It's the time of the year in which we tend to look back and do our math.
I was going through a few posts from last year and I bumped into the concept of sowing and then - hopefully - reaping the fruits.
Fact is, if you don't sow you can only reap what Nature gives you, you have no choice. And Nature could also give you nothing. Or very little. And this very little could be reaped by others. So, you'd better sow.
I kept sowing throughout the whole past year, and it's been oh so fun!
I had never thought I could still take such a great pleasure in training. The weights. The Iron. Man, the Iron. It's so good, and it can do so good to you. I'm a bit bored about sharing all the details, about going on for ages on why you should sprint, hip-hinge, jump, snatch, etc. I still read about people training for sportclimbing by swimming, or cycling, and I'm fucking bored. I still read about people trying to lose weight by intermittent fasting, or keto-diets, without thinking for a split second in terms of quality of the weight you lose, of body composition, of relative strength, of fat-loss instead of weight loss, and I'm fucking bored. All the info we need to get smart training, at least under my perspective, that is the perspective of a nearly 44 year old male obsessed with strength, is out there. Feed the wolf that you want to grow stronger.
Anyway, during last year, I not only rediscovered the Iron under new forms, I also found that I could devote myself to The Board even more. After a boiling Summer that I spent doing all the above mentioned, one day I took the decision that I was not going to set any new problems on my board, until I had climbed all the existing projects.
It's been so far a great choice. A foolish choice, but a foolishly right one.
I realized that I had the perfect bouldering right there, at a 5 meters walk from my kitchen.
I had projects that really intrigued me, with idiotic sequences made only to be at the exact limit for that problem. I found myself climbing projects that I had been trying on and off for years and it's been great. It's been stressful, also, like on rock. Hard projecting, or siegeing, is a mental task. To climb one particular problem that I had set more or less three years ago, I had to keep trying just that single problem for four weeks, four sessions a week. If you do the math, it's quite easy to see that, had it been on rock, with me being able to climb outside no more than once a week if I'm lucky, it would have been impossible. Not to mention weather conditions, driving, and so on.
I completely abandoned the idea of being a climber, I fully embraced the idea of being a trainer, and I found that I've never lived climbing so happily.
It could seem trivial, but really dedicating all my time to the board is at the same time an extraordinary relief and stress.
I walk by my board dozens of times every day. It's always there. The projets are always there. It is always dry, and with fans and air conditoning I can make conditions perfect for most of the year. The holds are always grippy. Basically, you can only stick at it, put the hours in, and perform when it's time. At the same time, the only way to climb a new thing is to get better and stronger. You have no excuses. There are no techy escapes, you can't change anything. It's great really. After a couple of specific projects that I climbed with a lot of dedication, I needed to take one week off from climbing, because I was mentally exhausted. Now tell me, who needs rock when you can get stressed in the comfort of your home?
Eventually, right in the middle of this new way of living climbing, I found myself on rock.
Eventually, I also found myself climbing some old projects and opening a few new lines.
Eventually, I had a lot of fun and satisfaction.
The first post of 2015 was about two lives that I had lived and also about a beautiful trip to Cresciano. This first post of 2016 is also about a trip to Cresciano, in the very same days of my last visit one year ago.
I had my sights on two problems, and the magnificence of my failure has been, well... magnificent. I barely tried one being stopped by a move that I judged morpho and reachy, before reminding myself that shorter climbers than me had iced it. Blame the glassy holds and feet...
But when a door is closed, often a window is opened and I saw that window open and got in. Switching from glassy holds and heel-hooks to clean, crimpy holds and feet, I immediately felt that a new love was born.
On the second day of the trip, I behaved well and saved my skin and muscles. I climbed the classic "Un Uomo Un Perché", a beautiful and hard 6a. I rested a lot and then found a nice one move wonder to the right of "Slopey Traverse" called "Dragon Fly Power", 7b. It was a great feeling to find myself on top of a new problem for once.
So we went to the sector where we all had our projects. The athmosphere was great and I was happy and ready. On my third go I climbed "Frankie Minchia" 8a+. And I had and have no words to describe it.
Riding on the wave of this unexpected success, on my last day we went to Chironico where, after a few tries and after saying "There is no way I am going to do this move!" I climbed "Vitruvian Man" without the chipped hold.
Sow. Be patient. Reap.
There you go, a year.
I really think that only by getting rid of rock climbing I can now enjoy rock climbing. I know what I can do with the right time and the right conditions. I know that when I complain about greasy holds and soft skin, it could be an excuse but often it's not. I know that I am just a trainer, a board climber at best, and that I need to be lucky to climb on rock.
In the meanwhile, I started sowing again.