Huhh, where should I start? This year I’ve spent so much time on competitions and travelling, than most of the previous years. I spent almost half of the year travelling abroad with Slovenia climbing team. Therefore you can imagine how many new things I experienced. I made a really big step in climbing and I became a better person in general.
There has been a lot of ups and downs and I tend to remember just the bad periods of the year instead of all the good ones. That is why this post is all about remembering the good stuff.
Let’s go all the way back to the start of the season. It was pre-season time and I was just about to finish with physical preparations and it was time to start getting into competition mode.
First up there was a master competition in Darmstadt – Studio bloc masters. It was my 3rd time competing at the master and every time the competition ended without semifinal for me. This year things were different. I didn’t just qualify for semifinal, I actually won the competition itself. When looking back at it, I still can’t believe what a start of the season it was compared to the previous years!
After that master it was time for the bouldering world cup circuit to start. My goal for this year was to make world cup finals. I didn’t have the slightest clue of what a rollercoaster this season is going to be :D.
First stop of the world cup circuit was Meiringen, where I managed to qualify for semifinal round, where I showed solid climbing, but still got shut down in the semifinal round.
Nevertheless I didn’t qualify for finals in Meiringen, it was a good start of the season and another chance was already around the corner.
Competition took place in Moscow, the venue I had visited for the first time. I definitely had a shaky qualification round and with some luck I made it through. I really showed my best in the semifinal round and I was rewarded with my first final ever! Climbing in final was just so emotional for me. All the training finally payed off and the reward was more than I was expecting. It’s really hard to put it into words, but I wish for more moments like that. I ended on the 4th place in the end and at the same time ticked my season goal.
After Moscow I kept my streak with competition in Chongqing. With the confidence from Moscow, it wasn’t so hard to get through qualification round. With another great semifinal performance I was again in the finals, but this time mentally ready to put up a real fight. I fought hard and ended on 3rd place, which was also my first world cup podium.
I made another final at the last bouldering competition of the world cup circuit in Munich. Munich is just one of my best venues and I was stoked to have made finals there. The crowd is always amazing and that gave me additional motivation for climbing. Due to big problems with skin I ended up on the 5th place. In order to prepare for the lead world cup circuit I skipped bouldering world cup in Vail and place 8th overall in the bouldering world cup!
After successful bouldering season I suddenly had real chances for Toulouse combined olympic event. I focused all of my energy into lead and speed to make it happen. Things really didn’t go my way till the lead world cup in Kranj. I somehow caught the flow and I was qualified for my first semifinal. Semifinal route was quite complex and with my climbing I was able to secure 16th place. Another milestones passed!
With great performances throughout the whole season I finally managed to make it into top 22 athletes qualified for Toulouse. Sadly I did not make it to the olympics but, what else could I really wish for after such a great season.
Lessons I learned this season
The biggest difference this season wasn’t just in climbing itself, but I would say that my mindset was different compared to past years and I think I mentally matured during this season the most. Surely physical preparations comes first, but your mental readiness follows right behind. Your mind has influence on so many things in life and there is no exception to climbing.
The latest thing I learned was: “Don’t be too greedy”. After making into Toulouse I wanted to make olympics so badly, like that was the only possible ending for me. I completely lost my desire to climb and all that I was focused on was the end result and everything that comes with it. Hopefully I was able find “myself”, right before leaving for Toulouse. It drastically increased my chances for performing good. Lesson learned there!
Next up is: “You don’t need to do every single thing on 100%”. I was always used to doing everything the best I could, but that proved to be difficult during this season. It made me realise that currently the most important thing in my life is climbing and I should focus on resolving everything around it. It happened a few times during the season that I was trying to do all the college stuff before deadlines. I set myself imaginary deadlines and therefore was putting unnecessary pressure on myself. Things were eventually starting to take its toll on climbing and that was not good. It’s always good to have lots of things to do, but you need to focus on just a few if you want to be really good in something. Otherwise you will end up average in everyone.
Lastly I would just like to mention, that I learned how to better mentally prepare for bouldering world cups. Qualification and semifinal round feel quite similar while final round is completely different. You wait way longer, you can see the results after every problem, you have more time to think, … That is something I will try to analyse from this year and come back better prepared. I think that I made some unnecessary mistakes during the final rounds this year.
Goodbye 2019 and Welcome 2020
That’s is from my side for 2019. Hope you enjoyed reading and if you have any questions for me, please don’t hesitate to contact me on my socials or down in the comments. It enjoyed every single moment this year and it is time to prepare to make new ones next year. Now off to well deserved rest and then back to training for the next season. Thank you everyone for making my passion possible and for being there for me in good and bad!