Saturday, 29 October 2011


I decided to think a bit more seriously about my training. Bouldering on my board is fantastic, but there's much more I can do on it, as the video shows.
Despite being in decent form as of late, this system session on underclings and crimps (these second ones not in the video) left my biceps and back seriously worked, a clear sign that bouldering isn't enough.
I got back to teaching climbing classes (it seems like that this "teaching" thing appeals me really - maybe some low self esteem problems?) and it's great. It always shocks me when someone tells me "You made it looks easy" because they seem to forget (or they just don't know) that I've been climbing and training for almost nineteen years now, so I don't know what to say.
Rest today, rock and roll tomorrow.
Here's the vid.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


Under the grey sky, a man and a woman were sitting on the church stairs, holding each other tight, hand in hand, gently kissing.
They seemed not to care about the wind that was blowing a light rain right against them, or more probably they simply did not notice it, as they probably did not notice that every passer by in the small, ancient square, stopped or slightly slowed his pace down, to have a look at them; because there, in that square and in that moment, they were the image of love and romanticism.
The way the man was rubbing her cold hands, and the kisses she was giving on his right cheek, pictured a happy couple in love, all tenderness, far from every vulgarity.
They were sharing their last moments together.
In a matter of minutes, that very afternoon, they were going to bid farewell.
This separeted them even more from everyone else in the square, in the ancient town and in the vast world: they were feeling as the last survivors, deprived of all hope.
"How are you?" asked the man, moving her hair from her face and discovering her eyes.
"I'm fine, I'm fine. And how are you?"
"I'm sad. I'm very sad. I did not want this to happen. It wasn't my intention."
"Oh, so we can be sincere now? - a quick smile crossed her face, colliding with her expression - So, no, I'm not fine. I don't deserve this. Not again."
His heart sank.
"I am sorry - he tried to say - I didn't want to hurt you. I didn't want to play with you."
"You started it all. Why?"
"I was trying to be happy. I always wanted something to happen between us, only, I didn't expect it to be so out of my control."
He paused, and they became silent for a while. She put her head on his right shoulder, pulling the coat neck tight under her chin, it was very cold, then she put her frozen hands between his thighs, so naturally that it was impossible to consider it sexual or even less, gross. They were perfect.
Three days before, when everything had just begun, the sun shone on their first, innocent date. To be honest, it was innocent only for one of them. The small restaurant remained empty, after the last customer paid and went out in the early afternoon, while they, again unaware of anything else but them, kept talking as if they'd been friends for ages, but at the same time discovering each other as two complete strangers. The owner let them alone. Life was still beautiful when the first sign of the close future made its appearence under the form of a simple, plain, honest question.
"Do you live on your own or with someone?" she asked.
"On my own." he quickly replied.
The sun kept shining, but worriedly now.
Now, under the rain, worry was all that was left.
The square was becoming crowded, despite the bad weather; kids were going to come out of the nearby kindergarten in a few minutes, and parents gathered around the entrance with umbrellas and hats. No one had imagined, that morning, that it would have rained; no one but him. He knew it was going to rain, he always checks the weather forecast.
They still were in the same position, hugging. Not a single person managed to pass in front of them without observing what they were showing. Showing.
A man simply stopped to watch them for a few seconds, shamelessly, but then he smiled. An old couple seemed to have a judging look, but when they passed the old man put his arm around his wife's shoulder.
Then the children came out, yells all around. The man and the woman turned towards the noise and all they could see was a sea of colours, chaotically moving everywhere: red, yellow, brown, black, white, under the forms of jackets, raincoats, light hair, dark hair, eyes, faces. Colours, colours everywhere, moving and screaming. Screaming colours. This time it was their time to look and smile, and they became even more perfect.
The parents started taking the kids home, some by car, some by bike, some by foot. One kid was running on the edge of the church stairs, closely followed by his younger brother; as soon as he noticed the couple, he ran towards them and looking at them directly in the eyes, he asked the man: "What's your name?". In the meanwhile, his mother called him, telling not to disturb. "My name is Francesco." the man replied. "And what's your second name?" "Luca! - the mother yelled - do not disturb them!" "My second name is Lorenzi." "And what's your name?" the kid asked to the woman. "Luca! Stop it". "My name is Veronica." "And your second name?" "Bassi." and she laughed. "My name is Luca Doretti." the kid said. "And my name is Andrea Do-ret-ti." spelled the younger brother. "He is my brother." "And what are you doing here?" he managed to ask, just before his mother took his hand and pulled him away. "Let them, do not disturb! I'm sorry guys, he's shameless!".
"There's no problem, really!" they both said. "Ciao."
Then they remained alone.
"That's an interesting question the boy made. What are we doing here?" she asked.
"I am trying to be happy. As happy as I can, for as long I can, with you."
She did not bear his direct stare, and bent her head down on her knees, her black hair covering her face.
He thought about the previous days.
Despite the initial lie, he didn't manage to keep it to himself, and on their next date he told her everything: he was in a relationship he did not like anymore, yet he didn't know what to do. He knew there was still something between him and his girlfriend, but he feared it was something more like a brother like love, than a consuming passion and desire, as in the first years.
He was desperately searching for some feelings, he was trying to find the prove that he wasn't dead inside. He needed to be happy again, and now he had her, to try to.

