Our team consisted of 4 competitors, coach and physiotherapist. We hit the road on 2nd of June. There was a long way a head of us, as we were facing around 30 hours of traveling. When it comes to competing in distant countries, performing well isn’t always about being the strongest out there, but also being able to adapt to jet lag in time for the competition. Anyway I was ready to overcome the jet lag and enjoy China as much as possible.
The first part took place in Chongqing in the center of this big city with more than 20 million residents. After we arrived we had one day to do a short session in a local gym and then we were ready for qualifiers next day. Action time! Before my every performance I have some kind of ritual that I go through, which in my opinion help me perform close to my limit. So I always carry foam roller with me, therefore the first thing I would do is roll, that helps me stimulate and warm up muscles for any climbing, stretching that is about to come. Afterwards I do a few exercises with resistance Theraband. Some more muscle activation and coordination. After that I would usually spend another 30 min for stretching my muscles in order to make them more elastic. Now I am ready to start climbing on the wall. As I usually feel pretty warmed up after stretching exercises I don’t need that much climbing on the wall. I usually spend close to 1 hour of stretching and rolling and a bit more than half an hour on the wall. After that I only need one more thing, music! Listening my own music before going out on problem gives me so much energy and motivation. Plus I don’t get to hear who, topped which problem. Less pressure on you.
So back to Chongqing. My first problem was a slab and I was really having a hard time getting to the zone, so not the best start. Next one was coordination jump, which I ended flashing. With motivation super high I was able to do number 3 quite fast as well. 3 tops were enough for making semis and I fought super hard to top number 4. Totally not my style, with some long compression moves on big rounded volumes. But somehow I managed to give everything I had and made it to the top. Exhausted from the 4th problem I wasn’t able to finish off last one, but I got really close. First semifinal of the year, yesss! My first goal was achieved and now it’s was time to have fun in semis. Semifinal was again super physical. After not figuring beta in the first one, I got really exhausted when trying to reach the zone. Fatigue was just increasing from problem to problem and by the end I finished with 3 zones and 16th place. I couldn’t say I was disappointed with that result, but I was sure that this was definitely not my round and that I can perform even better.
On to the next one! With the next competition whole week away, we stopped in Shanghai to train for 2 days and work on our mistakes from last competition. Afterwards we hit the road again. After a few hours of traveling we arrived at the beautiful city of Taian. First thing we noticed after arriving to Taian is high level of humidity. During the day it got super hot and humid, consequently conditions for climbing weren’t the best. Two days passed by so fast and boom, I was standing in the isolation zone preparing for qualifiers once again. Everything went perfect, my routine, I felt good on the wall I was ready to crush. I must say the round was pretty easy. While missing coordination problems in Chongqing, I was more than pleased to see some here in Taian. I finished the qualifiers with 4 tops in 6 and all 5 zones. I was happy with my performance no matter the final result, but hey I was placed among first 20 again! This time I was hoping for a bit more tricky semifinal. That’s exactly what I got. Feeling good throughout the round I was able to secure 2 tops. I might used a bit to many tries and falling from the top of number 3 wasn’t the best either. Another 16th place and some additional experiences for competitions to come.
Overall the China trip was a huge success for me. My goal was to climb in 2 semifinals and have fun. Happy for achieving my goals I was already on my way back to Slovenia.