Just about a week ago I participated in the sports national championship.

I had a really relaxing day and I was looking forward to shine and climb. Once I entered the venue in Amsterdam, I was escorted to a separate entrance of the building straight into the isolation area. Before my warm up I enjoyed a take away filled with noodles and fish. Nom nom nom.

The audience was receiving a speech from the climbing federation, while all the competitors were warming up in the isolation.

After 3 hours of iso, we were introduced to the audience and we finally could have a look at the route.

I was impressed by the route! It was a total volume festival. It looked awesome, all I wanted was to get past the big volumes and climb the upper part of the route. The upper part of the route suits my style using heelhooks, compression between hold and pinches. I was hoping I could give everything in this route!

Here is an overview of the route while Casper was climbing.

After 6 minutes of reading the route, we had to go back into the isolation area. I was keeping myself warm and pulled my Petzl Sitta harness and my La Sportiva Skwama’s out of my bag. Once I got on stage, all I wanted to do was to climb and enjoy the route.

In my head I was thinking: “Okay relax, don’t zip on the volumes, look for the right footholds, don’t mess up the sequence and keep on breathing. I visualised a kneebar, now it’s time to execute it. I will put my right foot on the high foothold and drop my knee into the volume.

This works well, now enjoy the route a bit and keep on climbing. I passed the big volumes, bump up with my left hand to the blue side doughnut, then pinch the big volume with my right and make a left heelhook and go for the undercling. Ooh sh*t no, I’m all stretched out between the yellow volume and the blue undercling and suddenly I am stuck in the route!! I can’t go back, if I go back I will miss the hold, if I will match the undercling, it will be game over, there is too much pressure on my right foot, why is this hold set so high above my head?!

Hopefully you understood a bit of what was going through my head. I had mixed feelings about my performance. I could climb a little bit, however I couldn’t give everything in the route as I was hoping for. It was such a pity.

I was not yet pumped, instead I got stuck halfway in the route, ended up stretched out and fell. It was too early to fall in the route. Maybe I should have used a different sequence or maybe I wasn’t strong enough?

Anyway, I enjoyed the route a lot and ended up on the 7th place. The audience gave me a lot of energy. Thank you for supporting me and congratulations to everyone who managed to end up on the podium!

I love the photos. All the credits goes to Zout Fotografie and NKBV. Hopefully next year I can perform at my maximum during the nationals in the brand new Neoliet gym at Utrecht 😀

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