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. 





Friday, 18 July 2014

HOW IT USED TO BE, HOW IT IS

I wanted to blog about how much my days changed since last Summer: the long hours at work, the double schedule of teaching and practicing as a lawyer, with some translations thrown in for good measure. 
But I won't. 
Some things change, some others don't. I'll tell you about the second ones. 
I still want to train and to get strong, even if I don't climb on rock basically anymore.  
Temps are still awful. Luckily humidity is high... As my sense of humour. 


I still want to tweak my routines, namely the foot-on campusing, so I added 2 kg and switched to old, flat shoes instead of downturned ones. Train heavy, climb light. Still working the full crimp.





I am still a cool motherfucker. Or at least I try to be.


On the side of the many changes, I introduced some Finishers to my training. 
What is a Finisher? As the name suggests, it's something that terminates your session. What the name does not suggest, is that a Finisher terminates your session by terminating you. After a well done excercise, or series of excercises, you should be lying on the ground, crying for your mamma to make you dinner and put you to bed. You don't look at your bulging muscles eager to go out for a drink and some girls, you just lay there and cry. 
A Finisher has to be very short in duration (less than 10 minutes they say, but just 6 minutes leave me properly finished) and very high in intensity. Being performed at the end of the session, with muscles already fatigued and poor in glycogen, these excercises creat a very high metabolic stress that induces, teamed with proper eating, anabolism and fat loss. Yay! 
For my finisher I chose to perform two excercises, back to back, in two sets of 2 minutes followed by two sets of 1 minute. I do Spider Crawls and a complex of Half Squat, Biceps Curl and Overhead Press. All with a 6 kg weightvest, that I wear under my sauna jacket. Just 6 minutes in total, but I can assure you that they are some very, very long 6 minutes. They seem to last an eternity. 


You, my dear reader, may be sitting there wondering why I still keep training so hard, instead of dedicating my time to (enjoying) climbing: I'll tell you why. 
Beyond trivial matter-of-fact reasons (hours to go to the boulders, lack of doable projects, etc.), the main reason is: Delusions of Grandeur. 
No, not the famous boulder problem. The other problem. The mental problem. 
I can't be the best at climbing, so I want to be the strongest. I don't mean overall best and strongest, like in the world (I'd like though); I mean the best I can be. The strongest I can be. 
To be the best I can be at climbing, I would need to climb loads. I should travel to many destinations, try many problems on different rock types, different prehensions, different angles (from 45° onwards). Refine my technique. 
But I can't. I have no time and no money. At least for the moment. 
So I want to be the strongest, because I have time and tools for this. 
I can't be the best I can be without being very very strong. I could simply go climbing and punter around, maybe even have some fun. 
I don't want to. I want to be as strong I can be, ready to seize the opportunity, if it will ever dawn on me, to try and be the best I can be.
Luckily, I don't even care about if and when I'll be able to create this opportunity: as I've said so many times, I love training as a goal in itself, and sometimes, the more useless it is, the more I enjoy it. 

Finally, I got an MR for my left knee, and it showed a tear in the posterior horn of my medial meniscus. I will need surgery to fix it, still don't know which kind of: it's not too bad, so they could simply file the damaged part off, or cut it off, or stitch it, or combinations of the above. Recovery times will depend on which one they'll choose.