climbing is life


Laval and the entire 2014 season

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I'm very glad that I could finalize this half year with such a good point. I couldn’t even imagine that I am capable of such a beautiful performance. Seems that during the season I spent all reserve of failures and I didn’t have other choice as perform in the way I did.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам ГельмановI stated preparation for the competitions long before beginning of the season. At the beginning of January I already started with first conscious training. Winter is a difficult time. You forget that you can do everything, weather is gray and you are not in the mood to strain yourself. Slowly you start noticing the power and enjoying it. It is difficult to understand whether you are ready mentally or not. Competitions are required to correct your psychological training.

At first competition you will have a feeling that you missed something important, no matter how hard you were preparing. As if one of many muscles is not strong enough. Anyway, it is too late to worry and doubts bring anxiety. In spite of the fact that I participated in more than 70 world cups, every morning before the competition I experience the same feelings as I had many years ago in the morning of long-awaited birthday. Deep belief in miracle covers me, chills of happiness makes me realize that I live at this exact second. Those feelings are necessary for me.

One competition after another.. but I was not quit myself. In some competition I felt special connection with public, which so diligently supported me. I hope that public felt the same way. It seemed to me that sometimes I can pour fluids into audience, creating special contact.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

Looking into the past of my busy calendar, I am glad that I finished intended in a proper manner. Somewhere I gave up the slack, but at the same time, I flashed a couple of times. I'm not a very busy man, but there is not so much time and I want to do so many things.

I always remind myself that it is very important to live a moment that is now, truly love it, and then all the obstacles turn into an endless amusing game.

Here is the video from the finals in Laval.

And best of IFSC 2014 with a lot of falls, interesting moves and successful attempts.

More about bouldering competitions you can find here.

CWIF Sheffield

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Couple of month ago on the training Dutch coach Wouter came to me. He said that after Climbing Works competition in Sheffield (UK) joint training with Slovenian climbing team will be organized. The plan was to stay for 5 more days after the comps and have a good training session.  Offer was very tempting and I’ve decided to go if getting UK visa will not bring me much troubles. I wrote to organizers asked for invitation letter. The replied with another offer: if I will compete for their team they will help me with costs. It will be foolish to reject this offer, so I added this event to my calendar.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

Competitions started. I’ve been in Sheffield already and I knew what to expect from climbing gym. Qualification is in festival format. All competitors were divided into two groups, I was in first. But I arrived to Sheffield only at 2am previous night and I didn’t get much sleep, organizers kindly moved me to the second group. In total there are 30 problems, not that many. There are no power problems, the most difficult ones are on balance on slopers. Basically, nothing difficult, probably route settlers have decided to keep our powers for next rounds.

Semifinals and finals are next day. I was climbing well but problems were not difficult. In total I spent 2 extra attempts and was worrying a bit about it.  For the final you should be concentrated, and this is something I forgot. Problems are great but I took it too serious.

Of course I was not happy with the result, but I didn’t plan to get upset either. I should be ready for the coming season!

The most interesting part came in two days. Famous route-setters prepared for us a lot of problems. We were divided into groups and tackled the problems for the five hours. That was incredible! Great marathon where your desire to climb overcomes pain and tiredness.

In two days we will have same marathon full of fighting and joy.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

 Big thanks to Graeme, Wouter, Simon (Slovenia), Persi (route-setter) and many others!

Adidas Rockstars 2013

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Do you want to see genuine combination of athlete exceptional physical power and luck?

Then you should think about buying tickets for Adidas Rockstars 2014. Take the place close to stage, otherwise you may miss the most interesting part: most interesting happens with lightning speed. Yawning ones will then ask what just happen.

“How he did it??? I can’t believe it! He should repeat it one more time! 🙂 ”

Wonderful and the biggest commercial competition of this year is over. It is known from the beginning that luck plays the most important role no matter how much you train. I started to tame luck in advance, it came very close to me. It is said, luck likes when you train at your maximum and it comes to you when you like your trainer. Such a strange thing.

I was a bit tired after Arco. There we got a big surprise of lots of little crimps from  Jacky Godoffe. There was a unique scene when powerful healthy guys were ready to cry due to pain in fingers. I had some rest, made one or one and a half trainings in Salewa Cube, Bolzano, and went to Stuttgart.

Very warm welcome, everyone is glad to come. Some people complain about injuries, as always, some people are very cheerful and hoping to diminish stress.

Everyone around wears Adidas, total Adidassism is close on the heels of other brands. I belong to different team and stand out for that and of course attract attention.

I learn to feel myself at home everywhere long time ago. So here I’m also like at home.

