Thursday, 18 September 2014

BODY AND MIND, BUT MOSTLY MIND

If my body sometimes is giving me signs that it may give up (back pain, meniscus, strained finger) my mind is not. 
My mind is strong and therefore my body is as strong. 
My mind is young and sparky and indestructible, therefore my body is young and sparky and indestructable. 

Body. 
The numbers say so: after a recent body exam, I found out that my body composition sits just shy of the one of bodybuilders, at the extreme top of that of "athletes". And I'm 42 motherfuckers. 
Anyway, this is not important. Well, it is, but not for you. Just for me. 
I have been on rock, and I had fun, despite thrashing my lower back. I need to sort it out properly, otherwise everything in terms of training and power gains is useless.
Despite injuries and ridiculously few and brief training sessions, I managed to retain some ability to cling onto holds: I am currently focusing on super short system sessions, almost no board climbing except some attempts on the project circuit. I've been trying it for 13 months now... Still 4 moves to go, but now I always complete it with one resting. I get to hold number 25 with exploding forearms, fall down, wait a little bit then get to 30. 
This led me to think about the mysteries of endurance training: I am progressing on the circuit without training Power Endurance (or even Stamina) at all, or at least in no structured way. I have only been doing some laps on 12 moves long problems pausing 5 seconds on every hold, for a minute and half more or less of climbing; and some one foot bouldering on the same 12 moves long problems with 6 kg on. No repeated problems, no feet on campusing for Power Endurance, nothing. 
Could it simply be that I am reaping the fruits of the structured training I did until May? Hmmm.... it seems a long time ago to be still progressing. Who knows. 
As soon as temps and humidity go down, I need to test myself with the objectivity of a stop watch. 
I tried a variation of the foot on campusing, under the form of not campusing, not moving at all. It's very cool. Becoming able to shake out in such a position could lead to interesting things in the future. 

Mind. 
I'm stuffing my mind with notions, preparing myself at best for the most important exam of my life. 

"Who are you?"
I ask this question to myself many times a day, and I always have the right answer. 


Some pics. 
Higher, he luxurious foothold that I use for foot on power campusing and for the new excercise, with its majestic 1 cm of contact surface (As Keith once told me: "You can't come off from 1 cm thick footholds!"). At least it's incut, it's almost like cheating. Lower, the bleedin' bivy ledge is use for Power Endurance. "You are weak" written on it. 

Trying what will become my hardest problem. 


 The books I've studied in the last months, in the spare time from work. 


SAN Power edge. The big one. Those guys are selective. 


Staying there, staying put, shaking out. 65 kilos locked between the foothold and the crimp like a steel beam. Breathe, feel the greatness. Who needs real climbing? Not me. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

SCHOOL IS OVER, BACK TO SCHOOL

School is almost over. After spending most of the Summer teaching Italian again, now the time has come for me to go back to my own school. 
In two weeks I'll start following a course that will last until December, with lessons every Friday and Saturday, exam-simulations every other Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and a final exam at mid-December that is the first of the two final steps to finally become a Lawyer, or I should better say a Barrister with no limitations of practice and full competence: three written essays, on three different days; one Civil Law case, one Criminal Law case, and one procedural act. 
Then I will spend six months working and waiting for the results. Then, in another six months or so, I will face step number two, under the form of five oral exams on five different subjects: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure Law, Constitutional Law, International Civil Law and another one that I still haven't chosen. One year. Fifteen months from now. 
I am terrified. 
When I started back one year and half ago, I had one year and half of compulsory practice in front of me, behind the protective presence of two Lawyers, with no need to step up onto the main stage. Then my turn came as well, and I found myself spending sleeplees nights before going in Court on my own. Now I face this other challenge. This exam is very hard, and I want to pass with full marks, and I will pass it with full marks. 
Then, in more than a year's time, with this maelstrom behind me, I will go climbing. 






Wednesday, 27 August 2014

SOMETHING DIFFERENT

A very different Summer is about to end. Basically, we haven't had a Summer. An Italian Summer, I mean. 
Apart from a boiling start, with temps quickly close to the 40's, then it's been just warm and rainy. I mean, very rainy. With floodings, casualties, and all that stuff. 
I didn't manage to touch dolomia at all. The boulders are soaked and a couple of project will have to wait for next year. Booooo. 
In the last months I have been plagued by my lower back, that really gave me hell, but finally it seems to be going better now; but at a very high price: stretching after every session and also on many rest days. Boring, but being able to stand almost straight is priceless. 
Another different thing: I have taken lots of rest. I took two entire weeks off. Not in a row, but still something very different. 
I went back to training one armers, trying to improve, with paused sets training, a.k.a. deadstop sets. 
Then last week I got a finger injury. It had been a long long time since the last time I had heard that terrible cracking sound. The sound of your climbing dreams being shattered. 
Luckily it seemed worse than it is, but still very very unpleasant and annoying, especially because I was feeling super strong that day and not bad at all in general. Could this renewed sensation of power be related to taking more rest days? Surely not. 
Anyway, injured finger meant back to one armers, and last Saturday I finally managed an L-seat one armer, on my right arm. Still not as cool as Juri Chechi would do, but pleased nonetheless. Blimey, they're hard. I can do 6 paused one armers on my right arm, but just ONE L-seat one armer was maximal. 
Brilliant. Video here: 
L-seat one armer

I also went climbing, and tried a long time project of mine, that unfortunately has few holds, that are a bit crumbly, and therefore tend to disappear. A new sequence was found on my last visit (after three years of not trying it) and I am very psyched to nuke it to orbit this next Autumn. 
This project also earned me the almost-best climbing shot I have. 
Dammit that left hand.