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It’s a long road but it’s worth it

It is how I feel about my relationship with climbing. It can have its ups and downs, but all in all it is just LOVE! It’s spring and I’ve had a hard time behind me. I got injured after having probably the most successful season with reaching almost all my goals for 2016:

  • Climbed my first 8A boulder (In the Middle of the Ass) and another one ’The Hatchling’, both in Rocklands, South Africa.
  • And my first 8A+ boulder ’A Tea with Elmarie’ (Rocklands)
  • And felt a lot more confident on the IFSC competitions, somehow, I started to feel I belong to that family, as I’ve met more and more people during the year.

         

Then I started to feel something annoying in my shoulder. I thought it will go away as fast as it came at the end of August. Unfortunately, it didn’t… first I said, okay then I will not do the things where I can feel it, so I stopped doing pull ups… after that TRX… and at the end even Thera Band exercises… This was the point where I got scared, cause my shoulder hurt even during walking or sleeping. I visited a physiotherapist (AlpinMedix), who was really helpful and sent me to a doctor. It turned out I had tendinitis in the long head of my biceps. I was not allowed to climb for 2 months, and the worst part was that I had to do nothing just taking anti-inflammatory drugs, some ultrasound treatment, taping and waiting. That time really tested my nerves and patience. Visiting the climbing gym and watching climbers having fun when you are not allowed to touch the holds or doing any exercises, that’s cruel! Then it got a lot better when I could start to do the physio exercises. I felt tired, destroyed after the sessions, simply it just felt like training and I loved it. 🙂 I could see some glimpse at the end of a long road. My form before the injury was way too far still. As the weeks passed I got a lot more familiar with my physio exercises.

I just had to be very careful, cause tendinitis use to be really stubborn and it can come back quite easily. Balancing between the efficient amount of load but not too much was nerve-racking! One day my physio said that I can try to make one pull up. Oh man, a single pull up never felt that sweet before! Soon I was allowed to start climbing on vertical walls without any shouldery move. I was happy that I can climb, of course. However, facing that you got so much weaker and your climbing is very limited was annoying and sad.

And the final of the Boulder Bundesliga was coming soon. I was hesitating if I should join it or not. In the end, I took away my fear of failing and decided to go for it. I changed my mind and started to see this event as a good thing. I could test my shoulder, climbed really nicely set interesting problems and a massive amount of fun. Even I got into the big final! I was happy, but during the final I was suffering from lack of skin. I realised how much weaker I got… especially my fingers. It was frustrating! But my shoulder and biceps were working. And that was the point!

 

I decided to start my training in January. Until that I wanted to give my body more time to get back some power, finger strength and the moves without limit. In January after I finished my exam period I decided to visit Café Kraft in Nürnberg. Just to get that extra push and motivation. I spent there a week. I like these one week training camps. I can focus only to myself and my training. Quality time. I climbed, practiced my footwork and stretched a lot. Training is going so much better when you are surrounded by that much positivity and really supportive people who dare to give you a smile and a good cup of coffee. 🙂 Thank you, Café Kraft for being my happy place, my shelter, my home!

During my time in Nürnberg, I visited another gym, Der Steinbock with my friend, Manu. I’ve met Florian there who gave me a crash course about climbing slabs, tricky volume problems and some coordination stuff. It was great to learn from someone who is doing amazing things you are not good at. So, I came home pretty psyched and ready to train hard again.

I almost forgot about my awesome X-mas present from Tibi. 6 days in Barcelona! It was great to escape from the ice age and spend there almost a week in the sunny 10-15 degrees Barcelona. We continued training there, met our friends Cristina and Gerard, and walked endless kilometres in the city. I love Barcelona!

After this little holiday with good training, we decided to go for another weekend full of training at Mandala, in Dresden. Some people from my training group joined us. Mandala is a perfect gym to practice those tricky competition climbing style. All of us had a lot of fun, we lost a lot of skin but we got so psyched. It was nice to see how recharged, happy and motivated my team became. Totally the same effects that I feel after these training days. I really think these training weekends are necessary. It helps to keep up the motivation, the fun and open up your eyes to see on what level the bouldering is. I believe there is an increasing gap between the world’s and Hungarian competition climbing. We can’t hide our heads in the sand. I suggest all the youth to go, experience more abroad, work hard and never give up. I know it is demanding financially, but unfortunately our opportunities are limited in Hungary. This is what I am working on, first to try to stop increasing this gap, then to decrease it.

The first Hungarian Bouldering Cup was in the middle of February. I felt this comp a bit too early as I’ve just started to train in January. However, I thought it is a great possibility to test how my climbing is. And how I deal with a real competition situation mentally. More than 30 girls came. It was a record by the number of starters. I felt that 22 boulders in the qualification a bit too much. I did 20 of them and got into the final on first place. Before the final I was nervous, I felt tired. Luckily, I calmed down on the first problem, then I just gave everything I got. Oh God, how much I enjoyed climbing there. A lot of people were cheering me, even some people from my training group came just to see and support ME during the finals. I flashed 3 out of 4 problems. The feeling of that night was priceless!!! 🙂

 

At the end of February, 4 of us (Tibi, my brother and Zoli) went for a Boulder Bundesliga weekend to Siegen and Gießen. I like the idea of the Bundesliga. You visit gyms you’d probably never, you climb great, special problems, you meet new people every time. I think it is a great training, even if you have to do 2 gyms in one weekend. 😀

We are back at home, everything is normal again, balancing between my university, my trainings and working with my training group. It keeps me quite busy and sometimes I wish I’d have more than 24 hours on a day. However, I think I am on the road. I learnt a lot during the last months. About patience, myself, training (all those tiny muscles too), the importance of smaller, short term goals in order to reach the bigger long term ones and to keep up the motivation. And how important to surround yourself with the right people who motivates you. For example, I was invited for a live interview before the Reel Rock Tour in November with Tamás Zupán, Zupi the strongest boulderer in Hungary. Both of us were so nervous to speak in front of the crowd. In the end, we even enjoyed it. 🙂 That was the beginning of a good thing. We discussed that we should talk more without this big crowd. Since that we are meeting more often, he is really kind and supportive. His positivity also gave me energy to work hard. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing all your hard work pays off. Supporting each other by heart is really important!

So, I’d like to thank everyone who helped me during these hard months! Tibi, my family, my incredible training group, Zupi, my physio, and all my friends! Thank you for being there for me and bringing some ray of light into the darkest days! I know it was not easy sometimes… 😀

 

Love,

Norci