Slowly competition rounds are going on. I’ve decided to make experiment and be extremely relaxed. I imagine that now I’m in climbing gym in Škofja Loka (Slovenia). Trainer is behind me, I’m calm. Why would I worry? I just need to climb as on training and everything looks simpler.

Experiment started, everything is fine. But then I realize that something is missing. What is it? Of course! There is no dust and dirt, otherwise will be completely the same as in climbing gym in Škofja Loka! (joking for those who’ve been there). I always can easily find my coach in the crowd. I understand, that if I started with this experiment I have to go till the end and don’t show any nervousness!

Finals started. I’m confident and climb the last. You should realize that being last always brings a lot of pressure. Even better, experiment will be harder and more genuine!

I’m going forward. Public may think that it is impossible to beat me. Actually that is not true, I’m not a robot. Yes, I’m a human and also have emotions. Only ones can understand what is happening in my head from the stage. Others are wrong.

Far away from the public behind the stage there is small war between finalists who are waiting for their turn. Everyone is fighting differently. Someone is listening to the music and stares into the floor. Others pretend to sleep but are sensitive as a beast. Others are just looking around trying to count attempts. Some people can better relax while talking, but they may disturb others. Some people are hiding with headphones. Music helps a lot, I normally prepare playlist in advance. I like the heat of the struggle, it is very interesting to test yourself.

Until the very end I was confident, but last round didn’t go so well. Result: I’m second. I want to brag about compliment that I got from my trainer. Just couple of words from him are as a balm for one's soul. Even I need it sometimes.

This was the last start this calendar year. I will be climbing in USA when you will read this. It is completely different, wait for the news.

Thanks to everyone! Especially to my trainer, who made enormous work with me. I hope he  enjoyed the result. And of course thanks to my dear wife.

More about bouldering competitions you can find here.

Arco Rockmaster 2013

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One week after European Championship in Eindhoven I went to Arco Rocmaster. Here are news and emotions from bouldering competitions in Arco.

First of all I want to thank you all! So many people helped me to reach this result.

Winning was like elixir, which made me calmer and all my thought became brighter. Right after announcement of the winners I hugged my love, there cannot be better support in life!

Winning is like a drug, athletes can’t survive without next competition, which can bring a lot of joy.

From the side public can’t see what climbers are thinking about. This might be interesting for anyone. It is impossible to tell everything, you need to live climber’s life. Climbers want to share their feelings, how they train with only one thought in mind: I’m the best, I’m the strongest, I can do anything!

When you don’t want to train, you need trainer. He understands you, you give him energy, in his mind he climbs with you during the training. Sometimes I observe astonishing picture: how my trainer jumps like helping me, when I do long jump. I’m sure if I will climb as the one who climbs in the trainer’s mind, I will be invincible.

But after the training you are falling into the dark, everything becomes again pointless.

Continuously you are moving to the next starts. Often you regret that you could do more and you again forgot about one important exercise. I always have a goal to make every exercise consciously, be in the exercise, not just look from the side, as often happens with other climbers.

Actually I’m not making more training than other climbers, but every training I do purposefully, I’m in the action. And of course not everything is as I would like it to be.

Playing sport is very interesting. When sport becomes your life you are playing life! The more honestly and with love you are playing, the closer you are to harmony.

And finally about boulders…. Otherwise it will be boring for you 🙂

Morning. We came to try the problems. Very early, 8 am. For climbers it is too early.

Ehh, I need to climb. Without warming up I started with problems. I just couldn’t get up earlier. We are trying the problems very lazy, watching each other, we were with 12 people. Everyone is upset with so many crimpers. Even I feel that they are too many. I’m glad but concerned that problems might be changed.

Warmed up on the first problem (it was announced first after), made flash… not bad.

Started with second problem (again, it was announced to be the second later)… I’m a bit slow, but finished it after few attempts.

Spent a lot of attempts on the last problem, I had a feeling that it will be last and winners will be decided after this one. Finish looks impossible. I went away for the third problem. Balance and jump from very uncomfortable position. I can’t make the jump, tried it several times but it became only worse. I told to trainer that I will not do the jump now but will do it on the competitions. He agreed. I waited for the announcement of the problems numbers and left. Finish is in three hours. I chose first starting number, I like to start first.

Start! I’m cheerful and confident!

I made public feel nervous with climbing first problem from the second attempt even though I flashed it this morning.

Guys are leaving sport ground…. We are left with 5 on the third problem. I’m worried. But route settlers changed the problem a bit so guys can’t do one part. I put myself together and jumped from the second attempt as I planned it, I’m very happy)))

Final. Three persons left and the problem, which I almost can finish. Miracle! I almost did it from the second attempt, it was ALMOST real. And I become a winner.

