Saturday, 1 May 2010


So far, 2010 has been rather disappointing in terms of climbing achievements. It's not that I haven't climbed shit, but for sure I haven't climbed as much and as hard as I had figured before. That's the difference between desires and reality. As you may or may not remember, 2009 ended with a bang, when I went to Cresciano and did "Frank's Wild Years", a problem I fell in love with many years ago, during my first trip to the place with my friend Eric. That ascent is one of my career highlights, because it was fast and solid, I tried it for half an hour the first day, then did it first go on the second day; but also because it's been a dream come true, and doing that problem pushed me back in the past to that trip with Eric, when everything was different, in my life, in my climbing, and connected me again with those days and those memories, bringing them closer to the present, making me able to relive them, in this send. This year has been different. I took a few days off after Cresciano, then went back to training for Font. I had many projects and I was sure I was going to be strong. Unluckily, I immediately started with the wrong foot, being forced to suspend the training for a couple of weeks for a physical problem, but I kept my mind together, I kept thinking that those two weeks weren't going to be crucial in years of training, and I was right. Font, on the other hand, proved itself to be shy of success for me: I was actually in good shape, at least physically. The fact that my girlfriend didn't come with me, as it was supposed to be, left me a bit on the down side, but luckily friend Filo took her place and helped me alot. Snow, rain, damp boulders were what the forest had prepared for us, and despite climbing to exhaustion every day, I was unable to try even just one of my many projects. So it was back to Italy, with a fairly depressed mood and a tired body. One day, I felt my middle right finger a bit stiff and swollen, but I didn't care too much about it. Well, since then, two months ago, it's gotten worse due to my continuous training, hindering my climbing alot and generally being a pain in the ass. Despite this, I had a few good climbing days especially at Amiata, where I repeated a few old problems in good style, and put up a few new ones, the best being for sure "Petting" a nasty traverse with a cool sequence. I was hoping it to be very hard, but unluckily I think it's not.
Spring came. High temps caused low psyche in the gym. I kept training in no specific way, just bouldering as hard as I could, and after a few weeks I started feeling better again, but still with an injured finger. I needed something to push me forward, to give me new psyche, and when I pictured myself trying to train in the summer months, with temps in the gym in the high 30's, 80% humidity, the solution appeared in the form of a "Beastmaker 2000" fingerboard. In the previous weeks I had already gone back to fingerboarding, this time using the beasts' advices, and got good feelings from that, despite clearly having to tune it down to my needs. I was overdoing it a bit, but I could feel it was good. Then, just from nowhere, a sting in my right elbow. I thought it was going to disappear with a couple of days off, and it did, but it kept coming back after every bouldering session. And it's still here. It only allowed me one single Beastmaker session. A great session, to be honest.
So, these are the facts. The boring facts, you want to add. Yes, as boring as I am bored. I am absolutely pissed off by my injuries, and I know that I should have addressed them earlier, but fuck off, I want to train and get strong, not sit on the sofa massaging my elbows. Clearly this hardman way of thinking doesn't pay off that much, and now I am sitting on the sofa, massaging an even worse elbow.
"Think long term" is what I tell me. The summer is long and I won't get much climbing, especially because of work. A few weekends in the Dolomites, that's what I long for, but they are still far away. So I am trying to recover my finger and elbow, and in this dark moment, the light came in the form of a polished bit of limestone in the British climbing mecca that Raven's Tor is. This hold represents an entire world for me, a world of training, dedication, myth and modesty. It gave me new energy to keep going to the gym, it allows me to rest my right arm, and it's a long term goal of mine, sitting perfectly in another long term plan, that is taking one month off during next fall to be spent in UK.
I don't care if I will take this month off (oh fucking hell I do care!), and I don't care if I will one arm that hold (oh fucking hell I will!). As long as it helps me keeping my psyche up during an injury, anything goes.


Richie Crouch said...

I hope to see you in the Autumn down at the Tor on Malc's one armer, carrying a weightbelt and with a big grin on your face! ;)

lore said...

thank you. i will do my best to demonstrate that i deserve your and tom's trust. sometimes, anyway, i think to how hard it must be, and i shiver in terror...
ps i just read in your blog you crushed font, so maybe you are the one to crush malc's one armer!!! good job hombre.