22 november 2014

Dutch Champion in Lead

Yoohoo, I defended my national title in lead succesfully! I have to admit that it's a big relieve. With the international season already ended, all my friends celebrating a well deserved rest, so late in the year, I had a hard time to stay focussed. It feels like I am getting more and more nervous for this competition every year. 'What if I just slip off? That has never happened before, but it has to happen once, right?' Thoughts like that have been chasing me all week long.

Luckily nothing like that happened. Jorg had set a super cool route, which I really enjoyed climbing (once I was higer up and the biggest nerves were gone ;) ). I managed to top out. Super satisfied with my performance I could finally relax, enjoy the ambiance and watch the men in their super spectacular route. It was an amazing competition. Congrats to the organizers!

Now it's time to go to Spain for at least 1,5 month. 1,5 month of sun, nature, outdoor climbing, relaxing, beautiful routes, nice people. So excited!!! I will keep you updated once in a while when I find a wifi spot ;)
Article in the NRC yesterday

16 november 2014

Worldcup Kranj - 12th!

The Worldcup in Kranj is finished, so the Worldcup season is over. The week in Terradets really paid off. I felt much more motivated and energetic then the last couple of years in Kranj. In qualifications I was able to give a good fight. Although things didn't go perfectly, I just held on and kept on trying, refusing to let go. It's always hard to find this state of mind in a competition, but I guess I found it in Terradets last week already.

After qualifications we had only a couple of hours to eat and prepare for the semi-finals, which were held the same night. The semi-final route was pretty amazing. It crossed two walls, had many sections which were hard to read and the moves were really 'tricked'. During climbing I had to change the plan I made during observation many times, but the solutions came naturally and I was really enjoying the moves. In the end I had some struggle with my quickdraw, not being able to hold on long enough to clip. I guess I just have to get a bit stronger on that point. I was able to give a good fight though. I am really satisfied about my climbing and ended in 12th position. So close to finals again! It's a good end to a long season, which began pretty hard but got better and better towards the end.

Next weekend I will compete in the last competition of this year: the National Championships in Amsterdam. After that it's time to climb outdoors for a long, long time. I can't wait!  

14 november 2014

Terradets

Right after the semi finals for the Dutch Lead Championships (which went well btw, I topped the route and placed for the nationals, which will be held the 22nd of November) I booked a flight to Spain. After all the competition I needed a little break to charge for the last Worldcup. The last couple of years I have always been too exhausted to perform in Kranj. So I thought, what if I do some rock climbing just before the competition? Maybe I would be a bit more rested and most importantly, super motivated.

 So that's what I did. I've spend last week climbing in Terradets, a beautiful crag in Catalunya. The 35m wall is covered in tufa's and almost all the routes are super sustained and graded between 7c and 8a+: THE perfect onsight training! I spend the whole week onsighting and finishing missed onsights in my second go. After a couple of days I really found the 'onsight-mode' and I was able to send some nice routes:
- 2 7c's and 4 7c+'s onsight or flash
- 8a onsight (Effecto 2000)
- 3 other 8a's and an 8a+ second go

After this trip I feel really inspired and energized. Some sun, long nights sleep and a bunch of beautiful routes were exactly what I needed to get rid of the jetlag. Right now I am preparing for the final Worldcup of the season, which will start in Kranj, Slovenia tomorrow. I am really looking forward!

30 oktober 2014

Asia trip Part 3: Worldcup Inzai

The Asia trip is over. After 3 weeks of travelling I am back home again. It was an amazing experience: so many new impressions, different cultures, nice people and good climbing. Although I had a really nice time in Japan, I also started to feel the consequences of all the travelling. Flying and changing hotels all the time was taking its costs. I felt more tired every day and I couldn’t catch up with sleeping. I decided to not pay too much attention to it and just enjoy being in Japan: training in the super cool climbing gyms and visit some touristic sights. I hoped this would give me some new energy.


At the competition in Inzai I realized I was just too tired to perform well in another competition. I climbed good mentally, but physically I felt empty. I couldn’t get pumped anymore and fell early in the route, placing 19th. All together it was an amazing trip with some good results,  great experiences and many nice memories I will never forget. Thanks to the Belgium team for adopting me for a week ;)

This weekend I will compete in the semi finals for the Dutch Championships. Right afterwards I will fly to Spain to get some sun and recover for the final Worldcup in Kranj.
Worldcup Mokpo (Picture by Heiko Wilhelm)
 

22 oktober 2014

Asia trip Part 2: Worldcup Wujiang

Some days have passed already since the second Worldcup of the Asia tour; the Worldcup in Wujiang. All the new impressions in Japan kept me from blogging, so let's get back to China. First of all I have to admit that the accommodation improved a lot since last year. The food was simply amazing (last year I had a hard time eating anything at all), which made our stay much more pleasant.

