I am more than enough
I first started climbing at 7, with my dad and sister, and surrounded by amazingly kind and friendly people. They would soon become a second family. My sister and I were doing well good and therefore, we ended up driving across the country from competition to competition pretty early. I loved it. Competing was a way to live my passion, set goals, push my limits and make new friends. It was a way for me to feel special. At the very beginning, it felt like I was being the best version of myself. It was great.
And then, I’ve been selected in the youth French Team. With competing for your country comes a lot of responsibilities. It’s a whole new level of competition. And I never properly asked myself if it was something I related to. I was young and desperate to escape from my parents’ divorce at the time. I was good and loved competitions so I thought why not give it a go… I thought it was my dream to become a world champion someday. When it really wasn’t.
Somehow, I convinced myself that those great things people were telling me I could accomplish were my wishes. I was wearing someone else’s shoes. I did what people wanted me to do, never questioning nor asking my heart. And, when it worked pretty well for the first years in the French Team, I then became unmotivated and depressed.
It is so easy to lose yourself over what people think you should do or want or be. And when they often want what’s best for you, it doesn’t mean that they’re right.
For a long time, I underestimated myself as a climber. I couldn’t think of myself as an athlete because I couldn’t relate to the other athletes I was surrounded with. What people told me I should do just didn’t resonate in me, it didn’t feel right but I was too afraid to say. I was seeking people’s approval. And as much as I hated being like everybody else, I was too afraid to stand for my own. That’s how I lost my balance. Everyone is different and we all work differently. I wasn’t doing what was right for me and that’s what leaded me to a loss of interest in climbing, a complete loss of self-confidence and to depression.
Now I know better. By just doing me, I built my self-confidence and my faith in myself back up. I am the best version of myself right here, right now because I am true to myself. I’m so much more curious about climbing. I find my reward by going outside and extend my skills, push my limits. I’m in the journey of composing with who I am as a person in order to be a better athlete. And this is so much fun. My experiences as a person nourish my strengths as a climber and vice versa. When I can give my 100% and push my physical and/or mental limits on a route, then I feel more confident for any challenges in life. And when I overcome a fear in my personal life, I find myself less scared in my climbing.
I finally accept myself as a climber just as I am. And without the pressure of being in someone else’s shoes, I am more passionate, happy and confident than ever.
I have changed so much over the years as a person, and I can feel it in my climbing. I still have some of my old weaknesses but I embrace them. They are who I am and I learn how to compose with them. My climbing style is unique just as it should be. I am like nobody else on this planet and I am perfectly where I’m supposed to be. It is as simple as that.
Although I was much stronger physically at the time, I am now the strongest I’ve ever been mentally and this is what’s gonna make me the best climber I can be. Physical strength is so easy to acquire. It’s another story to be in good mental health. So, I am physically still weak, but I’m getting there. I’m a lazy one so I’m not gonna train like crazy 😛 No rush, I’m enjoying the journey 🙂
Photo: by Helen, at Giggleswick. Thanks a lot to my friends for this lovely evening x