Fall is here in Colorado. The leaves are changing and a chilly breeze inhabits the air. This can only mean one thing: Psychedelia is on it's way! For those of you who don't know, Psychedelia is The Spot Gym's annual halloween themed glow in the dark black light bouldering competition and the second of four comps in the Spot Bouldering Series. Every year The Spot replaces all the regular light bulbs with black lights and begins painting hundreds of holds with fluorescent paint. They also bring in a handful of people to create tape art. It's amazing what people can create with just a little bit of time and some tape (see photos). Add a DJ and a costume contest and you have one of the most unique and fun experiences you will ever have climbing in the gym!
Psychedelia!! - Matt Lubar
On Saturday, October 20th I arrived at Psychedelia with one goal in mind: to make pro finals. I had qualified once during last year's Spot Bouldering Series but had failed to do it yet this season. At the beginning of the redpoint round I felt a bit off. Climbing in the dark is quite odd at first, but once your eyes adjust it starts to feel normal. An hour into the comp I was feeling fantastic. I had Open 1-5 done, all flash and I still had two hours to go! Climbing was feeling effortless and fun. Two hours later, after all was said and done, my top five consisted of O4, O5, O6 (all flash), 07 (3rd go), and 09 (flash). Not bad for a days work! In fact, it was good enough to get me into finals in 4th place. I was stoked! After a bit of rest and some food, it was go time.
After all the finalists had finished re-warming up, we were given a couple minutes to preview the final boulder. The Mens final consisted of a couple intro moves into a 360 spin off a good two finger pocket to a small volume with screw ons. It then climbed up through more volumes to a big jump move to yet another volume with a good edge on it. Two more tricky looking moves and you were on top. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a small, slightly hidden foot jib on the highest volume that ended up being key to unlocking the final sequence. Our sequencing time was up and it was back behind the boulder to wait.
Since i had qualified 4th out of 6th for finals, I would be climbing 3rd. First up was a buddy of mine and fellow Five Ten Youth Team member Greig Seitz. Greig has really stepped his game up since last season and it is awesome to see how strong he is! Keep up the good work bud! After Greig climbed, it was Owen Graham's turn, and before I knew it I was standing beneath the final boulder. I quickly went over the sequence one more time in my head, took a few deep breaths, and off I went. I climbed through the bottom section without to much trouble and found myself at the difficult looking jump move. I paused for a second, wondering if I was missing something, and hucked halfheartedly at the hold, feeling my fingers hit it and then quickly slip off. Before i could blink, I was back were I started; on the ground. "Come on Lubar. You're gonna have to do better than that! Get up this thing!" I thought to myself. I rested for another minute or two, re evaluated my sequence a little, then chalked up and pulled back on the boulder. As I cruised my way through the bottom sequence as quickly and efficiently as possibly, my mind shut off and entered a deep state of concentration. When I found myself below the jump move I had fallen off before, all I could hear was my deep and steady breathing. I felt different this time, determined and confident; I knew this was it. I hucked once again to the volume and felt my fingers grab wrap around the hold, but this time, I didn't let go. I let forth the biggest roar I've ever produced and barely hung on. All the sudden my mind returned to the present and I heard the crowd erupt below me. I quickly reeled my feet back in and climbed the rest of the way to the top of the boulder!
As I stood on top, looking down at the fluorescent clad audience, an immense feeling of euphoria and accomplishment pulsed through me. All of the time I have spent training in the gym, breaking myself and pushing myself to do better, to get stronger, sacrificing my social life and sometimes my sanity, it was all in pursuit of this moment. All of my hard work and commitment had finally paid off, and what an amazing feeling it is to realize that!
I ended up placing 2nd overall, which for me is the best I have done in an Open level competition to date! Congrats to Ben Hoberg for taking the gold, and also to fellow Team ABC members Laurel Todd, Margo Hayes, and Isabelle Goodacre for killing it on the Women's final! A huge thank you also goes out to all the people that made this comp happen! It was amazing! Now that the comp is over and all the lights have returned to their original white state, its back to the gym for some more ruthless training. Nationals is only five months away!