He was feeling trapped, and the worst thing was that his indecision was hindering his happiness now, the happiness he knew he could live with her, even there, on those stairs, under that rain.
After the shock, she did not run away. She simply said "So it's over". And then she kissed and hugged him. Then they kissed again and again and they both understood that nothing was over, that nothing could ever be over untill they would have been free to live they happiness together completely.
Above all, he was thinking about the day before, when they met to say goodbye, and they ended up in a nice bar, on a sofa, drinking red wine and staying very close. They'd been talking about their situation for hours, she knew she had to run away from him because she was very fragile in that moment, and he knew he had started something that had escaped his control, and also he had lied to her in the beginning. Still, he didn't manage to keep his lie.
They were calm and sad, and they had agreed not to meet anymore.
They went to the bar to warm up a little bit, they relaxed, and they started a new conversation, not about their problems, but about their lives, cinema, art, music.
All of a sudden everything else disappeared. Homes, relationships, everything vanished in front of their current happiness. They forgot their promise and they kissed again.
Then she brought her legs on the sofa, she put her head on his shoulder, and quietly fell asleep for a few minutes in the bar, hugging him. He caressed her back and not a single thing in the world was wrong. They were the world and they were beautiful and right.
Today, they were almost in the same position, but under a cold windy rain.
Incredibly enough, he still felt they were the world, and they still were beautiful and right.
"You moved something in me, that I thought I had lost." she said. "I'm sorry, I can't stop thinking about you. I can't stop thinking that once we'd say goodbye, you'll get back home and you won't be alone."
"You're right. I won't be alone, but I'll feel alone".
"I will try to forget you if you ask me to."
"I don't know anything anymore. I only know that I feel good and happy with you. The moments we've shared are my belongings now. I will never lose them."
"I don't know if I can forget you."
"I don't want to forget you."
"I would like to just be free to live our story. I don't care for how long, and I don't care about how it could go. I only want to be free to live you."
"I'm sorry - he said - it's my fault. I haven't been fair. I knew I was in a relationship when I first called you. But that seemed right at the moment, and I always wanted something to happen between us. I really really like you."
"Don't say you're sorry. You only lied to me for one afternoon. The following day I knew everything and it did not stop me to call you again and to look for you again."
Now it was almost dark, and the street lights started giving everything an orange tone.
"There's no place for me." she said.
In that moment, he felt as if he'd remained the last man on Earth. He felt all the burden of his behaviour, and he asked himself whether he'd only searched some ego gratification, at her expense. "This is the price to pay for me - he thought - and I'll never be able to fully pay it."
"Let's go away. Go away." she said.
They stood up, trying to loosen their frozen bodies, but still hugging tight.
"Can you belive - she reflected loudly - that we are in this mess, and we've been togheter for only four afternoons? And we didn' even make love! We really didn't do anything wrong!"
"We didn't do anything wrong, no. We had a happy time together, didn't we? I was thinking that it's all or nothing now. I want to stay with you completely and free from everything else, or not at all. I don't want anymore to turn my phone off, for fear of an undesired call from home."
"All or nothing. That's the same for me. Sadly for me it's nothing, as it seems."
He wanted to cry, so he hugged her even tighter.
Then they went down the stairs towards their bikes.
"Isn't this romantic? We meet at the bikes racks!"
She smiled, with her broad smile and her dark eyes. Her light skin, her red lips and her black hair created a contrast so beautiful that she seemed to be constantly changing. Transforming from beauty to a different beauty.
Time seemed to slow down.
Words lacked.
"So..." she said, looking down.
"So..." he said.
Their last hug lasted an eternity and an instant at the same time.
With wet eyes they finally detached: first their heads, then their bodies, then finally their hands.
"So, what's our place in the bigger picture? What's our meaning in the world's history?" she asked.
"Tough one - he paused. Then he asked - have you seen how everyone looked at us?"
"Yes, they seemed nice to us, they seemed to like us."
"That's our place in the bigger picture. That's our meaning. We've been here in these days to make people believe that true love exists."
"Is ours a true love now?" she laughed, maybe a bit bitterly.
"It doesn't matter. But people look at us, and see a true love."
"And that's enough." she ended.
She offered her hand to him. He took it and caressed it. They looked deeply into each other's eyes.
"Ciao Francesco".
"Ciao Ve."
Then they went, and never turned back.

