Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Sometimes, the clarity of my vision terrifies me.
In this vision a see a man, whose only care is climbing. It's the thing he loves the most, and climbing and preparing himself to climb stronger, are the two things that make him happiest. In this vision, this man is sad and depressed when he can't climb, whatever the cause: a relationship, work, family issues, bad weather or an injury. Anything putting his desire to a stop is a enemy, an obstacle to a bigger happiness. Far from being obsessed, this man only strives to fully appreciate his love for climbing, to dedicate all the time he can to being happy, simply happy in doing what he loves the most. When his climbing doesn't go well, this man is also sad, but this sadness quickly turns into a new desire to get better and stronger.
This man is fully himself when he's climbing, and only in climbing he's fully himself: in this he is also fully free, because his climbing is for him absolutely useless in the terms of "normal" people. It doesn't give him money or fame, it's completely and purely useless, therefore, completely free.
When the vision gets deeper, I see and understand that this man is ready, at any given moment, to give up and abandon anything he's doing to go climbing, and if he doesn't do it, it's just because he pauses and reflects over the cosenquences of his behaviour. But he knows he's ready. He often regrets his past decisions, when he was young and had nothing and noone to tie him down to his responsibilities: he didn't take advantage of good chances, and those are now gone and forever. So every time this man has to drive for hours on his own to get some climbing done, he regrets all his past decisions, that could have made his life better. He knows his life would be better, because he knows what he wants now. This regrets, though, aren't enough to stop him from desiring ever more, or from driving that extra distance, or from training once more.
In my vision, this man wants to tell all the young climbers to never let go of a good opportunity to be happier, in whatever way they want, because there's always time to be responsible.
So I'm sure you can understand why, when I see myself in that man, the clarity of my vision terrifies me.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010


Fucking hell, I am so fucking pissed.

Saturday, 17 April 2010


My life as a climber can now change: the Beastmaker was indeed traveling towards my house when I last posted here. It came friday morning, finding me, quite unusually, at home, ready to give it the first kiss. I am truly excited and am ready to dedicate myself to the cause, to be honest I really can't wait to start training on it. I still have to completely recover my finger, but the antiinflammatories are doing their mean task.
Other session today, nothing really noticeable again, apart feeling not too bad: I did a few things on the 45°, then I set and tried a new problem on the 60° and finished with some footless bouldering on said walls. At the end of the session I was overall tired, but could still feel some power, so I tested the fingerboard and I found out that I can still one arm a slopey edge at the end of a session, and that is very promising.
What pleases me the most about the Beastmaker, is that, far from being magical, it gave new psyche to get back to some serious fingerboarding, and that it opened new visions and new desires. Who sees, desires, and who desires, want.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


I climbed in Ticino this past weekend! Nothing hard went down, but I finally made it to Brione. During the walk back from that amazing, peaceful and surprisingly chilly setting, I couldn't help but think how good it will feel when I will do that walk after climbing "Amber". I will. I don't know the day, I don't know if I will struggle or if I will crush it, I don't know if I will be alone or surrounded by friends, the only thing that I know is that one day, in the future, I will be walking in that valley after climbing "Amber".
The fact that I didn't even see "Amber" is marginal.
Anyway, the amazing surprise of this mini trip is that I met loads of cool people. I met two nice guys from Sweden who also happen to read this blog (and that was shocking); I met a guy I had only chatted with on the Net, who showed me around and made me feel safe when I was climbing "Arabald"; I finally managed to climb with a friend with which I had only shared the plastic holds of the gym; I met a group of young german powerhouses, and one of them also gave me a precious piece of gear that I had been searching around for weeks; I met some Brits who impressed me with their energy and coolness and I also met Italian bouldering guru Marzio Nardi. All these people were nice with me, giving me beta, or a spot, or simply being nice. So guys thank you, you made me feel good and that is the only thing that is important.
Then: today I went sport climbing. "Top roping" would be more appropriate, but I had fun, so nothing else matters.
Finally: I had a good session at the gym yesterday, and despite feeling a bag of shit, perhaps it still hasn't come the day I will hang the shoes to the proverbial nail. To be honest, I didn't feel bad at all, I felt strong and sparky, but since I had been feeling shit during the last weeks, I was probably feeling strong but being shit.
Anyway, in this very moment, a Beastmaker is traveling towards my house. I am excited to embrace again the most basing cult of power; when, this summer, the gym will be an oven, I will be training as a headless chicken and this thought already makes me feel good, because climbing is like this: the more you put into it, the more it gives back to you.

