Hey everyone!

Yesterday was the big show in Amsterdam. I hope all of you had fun to see the best competition climbers at work! If not, watch it here again.

Livestream lead nationals 2015

This championship was an important day on my calendar. Since I entered the lead competition, I was serious about competing, wanting to fight and win. I marked this day as a highpoint to see how fit I am at the moment.

Warming up in the iso for 2 hours seemed no problem. Despite my fever, cold and cough last week, I could set my mind to relax and focus on this one route.

Presentation

When I arrived at the gym, I was really curious what kind of route Tonde had set for us. My first impression of the route was: this route is set for me, this is all about compression, a lot of volumes, awesome!! The holds looked big, maybe one crux near the long snake hold into an undercling, but with good feet work I should be able to manage that. I used my monocular to check out the holds on top.

silhouette

The beginning was hard to see, because I was standing just below the route, moving to left or right didn’t really improve the view.
In short, the route looked really cool. I couldn’t wait to climb in this ambiance, with so many people cheering, among supporters and friends!

Walking back to isolation, my head was set to competition mode. It was time to wear my harness, pick the right shoes and wait for my turn.

Once I entered the gym, I was really looking forward to climb! I didn’t want to climb too fast or too slow. The first 3 draws were no problem at all. I was even able to find a good rest position in the beginning by sitting on this huge volume with my foot. From here I moved onwards to the next volume. The next step was a big move, where I moved my right hand first and went for a jump.

NKLead

Photocredits: Sytse van Slooten

Once my feet didn’t get any pressure anymore it felt like I was pulled away from the wall. I didn’t see the hold on top of the volume, just a vague tickmark. It happened all too fast before I realized what had happened. I was back on the floor.

My thoughts right after the climb: What the F@##!%$#@%!$#!!??@

I wanted to express my feeling by screaming out loud, throwing my shoes against the wall or throw away my chalkbag, but no I’m not like that and so I remained calm 🙁 I was really disappointed in myself. I should’ve jumped with 2 hands, one aiming for the tickmark, the other aiming for the corner of the volume.

When I untied the rope, Ulf told me the same had happened to him. I was hoping no one else would struggle so early in the route. There are risks taken if a route is set like this. A risky show element is fun for everyone, however in my opinion not so early in the route. I think the crowd would have been more entertained if they could have seen the climbers fight all the way in the route!

After my performance it was Gerke’s turn. He trained a year for this and I was hoping for him he wouldn’t struggle at the same move. Unfortunately, he fell at the same volume, making exactly the same mistake. I felt really sorry for him. Fortunately, the rest of the climbers could manage this move easy without any trouble.

I was wondering what the audience was thinking. I let everyone down; my family, my friends and my supporters. I wasn’t able to fight or enjoy the route. At that moment I had so many questions going through my mind. Is this what I have trained for the past few weeks? I spent many hours in the gym for this. Does this mean I am weak? How far would Ulf, Gerke and I get if we all passed this move? Was I able to top the route if I managed that move? Did I climb too safe? Did I make a reading mistake? I don’t know, but I do know that I wasn’t fucking pumpy or could fight before I fell out of the route. The way I deal with my performance during and after the competition is also part of competition climbing. 1 tiny mistake and you’re out of the game.

The route was set magnificently, no doubt about that. After the competition I had a short evaluation with chiefsetter Tonde Katiyo and asked him about his thoughts. In short: he felt sorry for us but he was satisfied about the route.

Tonde

In the end the learned lessons are: better luck next time and perhaps walk into the space of the audience to check out the holds of the route.

I ended up 8th yesterday which doesn’t satisfy me at all. Click here to view the results. I still feel disappointed about my result, knowing that this was just a snapshot. Instead of a highpoint, it felt like a lowpoint to me. In the week before the nationals I was doubting about participating because I had a severe cold. So in that respect I’m happy that I was part of the nationals. However, I
would have loved to have climbed higher and show how far I could have gotten.

Anyway, thank you for all the love and support. I hope I pleased the crowd and I’m happy for the climbers who were able to fight, shine and climb yesterday!

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