7:13 AM

I really really like to train in the morning. That's something that I'd never thought possible.
As the pics show, skin is a little bit of an issue as of late, that caused me some hard times on rock, but nothing special.
This should have been my second week of complete rest, but I didn't even do the first one. I did a session on the board yesterday, finally managing, on my 7th session on it, to climb my project IN TWO HALVES. Success is closer. I hope it's hard, because it's giving me a hell of a time.
I did a couple of easy morning sessions on the Beast, getting back into it as gently as possible, still trying to keep my right ring finger quiet: I found out that it's safer to push it on the fingerboard than on the wall, on which you can't control how you'll catch a hold on a hard move, and that's dangerous.
The overall feeling is OK, and I managed to set a personal best on the back2 pockets, with some nice 32 seconds.
Beastmaker and home board. Is it the formula for greatness?

Wednesday, 19 October 2011


In the pic, some bleedin' bivi ledges.

I came out from these two weeks of holidays with a nice feeling of success, but also seriously worked. My last session on the wall, while providing still failure on the plastic project, left me with a very painful right ring finger.
I managed to gently (cough!) climb on it on Saturday, then I followed my previous plan of taking two weeks off, something that my entire body seemed to need.
Unfortunately, my mind needs fun, and as you all know "climbing is fun". So until now I rested but am planning to have a very gentle, introductory Beastmaker session tomorrow.
Meanwhile, I carved some nice (in my opinion) holds to spice up the wall, and provide some crimps that load the fingers evenly, a crucial requisite to keep injuries at bay. I also made a lot of small footholds: they don't make the handholds any smaller, but they make them harder to hang and the problems obviously harder.
The plan is to rest, get gently into training, then start training again in one or two weeks, eyes firmly planted on the prizes.

Thursday, 13 October 2011


I came back from Swzzy with a mixture of disappointment and fullfillment. A strange way to feel, for sure. Then I found out, in retrospective, that probably I've had a rather successful trip.
After a day off, I went to my project and hiked it to the last move, twice. I climbed as I had never climbed before, I felt like a beast, calm, relaxed, precise.
So I'm thinking a lot, in these days, about time.
Years ago, the future was represented by the first half of the roof line. And that future one day became reality, a reality named "Il Primo dei Moicani". So the line of the horizon shifted further, and another future, this one barely visible, or maybe just imaginable, came along.
One other day in March, with grey clouds hovering, my girlfriend spotting, and the first warm breeze of spring getting closer, I made that future a reality. Again.
So, things settled down for a while, while I imagined other possible futures. Meanwhile, what had previously been a PB became routine: it was time to move on.
When I first started trying the project I was barely able to link two moves in a row. Then I got the first section and got to the crux completely wasted. Then I stuck the move once, then twice, still being unable to move from that.
Now I can get the move, I can cruise further, and I feel strong.
This is the present, not the future.
I don't remember exactly what I did this past summer, but whatever I did, it worked.
In this process of constantly turning future into present, dream into reality, I found myself with something really unexpected: I had never, never imagined that one day, close to my 40s, I would have found myself under my home board, with my friend Andrea, pulling holds as hard as we can, after all these years still psyched, no that's wrong: much more psyched than ever.
It's like turning young again.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


Some video stills from the latest trips to the project. Analyze. Repeat. Get perfect.

Friday, 7 October 2011


In the pics, some moments of rediscovered joy in the storm of my emotions.

The enemy is insensitiveness.
There I was, in Chironico, seemengly unaffected. I could not understand, at moments, whether I really wanted to be there or not, and I had been waiting for these two weeks off for ages. Why? The excuses I gave myself were many: temps in the high 30° being the first one.
But there's much more. There's what Stu blogs about here, there's the grade chase, and there's my enormous ego, which teamed to a baby, naive mind, generate monsters: one monster, me.
The idea was to go to Swizzy for two weeks to climb an 8b. I had a few ones marked and I wanted to take my time to find the best suited for me.
But then again, something was deeply wrong with me: being there all alone, with boiling temps simply was too much to bear, and I sheltered myself in insensitiveness, acting as if the place was packed with psyched climbers and conditions were pristine.
As you can imagine, the clash between mind and reality has only one possible winner.
At moments I really felt it's time to quit. I'm tired. I feel lonely and I am lonely. I can't bear anymore to be climbing on my own all the time, unable to soak other people's energy and happiness. It's not worth it, if I go to Swizzy and I don't want to be there.
Then something changed. I don't know what. Maybe finally toping out on a problem that had spit me off in previous visits. Maybe finally finding again the joy in the simple fact of being there, doing what I love, in the chase rather than the catch. Because if it's true that not every chase ends with a catch, it's also true that every catch has a chase before. Enjoy the battle.
I really don't know. I really don't understand. The only thing I'm sure of, is that I need others as I need air, and I need emotions in everything that I do. I have to desire a problem to climb it, I can't simply climb it because it's dry or in the shade: I have to somehow see it and get an instant crush for it. Maybe it's going to be a one night stand, or a love story, or a disaster, but emotions have to be in the game. Otherwise it's not a game worth playing.