Sunday, 10 April 2016


With the powers granted by all the fucks that I don't give about what's going on in the climbing world, thereunto enabling me, I hereby officially command that the Board season be considered over, and as a consequence I order that the Summer of S.A.M. commence, where S.A.M. stands for "Singles, Anabolism, Metcon". 
Getting the front two crimp I immediately feel that something's wrong. And I refuse to admit it. I refuse to admit it because I have convinced myself that today I am going to climb one last project before the arrival of Spring and high temps. I mean, higher temps. After one week with up to 26,5° a sudden couple of cloudy, rainy days have given me renewed hope. I've been struck by luck and I must take advantage of the bitch. 
I have slept until late after a very tiring week, I have eaten well and I have done my usual, loyal general warm up routine. Then it's time to awake the fingers. Big slopers, 35°, big rungs back3, big rungs front3, small rungs back3, small rungs front3, small rungs front two crimps, one arm the incut rung. Fingers are ready. Time for some recruitment. A dumbbell complex with low reps, at full speed, is followed by some cleans and some snatches. The speed is there. Time to rest. I am ready. "One shot, one kill." I say to myself as I leave the ground for yet another moment of glory. 
That's why, when I feel the crimp, I refuse to believe my sensations. I start sliding off and I barely make the second move. I crimp the motherfucker out of the hold, cut loose (I mean, seriously, what the fuck? I thought the times of cutting loose were over!) and in disbelief fuck the feet sequence, then, like a hippo rolling in the mud, I try to get the next hold and I'm on the mats. 
Jesusfuckingchrist, this is shit. I am shit. I am a shame for climbing. 
Maybe 21° are still a bit too many for this project, that I've trying for a couple of years now, and for the last 8 weeks... 
I keep my calm, because I know that on this planet there's only one thing that's stronger than my body, and it's my mind. 
I go through all the moves, sometimes sticking them, some others not. 
I rest. 
I feel, with complete sureness, that liquid chalk is a disadvantage in these conditions. It forms too thick a layer on the skin, and that's why I slid off. Temps aside. 
I start again. This time, it's one shot and one kill. Not. But I make it to the third move. Moving in the right direction. Keep moving. I feel strange sensations when moving my feet, time to check the shoes. The soles are dented. Session after session the footholds - despite being slightly rounded - consume the sole in the same exact spot, and after some time a dent appears. And it changes everything. Out comes the file, and as I've done dozens of times, I start filing the dent out, cleaning all the small ridges in the rubber, making everything smooth and level. 
"One shoot, one kill." Bang. I get to the last move of the crux and fall with numb fingers. Excellent. This was my personal best on the problem during the past weeks, with perfect temps. Numb fingers mean switch fan from 3 to 1. Rest. 
Everything goes as programmed, I am a machine. I execute perfectly, not a single hesitation, I am static, strong motherfucker. But the last move is hard. 
Three more times I get to the last hard move, maybe the hardest of the problem. And three more times I don't manage to seal the deal. 
I keep trying until I feel that I have no more chances. The season is over. I set the last move with a different hold, a generous 2 cm finger jug, and I immediately fire the problem as a consolation tick. But the season is over. 
I feel that I've done everything I could, to climb it. But it simply was too hard, at least for the day. Attaboy. Boy done good. 

At the end of the Summer, last year, I decided that I would dedicate myself completely to the Board during the Autumn and Winter. I decided that I wouldn't set any new problem until I'd done all the existing projects. What a great decision it was. The real thing. 
I stuck to my program and went through many projects that I'd set in the past years, and methodically climbed them one by one. I found myself stripping some holds that I had added when the original sequences seemed impossible, and I found myself climbing those problems as I had set them years and years ago, when my imagination was limitless and I didn't care about doing them. It was all about the perspective, all about the future. This future became real, and moves that I had imagined became moves that I was performing. 
And it's all about this. Nothing else. Getting to know that with some time and dedication, I can climb stuff. Nothing else. 

I became particularly bitter and cynical about the "climbing world" as of late. Many of the things that I read seem to me incredibly ridiculous, and I feel surrounded by attention-seeking behaviours of all kinds. Problem is: I know everything. I know when people cheat, I know when people use grades to belittle others, I know hypocrisy and I know envy. 
I would have never imagined it, even few years ago, that one day I would have felt so far away from "mainstream" climbing, and at the same time so happy about my climbing and my attitude. 
The Board. The Beastmaker. The Iron. Just these. So happy.