After a few days of rain, it was time for me to join the gym. For the next 12 months, I have chosen BlockOut'2. I spent Sunday and Monday at the gym and then the weather channel promised three straight days of sunshine; that got the smile back on my face.... an opportunity for me to send a few more ongoing projects!
On Tuesday, I joined a friend at Franchard Isatis with one thing and one thing only on my mind: Le Lot de Boudins (7C). After slagging off for 30 minutes, I tried to calm myself down, I brushed the handholds and tested the key hold: a sloper that I hadn't been able to hold on to for the past four months. The moment I touched it, my hand slipped and my heart froze. I kept screaming "F*ck" in my head at the top of my ... synapses. I just had to do something about my fingers. Having slippery fingers AND a half-injured right index doesn't leave me with much (hence my lackluster performance this summer). Then I recalled an article I had recently read about the (in)efficiency of chalk and how humidity might provide some extra adhesion. I thus came up with a trick: I washed my hands and when they were about to completely dry off, I applied some chalk. The idea behind this was that the water would help accentuate the ridges of the finger prints so that chalk could enter them better. I tested the sloper and voilà! I tried to send the problem but my already-successful-in-April beta needed some tweaking. The two big moves were too haphasard therefore I started working on a new beta for half an hour. Three tries later.... in the pocket! I think my beta can become a classic since it has been optimised and it suits all sizes. Moreover, I sent it without much effort, which gave me hope for the there-and-back version (7C+). Plus, my moves are cool :-)
The day ended with De Brevitate Vitae gauche (7A). I had sent the right exit version back in March (my second 7A ever).
The next day started with Babaobab (7B, Rocher Canon). The slopers are so slippery that you have to find the perfect weather conditions. I sent the sitstart like it was nothing (once again) but the rest of it was still impossible. The sun had been hitting the slopers for more than an hour and by 9:15 (that's how motivated I was), it was already too late. I will go back on a gloomy day in December-January.
Banlieue Nord direct (7A) is a very tough boulder. This was going to be my fourth session on it. Apart from the starting hold, everything else is a sloper. The last part is hardcore: a nasty left foothold and diagonal slopers... what's not to like? The first move consists in reaching for a left-hand sloper which is the key hold. If that one doesn't hold, you switch to a different boulder. I washed my hand and gave it a try. The adhesion was brilliant and I got optimistic. After an hour and a half, I sent it! The exit was a bit ugly (I used both knees) but I was too ecstatic to care.
I finished my session with Rencontre Plafonnique (7B). I almost got the sitstart but the heel hook was extremely painful. After only one try, it was throbbing but I kept going at it. I touched and almost grabbed the hold at least 7 times, which is a good sign. The next move seems quite morpho. I sent the rest of the problem three times. I will go back for that first move.
Today (Thursday): I planned to visit three sectors for three different projects. First one: Master of Puppets. It took me an hour and a half to get that first move right, which made me lose my marbles. I got another two moves but the key move (a left heel hook) wasn't right. I got furious and decided to leave. This was the first time I ever quit a project and ended my session this abruptly. Having lost all motivation, I didn't want to work on the other projects. I returned to the train station yet after a short break, I left for Roche d'Hercule. There is a 7A+ trav that I hadn't finished yet (always wet) and I also had to finish the easy version of my own trav (6B+/C?). It took me 10 minutes to reach the parking lot (that's fast!) but both boulders were wet. I got even more frustrated and headed back to the station. I needed to get back home so bad that I covered the distance in only 8 minutes.
My failure on Master of Puppets got me thinking that I need to find a source of happiness in my life. Bouldering is great but 95% of the time, I feel frustrated, disgusted with myself or mad. As soon as I get a problem right, a failure will come along and take that away from me. I need to cool down and change my perspective and the way I deal with failure. And I obviously need to focus on my work (programming) and my side projects to get some self-respect. I can send a hundred 7B's but there's always going to be a failed boulder buzzing around in my head.
Now that I have joined the gym, I will give it my all. I have three priorities: dynos, arm/shoulder locking and travs in roofs. I have come up with some exercises that might help me advance in a rapid pace. Tomorrow I'm back at the gym doing pull-ups with added weight. My previous max was 22.5 kilos so I will try 25 kgs or maybe more.
And here's a gift: a montage of 22 (I think) attempts on Magic Bus (7B+) that I tried a few days ago. You will enjoy the sound of my ass hitting the pad.
Update: I just watched my video of Master of Puppets and I was actually not half as bad as I thought. I'm feeling much better now, I will be able to sleep tonight.