26 september 2013

Worldcup Puurs

I placed 16th in the Worldcup in Puurs last week. Last year I would have been really satisfied with this result, but last weekend it was pretty disappointing. During semi-finals I managed to stay pretty calm, but this costed a lot of mental energy. It worked out fine as long as the moves were not too hard, but at the first tricky, long move I got stressed out and fell, completely unneccesary because I wasn't even really pumped.

During the semi-finals in Puurs (pictures by Tim van der Linden)

In the beginning of the season it felt so natural to climb relaxed during a competition and not to mind too much about the result. Last week I was looking for this feeling, but I couldn't find it. I have been so focussed on my elbow the last couple of weeks that I completely lost joy in climbing. Maybe it was too much to expect that I could find this feeling in a competition, if I don't even manage to do so in the trainings.

Anyway, this competition has woke me up again. I managed to fix some things and I am ready for the next Worldcup now! My elbow is doing fine, the head is in the right place again and I am really excited to compete. Today I am flying to Perm, Russia, thanks to Mammut, who will finance the trip and Medicort, which will support me by sending Mathieu Ceron (fysiotherapist / coach) with me. Let's go!

17 september 2013

NK boulder

For the last couple of weeks I have been seeing a physiotherapist nearly every day. Thanks to the amazing work of the Medicort physiotherapists my elbow recovered fast enough to compete in the National Bouldering Championships last weekend. I still can't do really long training sessions. After about 4 routes it's getting painful, but at least I can handle high intensity, which is most important during the competition season.

So I decided to compete. I had to promise myself that, when a move hurt, I would try to find another solution and not force it. This turned out great in semi finals. I was just so happy to compete again that I had no pressure or expectations at all. The boulders were harder then normal, which made it a lot of fun to climb them. I managed to flash three of the boulders and the fourth I did in my second go. I was really surprised to find out that I placed in first position for the finals.

During the semi finals (pictures by Paul Lahaye)
I was really psyched to start the final round, but this feeling completely disappeared after observation. The boulders looked pretty easy and not spectacular at all. Only the second boulder seemed to be a bit harder. This one made me scared as well. I didn't really know how to do it. If I was right there was a mantle move in the end, which wouldn't be possible with my elbow. I managed to get myself mentally prepared for the finals and flashed the first boulder. Then it was up to the second. I climbed smoothly to the unsecure move and tried to push with my left hand. As I had expected, that was painfull, but I didn't fall off. I was really dedicated to climb this one. If I would fall I would definitely lose the competition, because the other boulders were too easy to make a difference. I tried the move with one hand a couple of times, but it didn't work. I had to jump off. In the end I didn't manage to climb this problem. With still two boulders to go I already knew I had lost. It's really shit if the boulders are set like this. I felt hopeless and angry. Maybe the worst thing was that I didn't even had to try to get myself together, because the boulders were so easy that I could even flash them with the worst mentality ever.

Anyway, I ended up in second position, behind Vera (who btw did a really great job by climbing all the boulders!) Fortunately the angry feeling disappeared that same night. I gained a lot of confidence in the semi-finals. Although I haven't been able to climb for 12 days and I can't really train, I'm still in a good shape. Now it's off again with the lead Worldcups. The first competition will be this weekend in Puurs, Belgium. I am really motivated to start again!