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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

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Eyes on the prize

When I started my new training schedule in November with a new coach, Davi June seemed really far. But here we go, it’s June! During these months I tried to focus on my one and only goal, Rocklands and train for it as hard as I can. I have to tell you it wasn’t as easy as it seems.

In the beginning I was really excited and happy that I have a good plan. I started to see how fast my finger strength and my general performance improved.

Even there was a month when I had to do a lot of physical and mental exercises (like visualization) but not really climbing. That was a really hard month mentally. In February I started to feel that my body is very tired. I got some tendon injury in my palm, it hurt a bit but I continued climbing and training with a big awareness. I changed my grip position and I couldn’t feel the pain in my palm. But cause of this unusual grip position I got climber’s elbow (~golfer’s elbow). I taped it and it was good. I continued training and climbing but really carefully. If I felt the move is not good I didn’t force it.

This time my motivation was down. I was worried that I can get even more injured. I was sad and disappointed. Maybe I am not able to train hard… I felt I really need something to move on and see the light in the end of the tunnel.

In March my brothers, Zoli, Tibi and I went to an outdoor adventure, to boulder a week in Chironico and Cresciano. I had no real expectations since I had injuries. I was surprised but really happy to see that my fingers are much stronger. I had a great time there with a good company. Even on the last day I could send Komilator (7C+), which one I couldn’t do last year. It gave me back the hope that I am in a good direction.

In April I made a quick decision to take part in the first stage of the Bouldering World Cup Cirquit in Meiringen. You know, these big events always has a very special feeling. Surprisingly, this time I felt much more belonging there, competing with the strongest and best athletes in the world. It was a great experience to finally not feeling like a stranger. In the past I had problems with my confidence but in Meiringen I had real fun during the hard qualification. I was still unexperienced but brave enough to make the first step out of my comfort zone on a big event. Probably the friendly athmosphere in Meiringen helped me a lot. I felt that it was a big achevement. Progress! 😊

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In the end of the month I had a trip to Siurana, Spain. Yes I climbed with rope for the first time of the year… There was a photoshoot with 3rd Rock for the next spring/summer’s collection. I’ve never met the 3rd Rock team before but I had a strong feeling that they must be really good people. They were really over of my imagination. We had a great time together.  Despite I am a boulderer I still had fun on long routes. One day we went to Margalef, it was amazing with all the pockets. Even I got injured there on my big toe (thanks Jerome for handling the situation 😊), I loved that place and really thinking to go back to Margalef once again. I just can’t wait the next trip with you, guys!

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After this I spent 5 days in Barcelona, mostly with Cristina and Gerard. Also Tibi came for the weekend. The city is beautiful and amazing with all the narrow streets, small shops, tapas bars and probably the best ice cream in my life. However, it seems like a holiday I trained hard with Gerard and other strong local guys. Gerard’s training was totally different and new for me. His strategy was to keep saying there is just uno más exercise, but that exercise took 1 more hour. I was so exhausted that I barely could eat with forks and knives but I was happy. One day we visited the Sharma Climbing gym all together, even Jessica, Guy and the cutest baby, Oren came. All in all, Barcelona was stunning. Huge thanks to Cristina, Gerard and the 3 cats who made it more special!

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When I was back I felt great, full of motivation. I continued the hard trainings and everything went well. I felt in a good shape and good mind.

In the end of May I planned to go to Café Kraft and focus on more training. Unfortunately before the trip I got ill. However I wanted to go to Nürnberg. So after a challanging night train journey with refugies and a massive almost 2 hours delay, I arrived to Café Kraft. I spent there a week and got back in shape quite fast. The 45er Magnum set by Alex Megos was great! If you want to get strong it is perfect for body tension and also for finger strenght. And you can always find there some company, new young titans or even Patrick, one of the Gimme Kraft coaches. Different people, but the goal is the same… To get more KRAFT. And these guys are psyched which is quite sticky. Last evening the staff of Café Kraft had a Bbq, they also invited me. It was a great last evening for me! Thank you Café Kraft, Hannes, Pino, Reto and everybody there for making it possible! And special thanks to Kai and Marc for everything! See all of you next time.

