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Reflections and Growth

Reflections – 2018

Here’s what happened in brief:

(TLDR – too long didn’t read)

  • Times were tough.
  • I learned a lot.
  • If everyone who gave in 2018 gives the same amount again in 2019, my expenses will be covered.  I can’t do it without you!
  • I am looking forward to doing it all again in 2019.

Here’s what happened in a little more detail:

(P.s. there is a lot more detail than this and if you want more info let’s talk instead. Technology is an amazing thing – reach out and let’s chat!)

Heading into 2018 I was excited. I had made the life-changing decision to see how far I could go with my climbing, before I was too old, or other priorities meant that it became less of a possibility.  At the end of 2017 my Board approved me going part-time in my role as Executive Director of New View Mental Health Society, and in February I was able to hire a part-time Managing Director of Finance and Administration to take on some of my work.  Theoretically this would free up 20 extra hours in my week for athlete-related activities.

My training load increased to seven sessions a week over five days, and initially it was a bit of a shock to my system.  I was used to climbing three times a week, with a little ‘other’ conditioning thrown in occasionally. I had been fairly successful with this load for many years at the local and national level, but this new, HUGE goal, required a step up.  In addition, the departure of two key staff at a crucial time during New View’s end of financial year meant that my new MDFA was working full-time covering the tasks of those other roles, and I continued working full-time hours, despite my increased training workload.  This continued until the end of June.

When reflecting on this time, I don’t actually know how I was able to do it all.  In addition to training and working (both full-time), I also competed in several local and provincial competitions, and Nationals for all three disciplines.  At the Canadian Bouldering Nationals I placed 7th – not bad considering I had a teary meltdown of self-doubt before semi-finals, and at the Canadian Lead-Speed Nationals I placed 8th in Lead and 20th in Speed – also good for my first lead nationals since 2003, and my first speed nationals ever!

At the Vail Bouldering World Cup in June I placed 23rd (two spots out of semi-finals), and had a bunch of fun co-commentating the women’s finals with International Federation of Sport Climbing anchor Charlie Boscoe:

Fortunately things settled down at work and I was able to relax a little around my next two competitions in Villars, Switzerland, and Chamonix, France, and then at the World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria.

Things I learned at the international comps this year:

  • I am scared of falling while clipping.
  • I can push through the fear of falling while clipping.
  • My head game is my weakness in lead (not just the fear, but the attitude, the try-hard, the self-perception).
  • Deciding that I am going to enjoy a route before getting on it significantly positively affects my pleasure in doing the route (and likely my performance too).
  • Sometimes you can be too prepared (like when your warm-up peaks but the comp is running behind so you cool down to much before getting on the wall).
  • Jetlag sucks and I need to factor more time (at least three days) ahead of a competition into my travel plans.
  • Speed is easier on grippy holds (and I go faster).
  • It’s really difficult, and a mental challenge (maybe the biggest), to believe that I deserve to be at a competition of this level, alongside my idols, and more importantly, to do well.
  • Europe does climbing competitions like Canada does the Stanley Cup (Hockey) final, fireworks and all.

Coming home to Vancouver after the World Championships, I took a month off training to recharge and reinvigorate.  It was only when I gave myself this space that I realised how close I had come to burnout earlier in the year. But having given myself a chance to take a breath, I am now able to more realistically and compassionately judge where my limits are, and keep myself from crossing them.

I feel incredibly grateful to have been able to share my learnings with others through social media and dallying in vlogs – youtube and Instagram Live videos (formerly Daily Drops, now Gifts of Growth); presenting at the CanadaStrong Climbing Coaches conference; coaching at the Treeline Women’s Climbing Festival; participating in the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF); and hosting a Ground Up Climbing Centre Summer Session.

I could not have done all of this without the support of many donors and sponsors. Together we raised $19,199.46!!! (Total donations across all platforms in 2018.)  This covered my athlete-related expenses for 2018:

  • Accommodation and Travel – $9,291.36
  • Integrated Support Team – $4,991.25
  • Supplements, Gym Entry Fees, and Health Miscellaneous – $1,413.24
  • Competition and Sports Federation Fees – $1,863.90
  • Athlete Promo Expenses and Miscellaneous – $528.23

TOTAL: $18,087.98

I could not have kept expenses this low without the support of my wonderful sponsors – THANK YOU!!!

  • Pinnacle Sports
  • Chewie Media
  • Coach Fenneke
  • West Coast Osteopathy and Wellness
  • Wonder Motion Pictures
  • Evolv
  • Climb Base 5
  • Caitey Gilchrist Creative
  • Kyle Rurak Photography
  • Hive Climbing
  • Verve Hair Lounge
  • Sport Climbing Queensland
  • Drahomira Palesova Massage

So, looking forward through 2019:

  • Jan – off season training
  • Feb – World Premiere of “Towards An Olympic Dream” film at VIMFF and off season training
  • March – Canadian Bouldering Nationals; USA Climbing Lead and Speed Nationals
  • April – Bouldering and Speed World Cup, China
  • May – Bouldering and Speed World Cup, China
  • June – Bouldering World Cup, USA
  • July – Lead and Speed World Cup, Switzerland; Lead and Speed World Cup, France; Lead World Cup, France
  • August – World Championships, Japan

My goal for this year is to make sure I look after myself.  I don’t believe that I can give my best performance when I am stressed and filled with self-doubt, so I am working on appropriate rest (mentally and emotionally as well as physically) and self-support tools and techniques.  I am also continuing to work towards feeling the embodiment of myself as an Olympian (for more information on this, listen to my interview with Training Beta podcast here: https://www.trainingbeta.com/media/tiffany-melius/).  

I hope to see you again on this journey to Tokyo 2020 – if you haven’t already, please subscribe to my social media channels (links below) so I can share with you.  It’s also a huge help in getting additional sponsorship as companies want to see that I reach a substantial audience.

Please support me on this journey! https://tiffanymelius.com/donation/