2012 / by Angela Payne

It was a year of variety.  A year that took me to a handful of different countries and a few hands full of different states.  I spent a good deal of time climbing in familiar places surrounded by familiar faces.  But I also managed to step out of my comfort zone, and so it was a year of learning and exploring.  There was a good deal of frustration, but it was always punctuated by small successes.  It was a humbling year and a memorable year.  Here are a few random moments from 2012...

The most memorable moment for me in my competitive climbing year came at the ABS Nationals in February.  I had been working on improving my ability to jump, and I had admittedly become a little too focused on dynamic movement.  So, as I stepped up to women's final 3, I immediately decided that the intended beta for a certain move was to dyno.  In actuality, my beta was about as wrong as beta can get, but it seemed so correct in my head.  And so I threw myself at the dyno, taking a few less-than-pleasant falls in the process.  I was so focused on sticking the move that when I finally did, and then reached the finish, I was overcome by an odd mix of anger and joy.  Instead of smiling and waving as I usually would, I screamed and grimaced.  The whole experience was pretty uncharacteristic, but the raw emotions that I was feeling made it quite memorable.  I wish I could harness that feeling more often in my climbing.

Finishing women's 3 at ABS Nationals.  Photo credit: Brendan Mitchell

Finishing women's 3 at ABS Nationals.  Photo credit: Brendan Mitchell

In the Spring I traveled to Europe to compete in a few World Cups.  Although my performances at the competitions were lackluster, I did gain valuable experience in the international competition world.  Better yet, between the competitions we had the opportunity to explore some cities that were new to me.  We were most pleasantly surprised by Lubjlana in Slovenia.  The melding of old and new in this quiet city was alluring and beautiful.

Ljubljana

Ljubljana

Later in the same trip, Ethan Pringle and I met up with Keith Ladzinski in Vienna to take some post-comp photos.  The most memorable moment of that outing came when we stopped by a small church where Keith wanted to shoot.  Some children who were playing nearby became fascinated with us and decided to join the fun.  It was a moment of laughter and joy.  Ethan snapped this great photo:

The summer means Park season, and this year was no exception.  Although my normal Park routine was altered slightly by my trip to Greenland, I still found more than enough time to try Freaks of the Industry.  I have already written plenty about that boulder and the frustration of this season, but what I have failed to mention is the unwavering support I received from my boyfriend, Chris.  He hiked up to that boulder with me more times that I can count, and made me smile more than I would have otherwise.  Plus, there were some very nice moments of peaceful beauty up there too, as there always are.

In the Park with Chris

In the Park with Chris

August took me to Greenland.  I could write all day about that trip, which was full of memorable moments, terrifying "firsts", learning experiences and unparalleled beauty.  Being there affected me more than I expected, and I will be forever grateful for the experience.  I returned with thousands of photos, one of which turned out to be my very favorite of the year:

There were many trips in 2012, almost one for every month.  They all had their relaxing moments, but most were also accompanied by the stresses of a competition or the anxiety of experiencing something new and scary.  While I have learned to appreciate the hard moments, I still can't resist the draw of a stress-free vacation.  Mexico was just that.  I joined Chris and his family on a spectacular, nearly deserted beach for the holidays, and it was everything a true vacation should be.  For the first time in many, many years, there were no climbing shoes in my luggage.  We swam with whale sharks, played in the ocean and took surfing lessons.

The last spectacular sunset that I enjoyed in 2012 came in Mexico.  It was the best yet...

And so another year has passed.  It was a year that put things in perspective and humbled me many times over.  The European World Cups made me feel inexperienced, Greenland reminded me how small and vulnerable we are, Freaks of the Industry gave me a strong dose of frustration, and the waves in Mexico crushed me.  But it's those moments that made the small successes that much sweeter.  I climbed well in some competitions, topped out new boulders above the Arctic Circle, and caught my first (very small) wave.  Not a bad year at all.

 

Now onto a new year!