HRR, ABS and More

A few things have happened in the last weeks that are pretty cool in the climbing world. The season is getting closer and closer and I’ve already started planning a few of my trips. I also convinced Mathilde Becerra to blog more this season which I’ll touch on.

This past weekend was the ABS Nationals and another big congratulation goes out to Alex Puccio and Daniel Woods for taking the top podium finish at the event. Being on European time, I had the opportunity to watch the semi-finals live stream and those two looked to be on their game for sure. I didn’t build up enough courage to wake up at 4am to watch the stream of the finals but when I woke up the next morning and checked the result, I wasn’t surprised.

The week before ABS was also the Hueco Rock Rodeo. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, it’s hosted in Hueco Tanks and is pretty much like an outdoor competition. There is a list of problems that the athletes can try and they take your top 6 problems. I had the privilege of going last year and after having one of the best climbing days in Hueco (El Chupacabra Right V11, Full Monty V12, Flamignon V13, Rumble in the Jungle V12, Nagual V13 (Flash), Subzero V11) I still only managed to come 3rd place. Video of my day HERE. Don’t get me wrong, I was super happy with my day and even more impressed by Jorg Verhoeven and Daniel Woods that had even BETTER days than mine! It brought a smile across my face and made me so happy for them. I was also climbing with Jorg for most of the day, so it came by no surprise. It was also Jorg who gave me the hand by hand, foot by foot beta that resulted in my flash of Nagual V13 later that day.

I specifically decided not to go to the rodeo or ABS this year with the single goal to continue my training in France. When I left for a month last year, ABS wasn’t great for me; the rodeo was amazing and then staying in Hueco just tired me out. At ABS last year, I was the only competitor who did all 4 semifinal boulders that DIDN’T make finals… it was a heart breaker, came down to the number of tries evidently but it was still hard for me to finish in 7th after completing all the problems. I wrote a recap of the competition HERE.

I mentioned that I convinced Mathilde Becerra to start blogging and I know it will help especially the female climbers. Mathilde is my training partner here in Toulouse who is also a member of the French National Lead team. She’s had only a few years developing her climbing skills through the World Cup circuit with her best result being a 10th place in Atlanta last year. She was only half a move away from making finals. As I’m training with her constantly, I can see how physically strong she is and I know she is just on the bubble of making her first World Cup finals. At the end of the day, it doesn’t only come down to strength but also the mental aspect and how much you believe in yourself. I think her posts could help climbers, especially women through their training workouts. Although she writes in French, I help her run her website and have installed a Google Translate bar on the right side. If you want her to tempt writing in English, go tell her herself!

As for this year, I was looking at my 2013 competition season, and it is packed! I know I went over my season over a month ago, but now that all the competitions have actually fallen into place and I’ve started planning my trips, I realize this is going to be another year of plenty. My season will start in Millau France with the Bouldering world cup on April 5-6. It will finish with the Lead world cup in Kranj Slovenia on November 16-17. In between all of that, I’ll make 2 trips to Asia, 2 trips to North America, 1 to Russia and spend the rest of the season traveling, training and competing around Europe! I’ve also applied to be an Assistant Coach of the Jr. Canadian National Team which would add another trip to North America for the Youth World Championships in Victoria in August. It would be very special to coach there because it’s the first world level lead competition in Canada and it’s just beside my home in Vancouver!

Last year, I packed a few too many competitions in a row which led to my ultimate sickness at the last world cup. I’ve learned from my mistakes and I will remember that throughout the season. I’m also really psyched to start the bouldering season. I know it’s still over a month away, but I feel like I’m continuing to get stronger every time I’m at the gym and it’s still over a month until I have to be at 100%. I’m also anticipating that in the last week or two before my first world cup, I’ll ramp down my training and focus on mental training until it arrives.

Next week I’m also heading to Shanghai for the IFSC Plenary Assembly. It’ll be my first meeting of this magnitude but I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the questions that will come my way concerning athlete’s positions, focus and overall thoughts with specific rules, events and the 2012 and upcoming 2013 seasons.

Next week, just before I leave I’ll be writing up a post on a few really cool concepts brought forth by HRT Handholds. I had the opportunity to see them in person and I thought they were super cool. I’m also going to be getting one of the ideas first hand to train on. I’m keeping it as vague as possible as to not spoil the post, but I’ll also be creating my next training movie with one of the ideas and I’m working around some ideas for that as well. The movie will take a while to plan, film and put together but the earlier I start, the earlier I’ll be able to publish!

If you have any questions about my upcoming season, feel free to ask here or on the “ask” section of my website by clicking HERE.

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