Sunday, 20 September 2009

ALL QUIET... BEFORE THE STORM!

Just a few hours after writing the last entry, under the sign of quietness, Mr. Long Moves Between Small Crimps, a.k.a. Tom, called to make the official announcement of his presence in Italy from early next week.
Needless to say, the quietness ended simultaneously, and despite being sorry and worried for not having enough time to pack in a few sessions in order to gain some power, not to be blown away by the man on home turf, the joy was bigger. The weather is unpredictable right now, but we have many options covered: I will work in the mornings, while Tom will seduce beautiful girls while doing sketches of Florence; then in the afternoons we can either try and crush the gym to small small bits, or, even better, we could steal a couple of top ropes (for me) at a very very close crag (let's say 20 mins from my house) with super short, bouldery routes. The evenings will be spent in long aperitivos and dinners. I will take friday off and we will climb on rock. Uncle Bruno awaits us. Whaddayathink Tom?

Friday, 18 September 2009

ALL QUIET...

The gym is now fully running, with some decently clean holds that are rapidly turning black as usual. The use of liquid chalk is probably the biggest problem humanity has to face: the way it fills up every pore of every hold is hard to believe; add to that sweat and rubber and you'll understand why our planet is so under menace.
Anyway...
I am generally tired, despite working less. I think that it's due to finally having the chance to relax and kick back a little bit. It happens to me: as long as I know I have to face hard times, I tighten my fists and I go on blindly; when I finally can relax, all of a sudden all the efforts come at me with both fists and I start feeling the fatigue that I haven't felt before. Moreover, the mere thought of a structured training makes me shiver, and that's why I've spent the last two weeks just bouldering in the gym with no strict plan other than trying to either rip the holds from the walls or to link the most far apart holds. I have set a few very nice problems, and have then climbed them all, so they must be not very hard, but they climb well and provide what I look for: long moves, body tension and some fingery moves. I try to climb them as smoothly and controlled as I can and am quite happy about that. I am not strong and that's a fact: despite a general training during the summer, I haven't done anything very specific, just some weights and a little fingerboarding, but nothing that resembles a seriously specific and dedicated training.
Yesterday, feeling weak, I resolved to do a couple of circuits. As soon as I tied my chalkbag around my waist and started figuring out moves after moves, I heard some hidden talking in the gym "What's happening?... Is he really going for a circuit?..." After seeing me doing circuits, people in the gym could expect everything to happen, even donkeys to fly. Anyway I give my best as usual, and managed to flash a 25 moves long 7a on the 60° wall. Psyched out of my mind I set off on the 7c, same number of moves, same wall. On the flash I brilliantly fell on move number three. Tricky, I thought. Luckily The Guru himself was there, and with his aura of stamina permeating the air I was breathing, plus being showed the correct way to perform the move, I found inspiration again. On my second go I destroyed the circuit... until move 22. Then my forearms were so pumped and swollen that they started developing their own gravity force, attracting the walls of the gym... Well not really but that's how I felt.
So I left and ate a bowl of chicken salad, like almost every night.
Last sunday I scored a very brief session in a warm and humid Sasso. I did nothing, unable to stick on any slopey hold, but managed to cancel every dynamic move from "Scream" the wonderful arete right of "Spigolo Calibani". As static as it gets.
No climbing this weekend due to a conference in Rome about brain functions of the foetus (yes, you read correctly), and to bad weather.
I want to go to the Dolomites to climb the problem I tried last year. I can't think of having to wait another year.
Then, UK. It's always on my mind. I want to go, I need to go. I have never felt so good in any climbing area like I have felt at Plantation. Make whatever you want of this. Now go, love and destroy.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

FAME DI STELLE

As promised, this is the video of one of my recent problems "Fame di Stelle" at Amiata top. Get the sequence in mind Tom, because I ain't going to tell you.

video

Saturday, 5 September 2009

FEED THE BEAST

My yell is a bullet that flies through the valley, to an invisible target.
My yell is a razorblade that cuts the valley in two.
After a long time I am again on top of a problem. After a long time my mini fan pushed me up a problem.
I had tried this new line for a few times, finding it difficult, because it's not only quite hard, but also very precarious, involving a couple of very dynamic moves aiming for a mono and for a two finger pocket. Last weekend I went there to do it, but I went nowhere on it, fighting with the first move and being unable to use a decent feet sequence for the crux: I didn't want to use a very off line heel hook that's close to another rock, with the risk of a constant dab. At some point, blinded by the pain in my fingers, I left. Anyway, I was tempted to blame my soft skin and the poor conditions, but I didn't want to sleep in this comfortable bed, so I chose to blame myself for being a weak mofo, and got back to the gym with renewed anger. The weights are going very well, and thursday I also managed to destroy two problems on the 45° and 60° walls.
Today has been a very strange day. I felt tired for so long. I didn't even manage to finish my usual warm up, and suddenly it all felt useless and I almost left, but then I thought I may have eaten too little again, so tried my chances with a few cookies (let's say a dozen). I started trying my other project and was again feeling weak, but suddenly I found out a lower start that involves a completely different sequence: before it was a very morpho problem, much easier for the very tall; now it's still very morpho, much easier for the very strong. Anyway this all thing woke me up and after a few tries I felt happy and decided, being a complete idiot, to go and try that other beast. I felt secure. I chose to stick to a sequence and stop messing around. Then I sat down and for the first time I went to do the problem, instead of just trying the moves. On the first go I didn't get the two finger pocket right and fell. I rested, then I prepared myself again: my hands were super dry from the fan (it seems like cheating sometimes) and I perfectly hit the pocket. At that point I forgot the sequence from the surprise, but got back into this world and kept moving, readjusting the hold and making sure that I wasn't going to risk a very bad fall all on myself.
Then my yell cut the valley in two.