This time the video is not made by me. Mathilde Becerra sent me this video of her climb of China Crisis in Oliana. A beautiful work by Karel Downsbrough. Here is Mathilde’s description of the video.
In March 2018, I redpointed “Mind Control” which was my first 5.14b/c, while being in the middle of my preparation for the Lead World Cup season. Back then, the only few times I went climbing outdoors was only to send hard routes. I needed to prove myself that I could still climb hard on rock while being a competitor, which would (hopefully) boost my self-confidence for the upcoming competitions. After going through a big burn out of high level climbing in July 2018, it was obvious to me that I had to stop my competition career.
The 11 years I spent with the French team were great in many ways, but also very hard, especially at the end. I was simply not where I was supposed to be anymore. Although that burn out was a rough patch of my life, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. The year that just went by was extremely rich in new discoveries, encounters and learning experiences. You can then imagine that it’s with a whole new perspective on life that I came back to Oliana in June 2019, with the only goal to enjoy my time there. I remembered that my former coach and friend Mike Fuselier advised me to try the famous and oh so beautiful 5.14a called “China Crisis”. Full of positive energy and excitement, I completely surprised myself by falling at the last movement on my first real try (after working the movements once just previously). In 15 years of climbing, I had almost never felt such a perfect flow and fun while climbing.
I had just fallen in love with that route, and honestly couldn’t care less about the grade.As a result, instead of being bummed to have fallen right at the end, I was super happy to get another chance at it – and yes hopefully finish it – but really that finality didn’t matter to me because I just knew I would find my flow again and really enjoy myself. And that’s exactly what I did, literally flying my way to the top this time. When I got to Oliana, without any expectation, I would never have thought this would happen, and especially feeling at my best physical, technical and mental shape ever. Freedom gives you wings…
Stopping my competition career allowed me to slowly let go of that constant need of recognition and performance. I learned to take actions only based on my true desires, to welcome situations as they come, in complete freedom, letting go of any expectation. Today I know that for me, this is the key to my happiness, and success. No matter what happens, I have self-confidence and I’m at peace with who I am. From then, each experience is a new learning opportunity which only adds more value to my life.