Sunday, 5 July 2009


I've spent the last day thinking about why, one single bad day out threw me into such a bad, depressed, angry mood.
I think it's because it surprised me, and took me back to reality, and I don't like this reality. Which reality, you may ask. Well, a real reality, in which I'm not a bouldering monster, I'm not as strong as I'd like, I'm not as good as I whish, and I don't even crush hard problems the way true monsters do.
My big big mistake has been, thinking that I was the shit. Thinking that, because I sent a couple of project this past winter and I did a few other problems in familiar areas recently, I was at the top of the game, of my game.
Surprise surprise, I'm not the shit, I'm just shit.
I am absolutely average, and every time I step into the gym I'm reminded about this: I stand speechless as climbers that I judge not strong repeat my problems, sometimes very very easily. I know that I change alot when on rock, but I should stop thinking about myself as a strong mofo just because I can do a couple of one armers or deadhang an edge.
Reality is, that I am and feel weak. My fingers feel weak, my body feels weak, and if I keep setting my own problems at the gym, instead of trying to crush other people's ones, is that I can't do their problems.
In the lonesome comfort of the fingerboard, or alone under the 60° wall I feel less weak and closer to a wad, but only in confrontation one can find self confidence.
I went to Amiata secure of my success and came home shocked about how poorly I did. Where does the truth lie? I don't know, I think it lies between Font 6a and 8c. I am somewhere in there, hopefully closer to the bigger number (just in numerical terms, because in climbing terms I'm closer to 6a than to 8c), but what is really important is the direction of my movement. I feel that I'm not exactly moving backwards, but I'm not sure I'm moving forward and I don't like this feeling. I think I am a bit tired of training for so little climbing, then I tell myself that I'm working for my goals, for my two problems at the Dolomites of this (rainy) summer, then for my hopefully longer stay in UK. But it's very hard, because I know that I could reap some reward, even in my poor climbing state, and that could push my mood up.
Anyway, one thing came to my mind very clearly today: I have to embrace more deeply this discipline, I have to be more serious and even more dedicated, not in terms of time put into it, but in terms of faith and behaviour. Living the monk life comes to my mind, and I am pretty sure to understand Big Malc's thoughts of when he sent and named that problem.
When Keith came here, he sent one problem that he called "Giorni Scuri" (Dark Days), a very big gift for me, because it was dedicated to my, and to his, and to ours, dark days spent dangling from fingerboards in chalky bedrooms, or yelling in cold cellars. Those dark days made possible for me to find myself on top of that problem on my second go of the day, one thing once thought almost impossible.
Somewhere during my walk towards the 8c end of the scale, I lost my dark days, and start living the spotlight days, looking cool in the gym, looking cool at the boulders, writing cocky shit on this diary. The night before going to Amiata the other day, I ate poorly and drank one bottle of champagne, then went to bed almost at 3 am. No wonder I did so badly. It's cool to be a bit gangsta, but only after crushing. Crushing before, champagne later.
The enlightning is to embrace the dark days again, even deeper, and even darker days.
I want to feel the sensation of having power inside myself. I want to think about my fingers in terms of things that can hold onto any hold. I want to find every problem easy. I want to get bored of crushing 8a's and dedicate myself to the quest of power again. If could have a wish from a genius, I'd ask to be the strongest. Sadly, there is no genius, so the only thing that I can so is to try and become the strongest. It's obviously impossible, but I have to try and become stronger than anyone I know, and being it also impossible, I have to try and become stronger than myself.
I don't want to feel weak anymore. I know it will be very difficult, especially with still a bad finger, but the goal is there, and I want to move in that direction. I need to move in that direction because I hate every single second of my last climbing day. I hate the clouds, the soaking humidity, the pain of the pointy holds on my soft tips, the emptiness of my arms, the endless distances between my hands and the target holds, the thought "I can't hold this" that never left my mind. I hate these feelings, I hate those boulders. I also hate myself for losing sight of the real goal, that is just one: progressing. Progressing steadily and endlessly, with no goal line in sight. It's far too easy to sprint when the final line is there, in front of us. The real challenge is to sprint when you still can't see the end.
I want to sprint for a dream again. And I want to do it now. And I want to sleep well because I dedicated my entire self to this pursuit.
Bonne nuit.


Ghostface said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghostface said...

I think the best option at this time of year amidst rancid humidity and squalid gym conditions is to take out some of your savings and buy two seriously good fans. Sip iced isotonic drink with those fans in your immediate environs and focus on those fingerboard holds. Forget about the condition of feeling weak and concentrate on what you're doing. Daydreaming is for daydreamers.