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So this is how my journey was till June. Now I am sitting at home, packing and trying to not forget anything home. It is so unreal that we are going to Rocklands today. I am really excited. I think I did almost everything I could, even some diet. I feel ready and definitely stronger than last year. Rocklands here we come! 😊

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New wind, new start, new goals

‘I don’t know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream.’ (Vincent Van Gogh)

 

A few weeks ago, I had a rest week, I did other sports, like squash; and it was so different to watch a competition and not take part in it.

I had a long season and I feel that I really needed this week to recharge after a lot of training, climbing and unfortunately I also had some not so serious, but more frustrating injuries during the year.

In the summer I went to Rocklands, South Africa, with my boyfriend Tibi and Zoli. We spent there 3 and a half amazing weeks. I’ve met great people, new places. It was so peaceful, with beautiful sunsets, and really dark nights with the Milky Way. We stayed at the campsite, close to the nature. We climbed a lot, and on the rest days we tried to discover some other places. For example, we hiked up to the Table Mountain, visited Cape Point, checked some penguins at the Boulders Beach, saw some baboons. I’ve never felt this freedom before. It was really sad to come home, and definitely 3 and a half weeks are not enough for Rocklands. I had a big challenge during almost the all trip. I injured my left knee, and due to this injury I couldn’t make a heel hook with it. First, I was sad, but then it became more like a challenge, how to solve problems without my favourite heel hooks. My right toe hook technic developed a lot. 🙂 It was a kind of fun.

The boulders I’ve sent:

  • Macho King 7C+
  • Caroline 7C+
  • An Amal Roof 7C
  • Black Spider 7C (flash)
  • Un petit Hueco dans Rocklands 7B+ (f)
  • The Rhino 7B+ (2nd)
  • Panic Room Direct 7B (f)
  • The Potato Problem 7B (f)
  • Lolita 7B (f)
  • Question of Balance 7B (2nd)

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Then I had a national boulder cup, and after it, I went to Café Kraft to get more Kraft. 🙂 8 days of training camp. I had a nice time, it was too hot there, but the gym is air-conditioned, so I could train a lot and swim at the beach to cool down a bit. On a sunny Saturday, I had an amazing and really motivating training partner, Mayan Smith-Gobat. Here is a video of our training:

And the top of everything, I became a member of The Café Kraft Team. It is a huge honor. It was awesome to have Café Kraft as a home.

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I took part in the World Cup in Munich. I felt much stronger than last year, but still unexperienced on big events.

I went to Magic Wood in the end of August with Tibi, my brother András and Zoli. The rain was really frustrating and unfortunately I injured my right index finger, and I couldn’t crimp this small crimp of Down Under anymore. I was disappointed and angry. But we met 2 great guys from Brazil, Davi and Linha. 🙂

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During the autumn I visited the Café Kraft 2 times. The 2nd time I had a training camp again. I had the chance to touch some rock at  Bärenschlucht with Dicki. I haven’t climbed with a harness on for a really long time. I got pumped, but so pumped.. I tried to train as much as I could, and I had a great training partner, Davi. Training partners are so important, you can motivate each other during the hard days, when you feel really tired and not too happy about the hangboard day. One day, I was totally tired, but Hannes came and spoke about his projects for the next year. He was super happy and positive. His motivation just sticked on me and I woke up, and did a killer hangboard with Davi. This is how it works at Café Kraft, in the heart of the Frankenjura. Thanks again for everything, and for the place to stay, Hotel Frankenjura! 🙂

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This year I won the Hungarian National Boulder Championship again.

I took part in the 10th Autopolis Vertigo Open in Bratislava, and became 3rd. I was horrible in the qualis (I couldn’t sleep the night before and had some stomach problems), but I really enjoyed the final problems.

After all of these, I decided to have to take a week rest, before starting my new training plan.

