It happened again!

With boulder world cups over for a while I was facing an important decision whether to compete in any of the lead world cups or not. While I was mostly putting focus on boulder training I wasn’t really sure if I’ll be able to get the endurance fast enough for the lead world cups. It never hurts to try, isn’t that how they say :)? That’s exactly what I did and it turned out that I would need a bit more time in order to get proper endurance. It’s back to bouldering I guess. Few weeks of strength and power trainings and it was time to take some time off in order to recover from the past part of the season.

Like always “time off” never means lying on the beach and sunbathing. For me it’s going rock climbing. I already decided that I will be doing bouldering master in L’argentiere called Tout a blocs, which took place on 27th&28thof July. I just added some rock climbing to the trip and it was perfect. Before going to France I stopped at one of the best summer bouldering crags → Magic Wood. God I love that place! I’ve been there several times before and it’s just magical, the forest, campsite, location. If you haven’t been there it’s a must go destination for climbers.

Anyway I’ve always had some unfortunate forecast when in Magic Wood. It was a bit better this time with only light showers in the evening, meaning that I was able to try almost all problems. No matter the weather psyche for climbing was high so I was just trying whatever was dry at the moment. I had 3 awesome days in the forest doing problems from 6a – 8a+. The highlight of the trip was doing Jack’s broken heart(8a+), Unendliche Geschichte part 1(8a+), Sofa surfer(8a). I also put some effort into linking the whole Unendliche Geschichte but 3 days were just not enough. I was quite satisfied with the climbing as I’m not really used of climbing on rock and it was quite humid and hot so the conditions weren’t perfect. Three days went by so fast and I already had to leave for Tout a blocs. The competition was happening on Friday(qualification) and Saturday(final). I arrived in L’argentiere on wednesday. A good night rest, few stretch exercises and I was ready to do another short session in local Ailefroide bouldering spot. Although I only went there to activate for the qualification next day I managed to get 2 quick 7c+ flashes. I was just like: “Okay I seem to be ready for tomorrow”.

Qualification round consisted of 35 problems and 5 hours of time limit. We had a morning session of 2,5 hours and afternoon one. My idea was to clear all the hard problems in the morning, when it was still quite cold and later to the easier ones. The plan seemed to work out perfectly as I was able to do all hard problems except one. Therefore I saved myself some energy and skin for the next day. I finished the day with 34/35 problems, which was enough to leave me with first place in the qualis. Even though everything went accordingly to plan, after 5 hours of climbing you still have sore muscles and I also split my right index finger. But those are little things that don’t really affect climbing much but are only mental barriers if you let them to get inside your head.

First step is realizing the mistakes from the past and knowing how to avoid them in the future. If you manage to do that you have already done more than half in order to not repeat those mistakes.

That was exactly the attitude I started the next day with. I knew I was sore and that I have a split but I decided that it will not affect my performance tonight.

Finals were starting at 21:00 local time and I had 1,5h to get ready for “the show”. As always there was a huge crowd in the central square and it’s just uplifting climbing in front of all those people. I was just felt humbled when standing in front of such crowd.

Anyway back to “GAME ON”. I was warmed up, activated, had my headphones ready and I just couldn’t wait for it all to start. Final consisted of 3 problems and 4 minutes for each, like world cup except with one less problem. It was definitely a new experience starting last in the final, when you are the one who decides the outcome. There was surely more pressure than normally, but everyone has to face it one day. For me it’s always about having fun and trying to top all the problems instead of calculating how others have done, that just puts unnecessary pressure on you.

The observation was over and I was already standing at the back of the wall, completely in my zone with my own music. 3, 2, 1 and I fired from the back to the front and started in the first problem. With no top yet I was determined to make the first one. I fought hard but the second to last move was just super powerful and I couldn’t manage to stick the big green Cheeta pinch.

Starting from zero, I now had only 2 problems to keep the lead. With 2 guys topping the second problem I knew I had to make a move. The second problem was super crimpy, so I knew it would suit my style. Breathe in, breathe out… Let’s flash this one! And that’s exactly what happened I gave it everything and found myself on the top and crowd just went mental, feeling worth fighting for.

Still in first position and only one problem left. 3rdproblem was a nice example of a world cup setting with a really popular triceps move and a foot kick at the top. I’ve been practicing that kind of coordination moves for a whole year so I knew I can surely do it. This problem saw 4 tops and I had to do it in order to win.

I ran from the behind of the wall, a quick look at the judge and the clock beeped. First try and my foot slips on the starting hold… Okay no worries I got this next try. I focus and make another attempt and this time I found myself facing the last move, a little doubt and I just barely fell off, landing with my head on the mat. I just thought to myself: “So this is how you wanna play boulder, then let’s do it the hard way”.

I face to the crowd, asking for support, they respond with the loudest cheering so far. I launch myself from the mat and get to the last with, this time determined to do it. I go for the move…hand lands and I push hard with my hips to kick my leg on the volume… and …that’s it! Thanks everyone for watching it’s been a pleasure climbing in front of a such crowd. I take a bow and leave the wall. And that’s how it happened once again, really a great way to boost both motivation and morale for the rest of the season! Now back home and back to training for the next competition Munich world cup. Can’t wait for it, as I have super nice memories from there. Psyche is high!