In September 2017, I went to class again for the first time in 4 years (I was home schooled). I was super excited to start my new life and to get a degree. A lot happened that first year. I attended almost all my classes, except when I had to go to a competition.
During the Christmas holidays, I even went to Sweden (also the week before the start of the exams). It was fun and also totally not, because while I had to study, my younger sister could go out and have fun. It was my first ever exam period and after that, I was totally exhausted. Who even invented the idea to have 3 weeks of exams? But no matter what, I survived and did well.
Semester 2 came around and I’m still doing my best at school. All of this in combination with my trainings and competitions. Before I knew it, the school year was almost over and I was in my second exam period. I studied really hard and I obtained good results.
Time for the 3 competitions (my favorite and almost a habit): Villars, Chamonix and Briançon. I always learn a lot at these competitions, but I can never explain what. It is something deep inside me that needs to find a way to handle the stiuation and come out alive again after the competitions. Every summer, I go there after a year of building up motivation and training, only to be beaten and having to scrape all the pieces together and start all over again. But something about that process makes me strong, it doesn’t break my resolve but only hardens my will. It is a piece of me I’m not willing to lose, so every year I go to the competitions and get my ass kicked.
After the competitions in 2018, we went to Spain for rock climbing. I visited Barcelona for the first time and went inside Casa Mila, I’ve seen the roof of Casa Batilo and the outside of Sagrada Familia (you had to make a reservation weeks in advance to be allowed inside), I’ve been to Park Güell. All o this together with my dad, who goes to almost every competition with me and has been my coach ever since I started climbing in the adult circuit.
My mom flew over as well and we had a nice holiday with 3. In August, we wereback home and life goes back to normal for the most part.
Halfway August, I went for the first time to an international boulder competition in Munich. This was a really cool experience and I loved every second of it. My climbing was not terrific, but it was my first senior international boulder competition. Before that, I only participated in a few youth boulder competitions.
In September, I went to the World Championships in Innsbruck. This was again a totally different experience. I thought that after a while, I would get used to it, but every competition is different.
The day after I arrived back home, school started again. This school year (2018-2019), I was also going to follow an extra trainers programme specifically for climbing. It was a busy first semester, but I managed to pass all my exams, after studying at home instead of in Sweden. Semester 2 was a lot less tiresome. This time the competition in Munich was around April-May and I went there together with my friend Elfe. Again, it was so much fun and I learned so much. Bouldering is a lot harder than I thought.
By the end of the school year, I was once again ready to go to Villars, Chamonix and Briançon. But this year did not go as planned. I was not in top shape when I went to Villars for my exams had finished just the week before. So in between Villars and Chamonix, I trained really hard and I felt really good and ready for Chamonix.
I ripped the LCL ligament in my knee in Switzerland. We went home and I stumbled around on one leg for 4 weeks.
Then I said to my dad that I still wanted to go rock climbing, so we took off to Spain, which we had planned to do after the competitions anyway. There, I topped two 8a routes on one leg and almost did a third had I not broken a handhold and a foothold by the time we had to go home.
This school year was mainly focused on getting back the strength in my leg and upping its usability. It is already September 2019 when my last school year started. This time around, I was going to continue the follow-up trainers programme from the year before. It was the most busy semester of my life, it was extremely tough, because I had no free time at all. Five days of the week I had class in school. Two to three evenings a week, I followed the classes of the trainers programme that were a conveniently one and a half hour drive away from my school. The remaining evenings, I went training. On Saturdays, I had a class of the training course in the climbing gym (the whole day) and on Sundays, I tought Multimove to toddlers in the morning and I trained a young group of climbers in the evening. In between both jobs, I trained power.
Needless to say I was exhausted. This overloaded schedule held me back from some important Belgian competitions. To say I was angry would be an understatement. I was livid. The training programme was so important that I couldn’t miss it and then to hear say the teacher that he didn’t really know what to do, I was super angry and I let the “teacher” know. He did not understand what competition climbing was like. For at the end of the class, he said I could still drive there in a hurry and top all the hard boulders in less than 1 hour time to make the finals. I stared at him with disbelieve and tears welling up in my eyes. If I had known, I would have prepared myself physically and mentally, but even so, it was still impossible to get there, because it was a one hour drive away from the Klimax Challenge.
Besides this, school was really demanding with so many assignments. This sums up my semester one, exams went good and semester two was a lot more relaxed. This brings us to 2020. I was supposed to do a super interesting internship I was super excited for, but then corona spread and put us in lockdown. School gave us an assignment instead, as if we haven’t done that enough. Now I’m putting all my time in this assignment and training at home in our little garage. I’m lucky that my dad built this wall so long ago and that I can climb on it now.