Last Sunday the 2nd boulder qualification was held at Neoliet Heerlen.

I signed up last minute at the NKBV. I really want to focus on lead instead of bouldering. In my opinion I was curious about the boulder qualification even though I wasn’t in shape.

As usual I arrived at Monk by bike. Dirk was already waiting and busy with positioning terrace furniture. Soon Kim arrived as well, wearing golden shades and Sanuk sandals. Not bad at all, it really felt as a hot summer day. I decided to eat some breakfast and fixed myself some sandwiches and a banana.

Next Tom Hendriks arrived by car, his mom dropped him at the parking lot. What a luxury. And eventually Bruno Geurts arrived by bike. We were complete and ready to go to Heerlen.

After 45 minutes Dirk was wondering if anyone knew how to get to the venue. He showed us a paper with a map on it. Due to construction work we had to use other roads. For a moment we didn’t know which directions to follow. I anticipated on this situation, grabbed my phone, look for the address of the climbing gym and enter it into my navigation program. With my phone we managed to find the climbing gym. Nowadays we can’t live without our awesome gadgets.

At the climbing gym I signed up and changed my clothes. I needed some time to warm up proper. I still felt somewhat sleepy.

Photo by: Gabriele Armino

After a few boulders I still wasn’t concentrated. 4 Hours later I handed in my score form. I ended up 7th and ex aequo with some other climbers.

Usually the best 6 climbers advance to the finals, however this time 8 climbers may get to the finals. The 4 of us were 7th due to equal score, the competition committee and the main judge Herman Engbers decided to let us all climb the finals. That means that I wasn’t finished and I had another chance to improve myself by climbing 3 final boulders.

In the isolation area I got distracted and lost my competition motivation. Most of the finalists were outside enjoying the sun. I had a hard time to get the proper competition mind set.
I hear someone shouting my name. It was my turn to go to the second isolation area. Vera was sitting next to me and so busy polishing her shoes. She felt nervous. It was her first Dutch competition again since her shoulder injury. I didn’t care that she was nervous and stared just in front of me.

The final boulders didn’t go too well. I only managed to reach a zone hold. Mentally I wasn’t present at this competition. I ended up 11th in the finals. I had little expectations, however as a competition climber you need to understand how to deal with it. It is good to experience it. Both physical and mental aspects are important in order to climb well. Hopefully next time I’ll be well prepared so I can enjoy more of the competition!

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