Saturday, 29 August 2009


This past month has been very hard and very challenging, under many circumstances, and I will briefly try and explain what happened under the surface. Suddenly I had to face many different problems involving every single aspect of my life: work, climbing, relationship, friendships. Wherever I looked, I could not find shelter from problems.
At the beginning of august, I started an individual class with one Turkish businessman, scheduled to be every day from 4 to 6 pm. Sometimes I had other lessons before that, sometimes I just had two or three hours to kill while waiting for him. No problem I thought, I can handle this, even if the gym was closing at 9 pm instead of 11 pm, I could still get there at 6 30, warm up, and pack in a decent session. The classes started well, but many many jokes about my teaching ability from the man, day after day, started to make me feel a bit nervous, so one day I took my courage and spoke with the school's director, telling him that probably the man was going to ask him to change me for someone else, and even if this would have given me more time to train, of course it wasn't good news on the working front.
One day, the man told me: "Lorenzo, I need to tell you something." That's it, I thought, evening sessions at the crag here I come! "I would like to spend more time with you." he added.
Dammit, this was a shocker. Briefly, he asked me to substitue the 2 to 4 pm teacher, and to have a monster 4 hours individual class every day. I spoke again with the director, because I was basically kicking out my collegue, but it wasn't my request, and I felt at ease with it. So, in a split second I found myself with 8 full hours of teaching every day, and the afternoon class just simply terrified me. I was to take the major role in this man's entire course, doing on my own more than half of his teaching. The sunday night before our first new class I was just terrified: how can I go on for four hours without being boring or useless? Well, I thought I should prepare lots of material, readings, excercises, conversation subjects and so on. Well, I made it. It's been very tough, because every day I would get home at 6 30 pm completely smashed and, obviously almost without any voice left. Then I would gulp something and try to wake me up from a semi coma and crank a fingerboard session.
Then, my relationship. We've been through a big big turmoil recently, and it took all our energies to keep our eyes on the prize and go on without fear. I can't say more here.
Training wise, I think I've already said everything. 2 hours sessions on the fingerboard were hard and even a bit boring, but I just couldn't do without. I had been lucky enough to share a couple of sessions with friends, and that is obviously a very good thing, especially when you are told: "Well Lore if you crank like this at mid august, what will you do after training seriously?"
Then finally the gym reopened and I started throwing iron plates everywhere. I am very happy. I didn't lose any power in two weeks, and my routines has already improved in just two sessions of the last week.
On the friendships side, it's been a very lonely month. To be honest, I didn't talk to anyone apart from my students. Florence was deserted, everyone was away climbing and my girlfriend wasn't at home.
So, was it worth it?
Yes, for sure.
This month taught me alot. It taught me that I can do serious work, and that I am far more dedicated and responsible than I thought. Not for one moment did I think "No, I don't want to take the whole four hours", and for sure I didn't just do it for the money (a nice down jacket is on the way anyway...). It's just been something that I felt I had to do. But it also taught me that I need to know that there's more in my life than just work, because this makes me happy. When I know that I have some time to do everything, to train, to rest, to make love, to cook, everything is easier and tastes nicely.
Now I am very happy to think that I am going to work a bit less, probably six hours, which is absolutely perfect because I can earn good money and still have alot of time. I feel good times ahead. I feel free and even a bit powerful.
I feel my girlfriend close again and we make love like two teenagers.
Tomorrow I will go to Amiata top with the van for a couple of days (I took monday off...) and I am sure I will enjoy fresh air again.
I realize now that I couldn't have written this before. I needed to close the circle, I needed to be able to draw a line to look back and try to understand what this month meant. I'm happy of what I found out.
Thanks for finding the time to read this.

Friday, 28 August 2009


This hard hard month has ended, working wise.
More to come.

