Anna-St-hr-main

Evolution

#ATHLETESTORY #PUREMOUNTAINGIRLS

My year of 2019 started with a bang. I climbed my hardest routes to date: “Riflessi” and “Cinque Uve”, graded 8c. But way more important is that I started to feel healthy again.

Last year was my toughest year in terms of climbing. In February 2018 I injured my back and was not able to climb for a long time. I had had multiple injuries before but the outlook this time was different. As I was lying in bed, unable to walk, I realised that my physio was right: I had to change something in order to be healthy again. I wanted to compete at the World Championships in Innsbruck, but more important was my desire to keep climbing for a very long time, which was yet to come. Therefore I made the difficult decision to quit competing because the impact of jumping down was far from ideal for my back. I wanted to take the time that my body needed in order to heal up. This undertaking was far from easy. The first time back on the wall was a disaster. I lacked confidence and felt as if I were someone else. Climbing had always felt so natural to me and suddenly this feeling was gone. I tried to take it step by step and was fortunate to have the best support possible by my boyfriend Kilian, my family, my friends and my physios.

Fast forward to February 2019: Climbing “Riflessi” was very special, because for the first time in almost one year I did not think about my back at all. I focussed solely on the next move, the next foothold and climbed completely in the flow. I did not even hear the encouragements of my friends. This feeling of pure concentration is unique and only happens if something is of utter importance for me. I knew this feeling from competitions and boulders outside, but had not experienced it in sportclimbing. I was truly happy when I clipped the chains of this beautiful route in Arco, which marked a turning point after my injury.

A lot has changed since my injury. My back does not feel entirely healed and it may never feel completely the same. But every injury is an opportunity to evolve. I might not be able to boulder as much as before, but I am happy that climbing is a sport with a lot of different aspects to it. In sport or multipitch climbing the impact while falling is a lot less damaging for my back than it is whilst bouldering. Surely, I have tied into a rope countless times before this injury and I was already interested in other aspects of climbing. Now I am eager to explore these forms of climbing more intensely.

Furthermore there are still so many climbing areas across the globe yet to be seen. After almost one year without any bigger trips I am eager to travel abroad to experience different cultures and explore foreign climbing areas. This injury forced me to look at other aspects of climbing and challenged me to evolve as a person as well as a climber. Therefore sportclimbing and multipitch climbing are my way to evolve. I want to enjoy climbing in all its forms, in different regions and already have multiple projects in mind.

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