Thursday, 8 April 2010


This is definitely a strange moment. I am really fighting to gain back a decent state of form, but I seem unable to really comprehend the causes.
I was thinking that two weeks off would sort things out, but it looks like I was wrong. Ok, I have a tweaked finger, but that's not enough. I think that one of the most important aspects is that I really really don't want to be in the gym these days. The feeling of depression I get every time I step in, is hard to describe, but it manages to completely make my psyche disappear, and I have to say that I am well psyched to go and train every day I can. Magically, all this good will vanishes as I open the green door. Maybe it's the presence of kids screaming all around, maybe the fact that there are no new problems, maybe the new volume on the 45° that made my project unclimbable, sitting in the smack middle of the crux move.
Anyway I don't let these minimal reasons hold me back. I just keep going there until I puke.
One other reason I am trying to analyze is my new fingerboard routine, taken from the Beasts. It is hard, maybe too hard for me at the moment, or maybe it just packs in too much volume: the consequence, anyway, is the same, I am unable to climb shit after it. Seeing how the said Beasts do more or less the double than I do, is mindblowing.
It's good to change though, and I am positive that it will pay alot, as soon as I get familiar with it. Probably reducing the number of series and raising the intensity could do for me, after all I don't really need to perform seven series of seven hangs for each type of hold, yesterday my forearms were pumped and swollen for at least another hour after finishing the routine.
One last consideration is about food. I am thinking that I am eating not enough, or not well enough. Maybe an email to a friend of mine who is a specialist in nutrition could be useful.
Then: I finally bought a Beastmaker. I am really excited, to say the least. I am looking forward new sessions, right in the comfort of my home, with my music and perfect, smooth and beasty holds. The idea is to cancel from my mind the thought that I can't hang a hold. Hanging onto pencil lines drawn on the wall is my mid term goal. The long term goal is one arming them lines.
Finally, something climbing related. Despite being pumped silly and tired for the whole session, yesterday I gave a true will power display. After doing a couple of easier problems in horrible style on the 10° wall (I didn't know they could make walls only 10° overhanging), I was pointed at a project on the 45°. On more familiar ground I set off for the flash, and I failed, being unable to swing out left to a very good foothold from two crimps that you hold with your arms crossed. I gave it another go, but this time even the first two moves proved to be too hard for me. Sadness. Before putting in more useless efforts, I wanted to know whether the swing move was doable, so I reached the far away foothold, then using ohter holds tried to get into the cross crimps positions: nearly impossible even from jugs. I was just about to let the shitty project rot in hell when I saw the light, under the form of a huge dyno, with the crimps switched: YYFY, it was doable. Now I only had to do it.
Again this was the hardest bit. I fell twice on the starting moves, exhausted. Then I missed the dyno, then I got the dyno but ripped from the left hand crimp. I kicked the chalkbag and rested. I wanted to get it done, more as a mind effort than a physical one. And I did. I sat under the starting holds, closed my eyes and started thinking to every move, to the millimeter, to every hold, to the sensation of power I wanted to recall from my squeezed muscles. I dispatched it. The first moves went as smooth as a drill in a concrete wall, pure power, then the dyno didn't even feel hard. Just the time to slightly fuck the feet sequence and I was eyeing the final jug, trying to put my body in balance to stick it, but before I was able to compose my rational thoughts, my non conscious mind had already taken over, and I found myself falling on the hold, latching it, swinging out on one arm while letting go a power scream and a horrible swear.
Cristiano smiled and I was happy.
It's all in the mind. And in the muscles.