Now, I am training hard, I think harder than ever before since almost 3 weeks (it has a 4 week periodisation). I have 5 trainings a week, I feel totally tired at the moment, lack of skin (Monkey Fist addict). Sometimes I feel so broken in the morning, but I know that I have my goal, I am committed to it. And of course, I am really interested in the result. The sweat, the time, the devotion. It pays off. 😉

Thanks to my sponsors, 3rd Rock, Boreal, Café Kraft and Monkey Fist for all the support this year! And also to my family, Tibi and my friend, Davi!

 

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Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.

(Theodore Roosevelt)

It has been a long time, since I didn’t write here. However, the life didn’t stop. Now, it’s 2015. I feel much stronger than a year ago. Physically and mentally too. For me 2014 was the year of changes. After the last Hungarian boulder cup in October, I felt totally tired of competing. I was disappointed in the Hungarian competition system, despite I won the National Boulder Championship. With this sweet sour taste in my mouth, I decided to not take part in lead comps, just focus on training. I felt broken, needed to take some time and I wanted to come back stronger. During the last months training became my shelter. I found a nice, motivated team to work with. It is fun together, even on the hardest training days as we help each other. And it’s highly motivating to see the other’s performance from my group. Zoli ran a half-marathon even on the coldest day, with this he kicked my ass to go out and run if it’s cold or not. It works!

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We went to the Café Kraft in the end of October, for a long weekend. I missed everybody from there a lot. I was so happy to hug Dicki, Alex and my friends once again. I met Ben Rueck, I heard a lot about him. It was fun to climb with him a red problem. So friendly! I am always sad when I leave a place where I found happiness, and I still don’t know when I can go back. Hopefully soon!

I had a great semester at the uni. I did all my exams. And the practice at the psychiatric department was great with my Nigerian girls. It is such a nice feeling to hear when a suicide patient thanks you to bring some cheer and smile into their lieves. Helping people in need is awesome!

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If you remember I had a bet with Charlie, who will make one arm pull up earlier. I won it two days before it turned to 2015. I wasn’t train for it, I just tried how it is. I was in the end of my training plan and I did something I’ve never done before. Good sign!

In January, I started my training plan again, it will end in May. I am really curious about the result, because this time I could start from a higher base than ever.

This year I would like to take part in some serious competitions and spend more time climbing outside. Next summer I’m going to The Rocklands, South Africa with Tibi!!! I’m so excited! I haven’t travelled that far for a really long time. Finally, I will see my friends, Charlie and Tim there! I just can’t wait. I have to sleep 137 nights more..

Until that I continue training, studying and trying to follow my dreams.

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When your dream becomes true or even more..

Everything started with an e-mail to Café Kraft. Then I was sitting on the bus, heading to Nürnberg. It took 11 hours to get there. Fortunately, my friend, Dezső came to pick me up at the middle of the night. Dezső and Ramona let me to stay with them at Roth, thanks!! I arrived at 02.30, and I had a meeting with Dicki Korb, one of the authors of Gimme Kraft! book. I could sleep only 3 hours, but I was super excited and I decided to try to do my best.I was at Café Kraft around 10, so I had 1 hour untill the meeting. When I entered into Café Kraft, I just walked around and I couldn’t believe my eyes, it’s just huge and amazing.And then Dicki came. First he thought, I am from Bulgaria, I really don’t know why, but it was funny. I had amazing time with Dicki. He has a huge heart and inexhaustible amount of jokes. 🙂 I think the best thing in Dicki is that he knows a lot of exercises, but he also has a special personality. He really wants to help you. He gives his heart with the useful exercises and tips, too. For me, the best thing was that I was not alone anymore with my training. He was there, just next to me, he pushed me, and supported my low self confidence. He believes in me. After that I was just happy, and started to think positive about myself. I guess there is no better word for this feeling, simply just PRICELESS.I trained 3 days at Café Kraft before Magic Wood. In these days I met a lot of new friends, Ramona, who smiled a lot, and her rats (Amy, Réka). Achim and almost all the workers of Café Kraft. Everyone was friendly and helpful.
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Amy (Ramona’s rat) and Tibi