Here is the video from finals.

And short interview.

Fingers are still in pain after the crimpers.

Thanks to everyone!

More about bouldering competitions you can find here.

ECB Eindhoven 2013. AFTER

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Just a week ago I was competing in last World cup in Munich. Today lets speak about the most important competition of  this season, European championship bouldering.

From the very beginning I should apologize because I disappointed many of you. Among others, my wife, my trainer and lots of Dutch funs expected the most from me. Here I’m at home.

Before the start, I felt like a superstar and was thinking only about finals. To get into finals should not be difficult with these competitors.

BUT. I forgot that this is a game and you should play honestly and emotionally. There is no place for predictions. We are fighting on the edge of our abilities; if you are calm you will never be able to do that. You have to be aggressive and furious.

I choose wrong tactics… Everyone says sport is sport! I don’t agree with that. I made mistakes and I could avoid them, there is no chance here.

I will not feed you with promises about future competitions. Now I need your support as never before. I love this sport!

Munich 2013. Afterword.

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You might read already how I was preparing for this start. The same as you, I was curious how I will perform on this start.

I made a lot of effort to be sure that there is no one stronger and luckier than me. I was training in self persuasion and of course physically every day. Everything was going well. There was not enough time for me to prepare in a proper way. There was only one chance – faith in victory. I’ve met some troubles there as well.

Of course I’m not happy with the result. But I was told by trainer: with so many mistakes be on podium – not that bad.

Get to finals was not that difficult. I don’t remember anything special besides the fact that couple of strong climbers didn’t make it to finals. This is sport.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

Finals! Tension is in the air. Someone behaves very calm, but it is just for show, he has chaos and panic in his head. Someone panics just for show and tries to keep cool.

Where is the golden mean of calmness and concentration?

The answer is always different because it changes with time. You even should not try to find the answer.

Observation of the problems. Vanity. Someone is making sounds easily understandable by intonations. Everyone is looking for a problems in the routs and trying to solve it.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам ГельмановSometimes I have a thought: why don’t I just stay in the comfortable couch with cup of juice on a Saturday night as all normal people? Instead, I’m trying my luck and trying to prove something to someone.

When time comes to climb, you feel yourself at home. This is your place, every motion brings you pleasure. The more difficult the move, the more interest you have in the fight. All problems are staying behind; you are coming to the other world, where every second on a mat is very important. Feels like all word is about climbing and you are part of big climbing family.

I forgot to write about climbing..

First problem made me feel like I’m beginner, I started to feel anxiety. Leaving it all behind I started with the second problem. It was going good but not for long. I made a silly mistake. Just one second can bring a lot of unpleasant consequences. I didn’t manage to start second problem again and lost my victory.


Third problem was not scary, but the second problem was still in my mind. It wasn’t perfect, but I pulled myself together and made beautiful jump on the third problem.

The fourth problem. I know I need to finish it from the first attempt. I lost control of the right thumb and fell down on the mat. One second later I started new attempt, I felt a lot of strength. Easy I finished this problem as it was supposed to be.


Third place

Huge thanks to my loving wife and trainer.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

More about bouldering competitions you can find here.

Climbing festival Luch in St. Petersburg 2013

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At the beginning of July I participated in climbing festival Luch 2013 in St. Petersburg. It's been a while since I've been in Russia and I already forgot how it feels. Public was very cheerful! Thanks a lot! I had very nice few days!!!
I will try to write it poetic. Enjoy!

Before coming to St. Petersburg, I was not climbing already for three weeks. I was totally occupied by organization of Salewa Rock Show in Asia (Seoul, Korea and Beijing, China). During those three weeks I felt like a real super star! Very warm Asian public, extremely friendly people and lots of new impressions from unfamiliar for me cultures.

The main point is that I didn’t have enough time to train properly. I knew that I have no other choice as win in St. Petersburg. First, public will not understand that, second, sponsors J Haha.. and wife will punish))))))))

I had to figure out the way to train: bottles with water instead of dumbbells, doorposts and any other places in hotels where I could hang instead of climbing gym. At least I didn’t have problems with stretching, you can do it everywhere.

I had a plan to fly from China to Eindhoven and next day fly to St. Petersburg.  But sponsors changed my flight from China to one day earlier. Therefore, I could train a bit and spend one more day with Tanya. I even will not mention how rare we see each other.

Everything goes fine; I arrived to St. Petersburg and immediately got the feeling that I will have rest there. Next day I had Master class for media. It is a bit boring for me, reporters don’t know much about bouldering and you need to have patience to speak with them.

