Dealing with Jetlag, Disappointment and Injury

Shortly after the Blocmaster competition in Pfungstadt, my coach asked me if I’d be psyched to compete in the worldcups in Asia. This came as quite a suprise to me and although I felt in good shape I was a bit hesitant at first. If I’d travel all the way to Japan and China I wanted to be sure I can do well. Unfortunately I was feeling a familiar pain in my finger lately which kept holding me back from trying my hardest and I had no idea if it’d go away in the remaining few weeks. With the Swiss Championships coming up, I decided to take it as an opportunity to test my finger. Qualifiers went quite well until I crimped too hard on one of my last attempts. A searing pain went through my finger and I was barely able to close my fist without pain. Luckily most of the final problems didn’t require a lot of finger strength and I could still secure a place on the podium by topping out the slab and the dyno problem. Foto: SAC/ davidschweizer.ch


Trying any treatment I could think of, my finger at least got a little better the following week and I was quite certain it was just my pully being inflammted once again. That’s when I finally made the deciscion to go to Asia. Partly because I reminded myself that I climbed one of my best competitions last year in Munich having a finger injury and even when you’re feeling great a lot of things can go wrong, so why not take my chances? To take my mind off all the competitions, I spent a few nice days out in Ticino getting back on old projects and trying some new things, there’s still so much to do!

Foto: David Tomlinson

I realized how much I missed climbing outside but at the same time I really enjoy competing and I couldn’t wait for the worldcup season to start. The first worldcup in Meiringen was a success for the organizers, sadly not so much for me. The boulders were lots of fun and none of the holds were bad on my finger, yet somehow I just didn’t get into it. I wasted too many tries or failed to find the right beta within those five minutes, which put me in the back of a quite strong field of climbers. Foto: SAC/ davidschweizer.ch

This made me leave for Japan already with mixed feelings, nonetheless psyched to climb and hoping I’d do better next time. However, I had underestimated how exhausting all the traveling would be and my body couldn’t handle the jetlag very well. I didn’t climb too bad and I knew what I was supposed to do, I was simply to tired to finish the boulders and fell on the last move on three of the probelms. Foto: Eddie Fowke

It was extremly frustrating and I had some trouble staying psyched, starting to doubt myself and my abilities. The first training session in Tokyo even enhanced those doubts, still feeling very tired and slow. Thankfully the next session went a lot better. Climbing with all the other athletes at Base Camp was really fun and made me feel positive again. So on we went to Chongqing, a chinese city about the size of Austria with nearly 30 million inhabitants, also known as one of the hottest and most humid cities in China (as we would come to know in a rather unpleasant way). From what everybody told me, my expectations for China were pretty low and I was pleased to find it better than expected. Our hotel was quite nice, the people were friendly and once you got them to understand your order, the food wasn’t too bad either. With the competition coming closer, temperatures started rising and by the time I was out to climb, the wall was fully in the sun. The heat was brutal and it was with burning feet and a bright red face that I finished qualifiers, not getting a single top. I was disappointed once again but mostly just really glad to get out of the sun. Maybe coming here hasn’t been the best decision after all, maybe I just wasn’t ready but despite everything, it was a good experience and I definitely learned a lot on this trip. It’s great to be part of the circuit and I enjoyed meeting new people every day. There’s still a lot I need to work on, mostly being more efficient about my climbing and as always, improving my finger strength. I might also need to rebuild my confidence, it got quite a bit shattered these past two weeks to be honest. My finger is still bothering me but I feel like it’s on the mend, let’s hope for the best! Right now, I’m incredibly happy to be back home and as much as I love to see new places, it also makes me realize how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place like Switzerland. I really missed the good cheese and of course the chocolate ;)

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