Sports Report Card

Reading this article from TodayOnline, it reminded me about what one of the newspapers wrote about SEA Games 2011, the games where sport climbing was one of the new contenders, and where I first represented the state.

Similarly, they graded the athletes and their sports. And I remember that they gave Sport Climbing a rather disappointing low grade (I cant really remember now, maybe a C), for failing to deliver a Gold medal (whose hopes were placed on Jay Koh for Difficulty). This is despite Adriel and I getting a total of 6 Bronze medals for Speed team and individual, as well as Sue-Ann getting a Silver for Boulder. I remember my mum coming to our defense and commenting about how the papers never look at those individual athletes fared. I do remember some time later, a small section in the newspapers commented about our feats, along with other new sports like inline skating etc, and how those sports medalled in the games, but were graded harshly against gymnastics, swimming and the likes. The point is, there will ALWAYS be someone saying that you are not good enough. And sometimes, we have to accept it and use it to push ourselves forward.

I draw this in comparison to the IFSC climbing circuits that I taken part in. The first in 2015, and the second this year in June. Both comps, I never made it pass the qualifying stage, but I come back telling everyone that the comp was “okay”, “it was good!”, but that doesnt reflect how well I REALLY did at the competition stage. At the end of it all, Hazlee comes to tell me “these are your weaknesses, you should do this more or that, etc”…

You see, no matter how good you feel, or how strong you think you did, statistics tells alot. The number of tops and bonuses I lacked to get me to the next round, spoke of weakness, lapses and failures that I couldnt clamp down there and then. Similarly in the SEA games, the slips and lack of power and strength I had only resulted in a Bronze. Im not saying that you are not allowed to feel “satisfied” no matter the outcome, but if you want to go further, you need to roll up your pants, chalk up and get back into training. Caring about how well you are perceived by others does not make you stronger and do better in your game. Yea, it may encourage you or put you down, but ultimately it is about what you, as an athlete, take away from this competition and put in the next.

I used to think that I did “fairly okay” whenever I go for those circuits. But looking back, my results were not good enough and I should have trained harder. I know that there are so many climbers out there who are better than me, and I let the fact that I wasnt a “full-time” athlete run as my excuse for not doing well. Yes, there are some reality checks that keeps you at a certain level — but that just means you need to strive EVEN harder to get there.

Going back to the beginning, if they had given us an A grade for sport climbing in SEA games 2011 with those medals, I wouldn’t think we would be worthy of it. So what if we had a couple of medals, but statistically, we were 3 whole seconds (3m of the route!) behind the fastest climber, 3 tops short of qualifying, or 10 moves below the top climber. Translating those to climbing terms and training methods, it means we have to work so much harder.

So go out there, and train hard, and give your best.