Sunday, 3 July 2011


In the picture, one moment from a recent Palio, with my contrada crushing the race and going for victory.

The comp came and went, and I had great fun. After all, more than a comp it's been a nice chance to climb again with my friends in Siena, on the new wall we all fought hard to obtain, and about which we are very proud and happy.

I climbed relaxed and chilled, did a few of the 18 qualifiers, my hardest tick being something in the 6b range. The girls were competing too, and I spent a good amount of time showing (off) sequences on demand. It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.
Somehow I managed to find myself in the finals, so while everyone else was drinking iced beer (it was 35°), I and the other finalists were green with envy. I spent all the time trying to get some blood flow again in my bulging forearms, then it was time to go. I failed in trying to convince the route setter to do the finals on a fingerboard, therefore I marked a nice zero, with the second problem, a gently overhanging dihedral-chimney, smashing my shoulders and lower back. Anyway I finished 4th on a field of 22 competitors: the fifth had been climbing for six months at the moment of the comp, and the other ones even less. I am great. This brilliant performance pushed me in 296th place in the overall national ranking, over 339 competitors. I really am great.
The following day I was thrashed, my back was stiff, I had a tweaky finger and my right forearm was hurting because in a fall I hit it on a friend's knee. This sadly forced me to cancel the usual roof session at Chiesina. Not good.
I went back to Florence, and I had my recovery week.
I needed it at the end.
Despite my dodgy shoulders and back I put in a strong PE session on the Beast, with my 15x6 routine. Wow, it works. I found myself able to complete more series than before and no need to alternate them with easier ones. Sadly, this session woke my left elbow up, and it was pissed...
With this session I got to my long weekend, originally planned to go and try a certain route, that instead I spent with fellow Fabio between Sasso and Amiata.
In three days I managed to do a good volume, quickly repeating my old problems, up to 7c/+. I failed in doing a harder variation of "I Mulini", the problem I did last year courtesy of Mr. Thomas Mills himself. This variation links the first half of the traverse of "Fame di Stelle" into "I Mulini". I was a bit tired when I got there and being also hot I never got the crimp well enough to propel me to the jug. Got close but no cigar. One to go back to.
So this long weekend of pulling led me to the week that's just passed, in which I only tried to nurse my elbow. I started again doing rotators cuff exercises, because I am sure my shoulder problems after the comp have something to do with the elbow, and the boring forearms curls. I am tempted to subscribe to the gym to move some iron in July and August. The problem is that I am using some supplements as of late and I don't want to look in the mirror in September and find a linebacker instead of a Font 8c+ beast. We will see, IIRC last year the gym did well for my other elbow, so maybe it's an option to fight the urge to climb and train. This urge led me again under the Beast last thursday: with all the attention I am capable of (*cough*), I did a recruitment session with sub maximal hangs, 10 seconds for 6 sets, on good holds: 20°, big rungs, 30°, back2, mid2 (medium), front2 (small), back3 (small rung), front3 (small rung). After that some ice and it's not too bad. Still I am scared to do pull ups, and this is bad.
This weekend saw me chill out in Siena for the Palio, I spent friday drinking whiskey and soda and flirting with girls, and I spent saturday recovering. Today I wanted to climb but a late start and some friends coming home for a visit kept me quiet. Physically at least.
Tomorrow I want to go climbing, despite having no quickdraws I got back my old rope and so it will be fine for toproping in boiling heat.
I found out a crucial tufa broke three years ago on my route, so now it's even harder. This terryfied me, and made me feel guilty for not putting in double daily session every fucking day.
I really would like to do more, to train more, more wisely and more intensely. I really would like to give more.

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