Climber's profile: Gertrūda Kaniauskaitė

Gertrūda Kaniauskaitė is 14 years old and she has been climbing with Miegantys Drambliai Climbing Team from Kaunas for more than three years. She keeps calm before competitions and she is always elegant in her moves. In 2011 and 2013 she was national champion in her group and starting with 2014 she is joining the seniors’ league where the challenge is bigger.

How did you fall in love with climbing?

The first time I heard about climbing I was at school and I received a Sleeping Elephants’ flyer. I became interested in this sport because I couldn’t relate it to anything I already knew and I was curious. The next day my mother took me to a climbing session in the gym. I was very fascinated that the colored stones on the wall looked like real rocks. The first impression was very good. At some point, the trainer said that I have talent, so I decided to start training.

Why do you enjoy climbing? What keeps you on a wall?

People always ask why am I still interested in climbing and they think it’s boring, but this is a sport where every day I discover something new. Depending on the moment, I can climb different routes, or I can create them for myself. It’s the sport where no muscle is forgotten. I have to use them all. While climbing, I relax, I shortly forget about school problems, everything is in order. Things are where they should be.

Is training in a group better than training alone?

Training with others is a good thing, because you are constantly improving. If you train with people who are stronger than you, you will always aspire to be something more than you are now, you seek higher levels. Also, if you are in contact with people who are still beginners, you'll always want to stay the best, you will motivate yourself to go further and teach yourself that you can be better, if you want to. It realy depends only on you.

When was your best climbing moment?

Perhaps it was in the spring of 2013, when I traveled to the European Climbing Championship for juniors. For me it was a great experience, because I saw how endurance exercises look in other countries and met high level climbers that gather here. Watching the other participants made me notice some of their weaknesses.

What do you want to do when you grow up?

This is another serious question. I haven’t chosen a particular profession yet. But I would love to see in my future in the world of climbing – we will see what I can be done.

Do you have any ritual before or after contests? Or a lucky object you carry around?

I don’t have any rituals before or after contests - I just try as much as possible to relax, socialize with people, make sure that I am not tensed. When I’m not nervous, I find it a lot easier to concentrate and then I can climb more difficult routes.

Who supported you the most until now?

I was supported by my mother and my trainer, most of all. Mom always engourages me to go to competitions and she is my main moral support. Our trainer is also always there for our entire group. Probably I support myself as well, saying “I can”. When you believe in yourself, you begin to have the results.  

Climbing plans for 2014?

In 2014  I will move to the senior team, where the opponents are stronger, but I really hope that my results will not be weaker because of that. I also want to go to the European Championship that will take place in the fall and I hope to go further and to achieve better results.

Favourite climber/ why?

I do not have a favourite climber. I admire and am interested in all the best climbers from the World Championships.

Favourite part of trainings?

I like everything I do during the trainings. True, sometimes I don’t want to do certain tasks, but I am always aware that I'm doing it for myself, so trainings ahead! The exercises are probably the hardest part. Although they are necessary, they are hard sometimes and it is difficult to be motivated - but I push myself and go on.

Best climber from Lithuania?

In my opinion, the best climber from Lithuania is Kipras Baltrūnas.

What do you think about climbing in a country with no mountains? Would you move to another country if you had the chance?

Countries with mountains or cliffs always fascinated me, but I do not think that I would live somewhere else. However, I love travelling, so if I have the opportunity to travel a lot I will, and maybe I will be able to study abroad.