The festival started. 300 people will compete in qualification. I choose first group to have cleaner grips and start fighting problem after problem. Here comes surprise: one problem is very difficult. I know that it meant for me, but I can’t do anything, I didn’t climb for a while. This problem stimulated me and I remembered that I need to be impudent.

Semifinals and finals were as in fairytale! Lots of people, all together they support climbers. I spoke with so many people in breaks and after start so my throat was dry every 20 minutes.

When public is that supportive, you try to satisfy and entertain them. I always liked it. Maybe only at the beginning I was afraid of big crowd, but as soon as I understood that it can be helpful, I started to use this support.

Maybe never I was so impudent on the problems, difficult to explain. The once who saw it will tell you in details.

Thank you my dear public!

P.S.: This box on the photo is my prize 🙂

More about bouldering competitions you can find here.

WC Toronto and Vail 2013

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Here are my impressions from boulder world cups in Toronto and Vail, 2013. Please leave your comments.

How should I start?.. There is something that you shouldn’t know: this is how I was training before Canada and USA. Otherwise you will fell pity for me.

After couple of days of hard trainings with the best trainer in the world (yes, his name is Roman, he is from Slovenia), I felt way better. How else can it be? He puts his whole soul into me. I remember that time with smile. It was like in stone quarry: dust, sweat. Everything is as in a fog…

Finally I had to go over the ocean to collect the medals. I asked Dutch climbing team to join for the trips to Canada and America. Since then I felt myself almost like in the Dutch team. I arrived to Toronto earlier than Vera and Wouter, so I met them in the airport. We took the car and went to the small city Hamilton.

I was excited about next day way more than about competitions: we planned to go to Niagara Falls, which are better to see from the Canadian side. Day was full of happiness and fun. Falls are amazingly beautiful! The water is fresh and falls down so slowly and softly, it attracts you to jump there, maybe mostly because of the warm weather.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

The day of competitions came. Climbing gym is located in very strange place, but everything turned out to be better than we expected. The only thing that influenced the results is the heat and stuffiness. At the end of qualification the weather became cooler and guys were climbing better (yes, it happens as well). Without much effort I’m in semifinal. Vera is also in semifinals; she is very happy and infects me with this happiness. You became one team when you are happy for each other. But there is very tough next day, everyone should be prepared. Competition becomes more difficult, you have to put more effort than is necessary for a route to calm your mind and fell secure. I know this is not the most right way!

Fight and again fight, public is extremely supportive, I bear and do what I can. And I’m in the final! I felt relief, already couple of competitions were not going well for me. I already started to feel myself wrong. You know this feeling, when couple of times you made a mistake and you don’t want to try again? Because then you will have to explain to everyone that your mistake was just an accident. I decided to behave as real American: don’t give up and try again and again. Maybe you know that initiative is encouraged in USA.

With this optimism I came to the final, but I already forgot how to compete in finals: made lots of silly mistakes. After finals I made 5 pull ups on each hand, there was no fatigue at all. Here are my conclusions: I left battlefield with intention for revenge.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

And again, public was aggressively supportive. Sometimes athletes were fallen down under this pressure. Sean was very good! But the most supportive for me were words from Wouter: “Davai davai Rustam!” He was saying it with strong accent and very positive intention.

New training started right after the competitions. I came to the hotel and made small training. Next day we were already in Vail. At morning we went to Boulder for the nice training before the next world cup. Crowd, long routs, talking…

Already from the first day in USA I lost my dream about cabriolet. We rented very modern cabriolet: it was windy and uncomfortable, especially for passengers.

Couple more training days, Vail is very nice and hospitable. I should remind you that Vail is located in mountains; you feel the height especially while training. Not enough of oxygen, you may feel dizzy. I was prepared for that, it is my 4th time in Vail! I was training endurance; that should help.

Let skip unimportant parts: qualification and semis. Finals! I’m ready as never. I always remember Russian fairy tale, when strong man wanted to put stake into earth so he can put it upside down. I was feeling the same way. I thought, if I couldn't do the route, no one will be able to do it. Apparently it was exactly like that.

Rustam Gelmanov, Рустам Гельманов

Dutch team and me went to the real American adventure next day: horse riding over the rocks and hills. Since then I like horses much more. We went to do some shooting in the second part of the day and my dream came true. I was shooting from big and heavy revolver, as in cowboy’s movies.

Thanks to Vera and Wouter for such nice adventure. Thanks to public for support!

Who else should I thank? Of course Roman! More than 50% of the result – his work. And 30% of my power was added by Dmitriy’s presence.

At the end, I’m not that strong 🙂 But that was enough to leave with silver medal and be ahead from other by 2 routs. Notice, it is final!

More about competitions you can read here.