Heather says my life is a soap opera. It’s not really, but I think by the time I tell her about things, I’m so worked up over whatever it is that my dramatic emphasis has lent operatic overtones to the tale. Here goes:
Ok so remember how I was all not sure about entering the Triple Crown in the advanced division, because I’ve climbed a bundle of problems that have higher numbers than the range for advanced, which is 5-6? I talked to a bunch of folks about it. Everyone who had done a Triple Crown before was like, yeah no, go advanced for sure. Open is super hardcore and you’ll be in your own league one division down. Other folks were like, eh, you’re on the line, but there’s no way you can do more than 1 or 2 problems above that range in a day, so yeah. Advanced. So I entered Advanced, and got second place twice, trying super hard to put as many 6s and 7s on the board as possible. I lost to this girl Kati, and this other girl Jill, and figured that meant I was in the right spot. But oh man I wanted to win!!
So then I went to Horse Pens, which is suppose to be the hardest comp of the tournament with the lowest scores. Brutality. Four hours in I only had 2 climbs on my card and had fallen off of 4 top outs. Dan was coaching me. Poor Dan. Things were getting worse, I was getting tired and discouraged. So Dan takes me over to this area with what he insists will be some doable 5s. At this point, I cannot imagine it. But he stepped up and demo’d the betas, and I was able to flash a few problems. Yay, momentum! But this event was packed with strong girls. Those ATL chicks from the Athens comp were there, I had already seen Jill crushing, and every problem I managed to finish I saw another female competitor do. So much for winning, I figured. At this point I just wanted to finish the card.
Then this weird thing happened. After I did those easier problems, this stranger person came up to me, knowing an inordinent amount of detail about my climbing, kinda going off about how easy these problems are for me. Freaky. I got a very bad, psyched out vibe from the situation, and ran away as fast as possible. Because that’s just whack-whack, and I still have 6 problems to do and it’s freaking 1:45!
The rest of the day was ok. Most of my fingertips started bleeding. I met this funny dude named Doug. I climbed with Kai, the youth strongman who’s mom Connie is the trooperiest trooper of the triple crown. I did more problems, lots of falls, lots of punts. Got a heel-toe cam stuck and almost broke my femur, the usual. Finally finished my card, blood and tears all the way up a terribly hard 4 called Slush Puppy that took 5 tries. Then I ran, RAN, to turn in my card on time. My score was medium-low, and I was resigned to not place. Went and ate my feelings via smores at the Pretzl tent. Learned this joke for when you’re eating smores that goes like this:
You’re killin’ me, Smalls
So finally they post scores, AND I WON!!!!
Won by about 100 points. Oh my god, so excited to have finally won. AND I was sure I had a shot at being the over-all champ of the tournament for the advanced division.
So then Chad comes over and is like, ‘we need to talk’. He and Jim, the Triple Crown organizers and both super glorious dudes, are like, ‘someone came up here and told us that you did a v9 two weeks ago.’ Flummuxed, I was like, yeap! Two weeks ago, in Boone. My first one ever! It was so hard and awesome! Why do you ask? Well it turns out that one of the rules of the triple crown is that if they hear that someone did a climb at some point that’s rated way higher than the climbs in their division they get bumped.
Now, I don’t mind getting bumped from a prize-getting perspecitve, I don’t have room for another crash pad or jacket – I’m in this for the glory. But are they saying that I cheated? That I sandbagged myself by entering advanced and could have climbed harder than I did, posting a ton of 7s and 8s or something? Because, wow, no. At least I don’t think – no. I tried a bunch of harder-numbered problems during the event, and the two I managed were on my cards. And I kept getting second! If I were so out of place, wouldn’t I have been doing better? Oh, mercy the injustice!
No but really, I’m horrified to think that Jim and Chad thought I cheater sandbagged myself. Or worse, that I WAS being a cheater! And two, that someone stalked my 8a spraycard then cared enough to try and knock me off. Because that is creepy. And kind of mean, right? Granted, I stalked Jill’s after her LRC crushing and soothed myself by noting that she had some pocket problems out there. But I wasn’t about to go remembering that or telling anyone.
Anyway, I went back to Chad and Jim and told them I was over it and fine with a bumping, but that this whole thing was rather subjective and slip-shod. They said they hate divisions anyway and want to have no divisions among adults at all but give prizes for the top 15 placers. Then they said that when they bumped me into open, I ended up getting 3rd for the tournament.
Wow. How did that happen? I think it was the psychotic consistency. Because I was never close to the open scores at an event, but going to all three comps and posting reasonable scores, then being a little ahead at Horse Pens, I managed to eek in there. So it ended up basically rocking. I won a pile of gas money, and got to see myself ranked with actual, very very strong boulderer women. I decided that it all meant that there was a hidden cost to spraying on the internet. Dan decided it meant that I had arrived. So hey, I’ve arrived. Hi.