn’t measure up. I was down talking my ability, articulating what I really believed about myself at the time and overheard a few other (whom I perceived to be strong) girls with similar expressions.
It was at that moment a light went off in my brain and I asked the girl I was talking to (it happened to be Vikki Weldon): ‘do all of the girls say things like this before a comp?’ She smiled and nodded with a yes. It had occurred to me that I had never actually heard Vikki say any of these things and she went on to win the event and more events.
This moment made it’s imprint on me and ever since I try to catch myself and regardless if I think I have a valid reason to downplay or ‘set expectations’ about my ability, I try to stop myself, smile and say ‘thank you’ or join in the fun giving my best with no excuses.
I’m glad to see an article like this one circulating. I think more women need to hear the message:
- It’s ok to be you
- It’s ok to have off days and not have to apologize for it
- It’s ok to not set expectations about your perceived performance because you never know how a day will really turn out– bad days sometimes yield amazing things
- It’s ok to give your best and not see the outcome you were expecting, lessons come in all forms and trying is success
- It’s ok to give your best and out perform someone else, there’s simply no reason to downplay your skills. If the person can’t handle it, find someone else who can.
Since that time, I have represented the US National team and competed in World Cups for Bouldering and Lead in the US and Abroad, which means I have put myself in the lineup with the likes of Anna Stöhr, Alex Puccio, Emily Harrington, Sasha DiGuilian, Alex Johnson, and more. I had good competition days and not so good competition days. I did the best I could with what I knew and my ability at the time and the experience made me an overall better climber.
Put yourself out there, no excuses and surprise yourself with what comes back in return.
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