After one day of recovering it was time for qualifications. I already got pretty bored from doing nothing for a day, so I was super motivated to climb. I am so happy that I was able to find this feeling again after the beginning of the season! Qualifications were ok, but I climbed a little but too fast. I didn’t take enough time to rest, especially in the first route, but the mind was ok. I placed 9th and 10th in both routes.

After a good night rest it was time for semifinals. During observation I got even more motivated. The route looked great: many volumes and big holds, combined with some really small edges. When I started climbing I felt super relaxed. I think I haven't been able to climb like this in semifinals this season before. I found a good resting position in the middle and recovered completely. When I climbed on I made a mistake: I grabbed the wrong part of a hold with my left hand and made a heelhook on the previous hold to clip. Then I discovered that my right hand had to be where my left was. I couldn't climb back, because the previous hold was too small for both a hand and a heelhook. I jumped for the next and fell, completely fresh.

I was pretty disappointed about my performance and walked back to the hotel straight away, without seeing the others climb. When I got back some hours later, I heard that many others had made the same mistake and that I placed 11th anyway. I was really surprised, that's not too bad! But still, I had the fitness to climb finals that day. Anyway, I just made a stupid mistake, but the mind was perfect and that is the important thing for now. Up to the next Worldcup in Inzai!

14 oktober 2014

Asia trip Part 1: Worldcup Mokpo

3 competitions, 3 weeks in Asia. The big trip has started. Last weekend the first competition took place in Mokpo. I felt relaxed and super motivated. Climbing is such a mental game. By being in this state of mind, I made the competition pretty easy for myself (completely different compared to the beginning of the season). In semi-finals I was on the edge of falling a couple of times, but I could stay focussed, I kept on resting and I was able to push myself until I was totally pumped. I was really satisfied with my performance and it turned out to be enough for the 12th place. I guess I am getting back on track ;)
Worldcup Mokpo (Pictures by Ulf Lennertz)
This week we are staying in Seoul; do some sightseeing and some training. On Thursday we will fly to Wujiang for the next Worldcup. So stay tuned ;)
Sightseeing in Korea

17 september 2014

World Championships - 19th

The motivation is back! In Gijon I got super psyched when I saw the video demonstration of my first qualification. Earlier this season I kind of lost this feeling. I was just competing because I used to, not because that was something I really wanted. It's amazing how much some weeks of rock climbing can change. Just being outdoors all the time, enjoying the sun and the fresh air, the beautiful views, the amazing lines and the inspiring moves. It helped me to enjoy again, not only at that moment, but also back home, training. I made more effort to organize my trainings: meeting with motivating people, climb in different places and think of new, challenging training methods. This gave me a lot of energy. I expected the World Championships to come too early, but when it was time to leave, I felt much stronger already.
Competition wall
The Worlds were amazing. Like I said, the qualification were well set. It was much fun to climb them. With a 12th and 16th place I made it to the semi finals. The semies were a bit disappointing. The route didn't look that great and I lost the super energetic, psyched mood I had in qualifications. Anyway, there was no way of finding it back, so I just had to deal with it. Luckily that worked out pretty well. My climbing was fine. I could relax, look, feel and choose the right solutions. Unfortunately I didn't manage to make the super hard move in the middle of the route (where more than ten people fell), although I wasn't too pumped. Falling at the same place as so many others set me in 19th position after countback. I can be really satisfied with my climbing though, which is most important for now.
The coast of Gijon
The World Championships are always something special. Everyone is there. I really enjoyed the time after the competition, having fun with friends I already competed with since our first years in the youth. Also watching the finals was very inspiring. This competition made me notice what an amazing live I am living. I get the opportunity to travel to all these amazing places, to meet inspiring people who became really close friends and to be excited about something all the time. It's never boring and I always have a cool trip to look forward to. Next up is the Asia tour, where I will visit Korea, China and Japan to compete in the next Worldcups. But first some more training, yeah!