Mind Games

I’ve had quite a rough start to this year’s season. Shortly before the first competition in March, I felt the strongest I’ve ever had, at least physically. I linked moves that felt impossible only weeks before and reached new personal bests in several exercises. I felt strong and confident. However, I underestimated the mental aspect of it all. Knowing I was in such good shape brought an awful lot of expectations with it. I was very nervous throughout the whole week leading up to the comp and I didn’t get much sleep the night before. The last time I remembered being this anxious was when I first climbed in a semifinal round of a world cup. So it happened that for the first time in years I missed out on finals at a national bouldering competition, not only once but twice. I didn’t make semifinals at the CWIF (Climbing Works International Festival) in Sheffield nor at the first world cup of the season in Meiringen. All of a sudden my mind had just let me down. I had a hard time accepting these failures especially after putting so much effort into training and feeling like I had improved in so many aspects. How could this be my worst season in years?



Foto: Eddie Fowke

At least my performance at the Studio Bloc Masters in Pfungstadt helped me rebuild some of my self confidence, which began to crumble more and more. I really enjoyed climbing on some of the best problems I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying and although I made some mistakes in semis, I’m happy to have walked away with a pretty decent 14th place in a very packed field. Unfortunately that’s when one of my finger pulleys started hurting again. A few weeks later I got a medial epicondylitis of my right elbow on top of it and I kinda drowned in that downward spiral. I felt so incredibly far from where I had been in the beginning of the year. That’s when I decided to take some time off from climbing to let my body recover and get back my motivation. It also gave me time to think and I had to tell myself that it wasn’t all for nothing and the season isn’t just over yet.


Foto: SAC/ davidschweizer.ch

Once more it was climbing outside that brought back my psyche. We spent some beautiful days in Brione over Easter. There’s just so much amazing rock, I never get tired of this place! I finally got to try (and in the end climb) Ballerman (7C), a very cool compression climb down by the river with a little jump in the end, loved it! Besides trying some really fun new climbs, I also made progress on my longterm project Frogger (8A), linking the whole problem except for the first move.

Sadly spring never really came and we went from snow and rain straight to hot and humid summer, so Ticino season is off for now. Even Magic Wood is rather warm right now, but conditions are still pretty good once the sun’s gone. I clearly remember my first time coming to this magical place and being intimidated by all these perfect lines like Blown Away, Höhenrausch, Supernova, Du Côté de Seshuan and of course Unendliche Geschichte. During the years I could tick some of them off my lifelist but until this weekend one of the best lines was still missing – powerful moves on perfect slopers and crimps leading up to an all points off dyno, how could this get any better? Yesterday I was finally able to keep it together, stop punting on the dyno and finish one of my all time favorite problems: Du Côté de Seshuan (7C+).


Foto: David Tomlinson

With my injuries on the mend and Rocklands just around the corner, psyche is incredibly high right now. While trying to balance training and studying, I’m gonna make the most out of the remaining weeks and get as strong as I possibly can!