When the Austrian National Climbing Championships take place from Wednesday to Saturday this week, I will not take part in the bouldering and combined competition due to a biceps tendon overload in my right arm including a small tear. Instead, I will only compete in the pre-climb on Friday.
This year is truly jinxed – first the lockdown, then the postponement of the Olympic Games and now, at the end of summer, I can't climb all disciplines at the national championships due to an acute inflammation. Yet, bouldering at national level is always the most fun for me and speed is the discipline where I see the greatest potential for development.
At least I’m allowed to help set the bouldering competition, I can closely observe the route setters and get an insight into these procedures. I am really looking forward to that! This way, I am very close to the competition and I can still rest my arm.
Bouldering and speed are heavy on the limbs, thus the pain is more intense. Especially the days after a competition are when the pain peaks from the day before.
We all know the classic golf or tennis elbow – this is how you can imagine the pain that is directly at the base of the biceps tendon in my crook of the arm. Since my trip to Ceüse and the first meeting with Alex Megos' 9c Route Bibliography, this handicap is acute and I try to promote the removal of fluid in the inflammatory area with shock wave therapy, physiotherapy and specific exercises.
For me, it is now important to take a break to support the healing process, on the other hand, the tendon has to know what it has to withstand and should be challenged regularly during this phase. In chess, one would probably speak of a classic stalemate situation. Or a castling match, after all?
I have only just (re-)discovered my joy for chess and I find it fascinating to see how inexhaustible the room for improvement seems to be. I am certainly an ambitious player. This also distinguishes me as an athlete, and chess is one of the most complex games I have ever seen in my life.
In fact, I don't play that much at all, but I watch different openings and moves just to get better. I have always liked games where you have to think ahead strategically, even as a child.
In a way, there are certainly one or two parallels to climbing, and in my current situation, the decision regarding the Austrian Championships is based on a strategic move towards longer-term planning. I don't want and can't take the risk of the torn muscle turning into a rupture, and that I'll have to walk around like Popeye. I have to make the best possible use of the time available, because 2021 will be a tough year – hopefully!
My travel chessboard is already waiting for its worldwide use for at least as much as I am!
|Juli 2020||Innsbruck||Boulder: 1|
|Juli 2020||Innsbruck||Speed: 1|
|Juli 2020||Innsbruck||Boulder: 2|
|Juli 2020||Innsbruck||Speed: 2|
|August 2020||Imst||Lead: 1|
|August 2020||Imst||Lead: 2|
|23. -26. September||State Championships
Climbing center Innsbruck
Photos by | Comp: Moritz Liebhaber | Chess: Tobias Zlu Haller