It’s been a few days that I’m back home again. Last Thursday was my climbing day and I’m going to tell you all about it.

I had to wake up early. According to the climbing schedule, I had to climb 4th in my second route.

In the morning I was having breakfast with Tom. It was only 7 AM and I got a nice mini croissant with tea. After breakfast we left to the arena. Our hotel was nearby the arena, took us 15 minutes by foot. It was nice to walk outside and really wake up.

When I arrived at the arena, I had to show my pass to get in. I took a quick look at the wall to check the routes. I saw Jorg Verhoeven as well. He informed me about the blue routes. There were 4 routes set in the wall. I had to focus on the blue routes.

Behind the wall was the warm up zone. It wasn’t big nor high. I always find it difficult to warm up on a small boulder wall though and then climb a hard route. Perhaps I should standardise my training this way to get the feeling of it.

Anyway, I was placed in group B which had a total of 51 climbers. Group A also had 51 climbers. I’m not used to compete against so many climbers though.

I changed my clothes and started to warm up. When I felt a bit pumpy, I focused on the flash route. It was recorded on video behind the wall and repeated over and over.

I wasn’t paying too much attention to the route, just the sequence. I knew where the holds were set and took a look in front of the wall. I was visualizing how the movements would feel like when I will climb the route.

It was almost time to climb. I didn’t feel nervous yet. I was putting on my climbingshoes backstage and prepared myself to climb. I had to wait until it was my turn. The first part of the route went really well. I expected this route to be much harder. The holds were nice however the clipping the quickdraws wasn’t nice. Anyway, no hard moves so far which could have scared me off. At that moment I was believing in myself, enjoying the climb and I could could hear my team members supporting me. I can’t remember the music or anything else. The route was really nice.

Although I didn’t climb all the way to the top, but I was kind of surprised when I fell out of the route. From a sidepull I had to cross over with my right hand and grabbed an undercling with my left hand. I can remember this guy placed his foot on a far foothold and so did I. The next hold was meant for my right hand and as I went towards the hold I felt I didn’t get my fingers properly on the hold. It was small though, but that was the moment I fell out of the route. I wasn’t too happy about that but also I wasn’t too disatisfied about it. The climb went okay I suppose. I just wished I didn’t fall out at that spot. My left arm was starting to get pumpy but I wasn’t tired yet.

My second route was much later. I was placed 29th in the first route. I had to wait 2 hours, which gave me the opportunity to watch other climbers in the routes. From this point of view it looked like the 1st route was set harder than the route I had just climbed. Once in while I was walking backstage to traverse on the wall. Usually it feels easy to stay warm after one route. I memorized the route and was ready to climb.

Just before it was my turn, Michiel and Hans showed up. They were just in time to watch me climb. When I started my second route, I heard them supporting me. Actually I only heard my team cheering for me and nothing else. The moves looked hard but once again I expected it to be hard but it was all okay.

The roof had good holds and getting out of the roof was a crux for me. I knew it was hard to go to this sloper. I placed my left heel behind on the module and I knew I had to cross over with my left hand. It didn’t feel right though, so I went with my right hand to this sloper.

I wasn’t even close to this hold! Perhaps because of my feet placement it didn’t feel right and therefore I got punished.

I knew right away this score wasn’t enough to advance to the semis. I ended up 51st from 102 lead competitors. Just in the middle, what can I say about that? I’ll leave that to you.

I had a brief feedback session with Wouter after my climb. It was good to talk about it and listen to his point of view. I enjoyed climbing though! To be here for a whole week was great. Walking among the best climbers gives such positive energy. The semis and finals were great. The tickets were all sold out which means there were about 6000 spectators to see the best climbers in the world in action!

Below you can see a few photos from the whole event.

I didn’t stay at the arena all the time though, but also went sightseeing with my team. We went to Blocbuster for a few hours and had dinner together.

The other days I have visited Bastille, Les Arches, Arc de Triomphe, Pompidou, Notre Dame and many more venues.

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