I just can’t believe, that we are finally at the end of the longest season so far, this season was by far the best one yet. As always it surprises me how many new things I learn along the way. It was a pleasure to be a part of so many new experiences. I’ll talk about the recap of season 2019 in the upcoming post, so let’s focus on how the season came to an end.
I feel it is important that I first talk about the thought process, before going to Toulouse. My mind is really something special and it makes me do strange things sometimes. I hope that you will get a rough “image” of what was going inside my head in the next paragraphs.
After coming back from last the world cup competition in Japan, it was all about giving 110% to be in best shape for Toulouse. At first it was not really hard to focus just on training, because the competition was still four weeks away, although some trainings felt really hard. I was definitely feeling the fatigue from the so called “never ending” season.
So far so good, as I was really able to push through a hard two weeks of training with no problem. I was feeling really exhausted right before I would start to lower the intensity of each training session. That way I would let my body recover in time for the competition. This is the part where things got interesting. Right now it feels really funny talking about what was happening, it just feels so stupid, to be thinking that way, but it surely didn’t feel funny in that moment.
Things get complicated
With my body sore and tired and only two weeks left till the competition I was starting to have doubts about the training regime in the past two weeks. Thoughts going through my head were: “Have I trained too much”, “Why am I not feeling light and strong on the wall”, “When will the trainings start getting better”, “Have I forgotten how to climb”, “Will my body even recover till Toulouse”, … and many, many more thoughts like that.
In addition to that I was also struggling to get thought of olympic games out of my head. I simply thought that if I don’t make it to Tokyo 2020, I will be the worst climber ever, no matter how the whole season went. My mind just completely erased all the good moments from the season and just solely focused on the bad ones. At that moment I was sure that I was going to fail.
This is the part where my psychologist really helped me. If you are ever having problems with previously mentioned mindset, don’t worry it happens too many high level athletes. That is why I would really like to focus on the mental preparation for the competition, because that is what really makes the difference in the end. Getting into right mindset is always easier if you have someone who can help you. This season I started working with Andreja Holsedl in Ljubljana. She helped me on multiple occasions this season and she was the right person to turn too for Toulouse as well.
She helped me realise that I achieved far too much this season and no matter how competition in Toulouse goes it is going to be the best season. It feels really hard to believe that I just simply forget all the good stuff and only focus on my weak points. I guess that is something I will have to work on in the future, but at the same time, that is something that always keeps me wanting to be better.
After just one session I was feeling way better and my thinking was not negative anymore. Nevertheless the climbing was still not much better. The thing that was keeping me going was the feeling that there is only one more competition and I can finally enjoy some rest. That proved to relieve some stress for a few days but then I still wasn’t enjoying on my training sessions as much as I should. I wasn’t only irritated on trainings, but in my everyday life. You could ask my family, I really was annoying and was prepared to quarrel for no good reason. Now I can only say thank you, to everyone for keeping up with me, I really was a “hard” person.
It was not till the last 3 session before Toulouse that I realised. I figured out that the thing called “rest”, that I was eagerly looking forward to, is not going to change much. It really means that I will not be climbing for three weeks and then I will be back on the wall. Why? It’s simple, BECAUSE I LOVE TO CLIMB! This is something I chose to do, because I really enjoy doing it and this is not something that is going to change any time soon. So why not enjoy every single moment on the wall, instead of putting redundant pressure on myself.
This was the moment when I started to enjoy climbing again and my level of climbing skyrocketed. That gave me even more confidence for the competition and I was ready to put up the last fight of the season.
The competition took place on 28th of November in Toulouse. It consisted of all three disciplines in the following order: Speed, Boulder and Lead. The competition started at 11:00 and finished at around 19:00, a long day was ahead of me.
First up was the discipline in which I put a lot of effort this year but did not really make much progress. Nevertheless I was ready to show myself that all that training was not for nothing and that actually happened. Already in the practice I had the best run in the last couple of months. It only got better when the real competition started. I was really close of running under 8s for my first time, when I slipped at the very top of the route. Although my second run was not as fast, it was still enough for the PB: 8.271s! I was really happy with that, although it was only enough for 20th place.
This was the discipline that I was supposed to be really good at. Unfortunately it did not work out for me this time, I guess I used all of the luck in the first part of the season… The problems were a bit more simple that in usual world cup semi-final round. In addition to that, the second problem was pure dead-hang test, climbing skill I am really bad at. I failed to do the first one arm jump and therefore I was left without a zone and top which really ended my olympic dreams on the spot.
Although the second problem was not my style I still gave everything I had, so I really can’t say that I gave up, before I even tried. And even after that problem I really showed that I did not qualify in Toulouse based on luck. I finished the bouldering round with only 2 tops, as bad as that might sound. The result was also really bad in the end, but I was satisfied with my climbing, as this is bouldering and small mistakes cost big time.
After placing low on the scoreboard after bouldering I knew that my only chance of coming back would be winning the lead competition, which was not really possible. Therefore I decided to show my best and enjoy in my last route of the season. The route was a pure test of endurance. I remembered all the training sessions this year and I climbed with steady pace, stopping on some sections to do a few shakes and just kept going till my forearms felt empty. I can say that I made some bad foot placement right before I fell, which might have cost me a few moves but generally my climbing was good.
Coming to Toulouse, hoping to get a ticket for olympic games next year, vanished with my final 21st place. I knew beforehand, that I was not among favourites for making the cut, but you know everything could happen. I was not too disappointed with the outcome as I didn’t do good enough in bouldering and that’s how it is, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The whole competition was a huge career experience and a life lesson. It showed me my weaknesses, which I will be super psyched to work on, after some rest from climbing. I might have missed the chance to be a part of olympic games in Tokyo but in just a few weeks I’ll resume with training for the next ones. Steady work and dedication can go a long way! #TheOnlyWayIsUp!