Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
Sol Sa (KOR) is one of the best all-around comp climbers in the world. Last year at the Innsbruck World Championships, she placed second in the Combined competition. Unfortunately, Sa injured her knee at the Wujiang Bouldering World Cup in the beginning of May. She wrote on instagram following this year’s World Championships in Hachioji:
“I took almost a month off from climbing/training due to this knee injury I picked up in Wujiang Bouldering WC, then had no choice but to compete in the Korean National Team Trials without having enough time to get prepared, only to find there was no miracle waiting for me. The pressure kicked in so hard before the comp and the lack of confidence was enough evidence to foresee the outcome wouldn’t be so good, but it turned out worse than I could ever bear, terribly worse. Then I was thrown right into the Lead WCs where I couldn’t make it past qualification rounds three times in a row. Everyday was a fight to stay positive; regardless of bad comp results, I could feel I was slowly improving. But my impatient mind was rushing me, made me focus too much only on getting back in shape, and ironically my condition only got worse day by day. Confidence level hitting the bottom and extremely exhausted both mentally and physically, I found myself in fear of comps. The feeling so dense and deep that I almost wanted to quit and retire.
So I decided to take a rest for two days before the World Championship, alone and quiet, seeking the real value I once put in climbing.
Why do I climb?
Why do I care about other people’s opinions?
Why am I so scared?
What do I want to achieve?
And I gained my peace back after finding answers to the questions.
Today was the first day of World Championship. 3T4Z, 14th place in Group B. Made some mistakes, and they cost me a ticket to the next round again. Little bit bummed, but still overcoming the stress and pressure I had was a definite gain.
Will always try my best, push my limits. ups and downs might come and go, but will not lose a smile, that’s for sure.”
Feature Image by Eddie Fowke/IFSC