I had the chance to climb with Mayan, we worked on a black travers, it was cool. She is a really nice person. And I mean nice inside and outside, cause she has a good heart and a lot of amazing, colorful clothes. 🙂 It was quite motivating to climb together. I’m happy to meet her, and I hope to see her soon!I met Hannes and Reto, they are awesome!! I got a really cool box of gifts, and the chance to train here more in the future. THANK YOU FOR ALL! 🙂
After these unbelievable days at Café Kraft, I went with Tibi to Magic Wood. The weather was so cold (-4 degrees at night), but I got a really warm jumper from Ramona, I guess, it saved my life. Thanks again!
Magic Wood was my first real outdoor boulder trip. I went there without expectations. I just wanted to have fun and enjoy climbing. I was still under the feelings, that I got from Dicki and Café Kraft. Magic Wood was beautiful, even with the half wolf-dog. 🙂 I climbed a lot and met new people there, too. My favourite couple from Wales, Charlie and Tim. We spent really nice days together. And a special thanks to Charlie to show me nice boulders. Like La Boume de Luxe (7b) with the sharp spike, and specially for Exclusive (7b). Even I didn’t want to climb that day, because of my shoulder pain, but it looked so cool, when Charlie climbed it. 🙂 Charlie and Tim showed us how to make perfect MARSHMALLOW. Such a great night!
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Marshmallow night
For one day we were 6. Charlie, Tim, Tom, Tim (actually Timothy), Tibi and me. This was the funniest day in Magic Wood. We climbed a lot, and Timothy asked our names all day long, between every blocks; Hi Tim, I am Nóra, I am 23 years old. We did the really high Blue Sky of Mine. Tim’s shoe fell into the deepest hole of a hole, then Tim fell into a hole (Don’t worry, he is fine!), we had a lot of fun, and this day we tried Jack the chipper (7c) together. I liked it, it starts with a long shouldery move to the left. I felt that I can do it, I was close, but I got tired. However, I really wanted to do it, so it was my first real project in my life. 🙂
We had some rainy days, so we visited Lago di Lei with Tibi. For me it was beautiful, for Tibi scary. 🙂 And unfortunately Charlie and Tim went home. 🙁 I was a bit sad, but we will meet again, I am sure!
I met David Firnenburg, he is so strong and so friendly. While we climbed together, I learnt these:
·      body-tension
·      explosive-power
·      just go for it
·      how to get the best friction 🙂
·      and that we need to warm up for jumping down 🙂
We warmed up together, climbed a slab, jump down, then a 7a+ travers, and then I was ready to try Jack the chipper again. After David’s siesta, I did it! I was so happy 🙂 Thanks to Tibi and David for the support! We lost David’s red tape, there was a serious investigation (Detective Tibi checked his videos). Guess, where was the red tape?  It was really deep in a hole. What a surprise! :)We decided to leave Magic Wood after 10 days, cause the weather forecast said more rainy days. I had a lot of new experiences about bouldering outside, and I have more new friends. I have new records: Jack the chipper, and that I didn’t have a real shower for 10 days, but I’m not too proud of the 2nd one. :)So, we went back to Café Kraft. 4 more days to train there, woohoo! It was a pleasure to meet Dicki’s family. Also Mayan was there again, I met Melissa le Nevé and Alex Megos. They were really friendly, too. There was no chance to climb with Alex, he climbed too fast :), all the sienna (the hardest) boulders in one hour, and in the next hour all the reds (hard). He said that he is just a man. I really don’t know, maybe from an other planet. Amazing performance! 🙂
During these 4 days we climbed a lot, almost all of us was destroyed somehow, but I enjoyed it so much. For me Café Kraft is much more than a huge boulder gym, it’s like a huge family. We had a lot of fun together, we had new ideas. For example, about Dicki’s new books: Gimme Balance, Gimme Flexibility, Gimme Hot Pants or Gimme Food. :)I got much more than I could ever imagine, maybe that’s why I cried a bit when I left Café Kraft. These were the tears of happiness! 🙂 I really don’t like to say goodbye.Thank you for all these amazing feelings! Thank you, Dicki, Café Kraft, and all of my new friends! I just can’t wait to come back and see you again! 🙂