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NationalsAs is usually the case, it was sad to leave Hueco. The pain was eased by thoughts of the approaching European portion of the trip. There was so much to think about with our departure from the states only a week away. Switzerland and France, however, could only get part of my attention, since ABS Nationals still needed to come and go. The reason we left Hueco a week early was so Jamie could be back in Boulder to help set the competition. With an expensive trip on the horizon, a World Cup to qualify for, and no good excuse not to compete, I registered for Nationals. I knew I wasn’t as ready as I would like to be, but I thought maybe I could pull something out. After all, I had been climbing for the past six weeks. Unfortunately, whatever climbing I had done did nothing to prepare me for the plastic pulling of the comp. I felt horribly out of shape and out of my element. It was an odd feeling, since three years ago I felt right at home in these events. There was a time not so long ago that I was very good at going out in front of the screaming crowd and doing what I had trained to do. This time I felt like I had studied for the wrong exam, only to find myself helplessly unprepared on the day of the test. The problems were very fun, and also hard. My newly acquired sandstone skills did little for me on the walls of the Spot. And so, once again, I was thoroughly humbled by climbing. It never fails to do that.