Thursday, 20 August 2009


Everything is getting a little bit too much on my nerves lately.
Temps steadily on the 40 degrees mark and getting home very late smashed from work isn't the perfect situation for psyching on the fingerboard.
On the matter, The Mother of All Fingerboards is a nasty whore in reality. The best hold to be held is a nice 1,5 cm edge. Then everything is either alot smaller or alot more slopey, or both. I've started to do pseudo problems on it, footless, trying to create the hardest combinations, that are still possible in the current heat. The other day I took a nasty fall slipping off from a sloper, I flew in the air backwards, my flip flops projected high in the air and the in the middle of the room, which is my living room, now completely covered in chalk..., and I landed on my bum, and ultimately on my right hand, the one I injured last summer. Anyway I shook it off and fired the problem next try, not without a serious committment.
I am deadly tired. Both physically and mentally. I fall asleep at night imagining myself on Rock Atrocity and wake up in the morning swearing against all know divinities because I feel smashed and have to get up and go to work. Luckily, the work, despite being very very hard at 8 hours a day, 4 of which in a single individual class, is absolutely great. Monday morning, for example I was feeling very sad and tired, but when the new student, a blond girl from Swizzy, came in, my life felt much much better. Still, I need more spare time. I decided that with this month's decent earnings, I will buy something nice for me for the next winter, possibly a down jacket. I thought that I could save this money and use it in a smarter way, but then I thought that if I work hard and I don't enjoy the money I earn, that's absolutely useless.
Anyway, it's now more than a month since I last climbed and I have no words to explain how much I miss it. I simply can't live without climbing. Big Malc once said that he could go on just with training, but I can't. I need to see myself floating on 8a's to stay truly motivated, because when I get home at night I am thrashed, but still I think that the best part of the day is about to start, the moment when I'll begin dangling and swinging from small pieces of wood. One day I will say what Jerry once said "I had done that month of training". If I won't do my next project I know that it won't be because of my lack of dedication and committment.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009


On the way home, there's a fine Sicilian bar, patisserie and ice cream shop. Sometimes I stop by to have a taste of some of the best ice creams I can find in town. As of late, my preferencies go to Modica chocolate, which is made without the cocoa butter, so that it's less sweet and tastes more like... chocholate.
There, they use to make it in a special kind, so it's Modica chocolate, with some hot chili spice, and rhum.
A simple 2 euros ice cream allows you two flavours, and nothing sits better with that chocolate than a cream made with orange, lemon and lime.
Then I go and crush the gym.

Monday, 3 August 2009


My life is a battlefield. I want to go bouldering, and others try to hinder me.
I am prepared, I have grown up facing this everyday battle.
Yesterday I was asking myself why some people seem to hate climbing this much, then I realized it's not the climbing discipline itself. People hate the commitment. People hate to see someone who gives himself entirely to a foolish, useless pursuit like climbing a small bit of rock. People hate this because they are envious, envious that someone can be so happy in doing something.
The fragility of a climber's mind is the epitome of fragility, is the Platonic idea of fragility. A climber's mind, my mind, is the most fragile thing on earth, the one that walks on the thinnest, most delicate of lines.
The idea of facing an entire month without serious training possibilities has crashed on me with its heavy load of terror. Visions of a fat myself that can't pull on shit for the end of august appear in my nightmares.
Gyms are closed in august. My only chance is to, once again, turn myself towards the only sureness I have. A sureness that I made myself, with my own hands, just one year ago.
That's why today The Mother of All Fingerboards will rise again its beautiful shape in my bedroom. Ok, it will make that room completely impossible to use, give its dimensions, but that's a minor issue.
Jerry lived three years in a cave, I can spend one month sleeping in a chalk filled bedroom.

Saturday, 1 August 2009


Living in Florence right now is a matter of surviving. And it will only get worse. Current temps are steady around 38° in the shade, with a boiling hot wind from somewhere.
On monday I will start my new classes as well, and the program is as follows: four hours in class, lunchbreak from 13 to 14, then one hour individual, one other break and a final two hours individual from 16 to 18. Seven hours a day teaching is a whole lot of teaching and it will be bloody hard. Plus, the gym will close soon, so my fear is also about being forced to put training on a hold. I don't want to, because in the last week my weights routines just went over the roof. Something definitely clicked, as I cut everything down to 4-5 reps per set, I have started to add weight to every excercise. I am well pleased, I dropped the one armed lat machine to get back to normal one armers and they are coming. I tested again the 1,5 cm edge, and I one armed it very powerfully, quickly and strongly.
One concern is about air conditioning. I have to get asleep with it on, in my bedroom, then during the night I switch it off, but despite allowing me to sleep quite well, it's a tragedy for my neck. Coupled with hard sessions in the gym, the air conditioning makes my neck stiff and achey. Plus, I think I developed some kind of nose problem, because every time I spend some time driving with a/c on, at night I have terrible headhaches, just over my nose. Yesterday night it happened for the second time in a row, both times I had driven from Florence to Siena feeling cool.
Now I'll have another sandwich and then I'll try and go to Amiata top, to try and leave the ground on one of my projects.
The Guru gave me a brand new pair of Sportiva's Solution. On the box he wrote "You can abuse" and that's exactly what I want to do today. Boom!