"Six weeks after a lower abdomen hernia surgery, I'm back to training and climbing again. And holy moly, it feels good! Yesterday (Saturday, February 21st) was my first competition back at New York's largest bouldering series event: Feats of Strength.
The setting crew at The Cliffs in Valhalla did a stellar job, setting over 150 boulder problems for the day comp and 6 Finals for the second round. With over 200 competitors and spectators, the day comp--like always--was a battle. I ended up in the middle of the pack going into Finals with a tight line-up. Vasya Vorotnikov, Brian Kim, Rob D'Anastasio, and Andrew Kim, all of which were top place finishers at the 2010 ABS Nationals. The Finals round ended up being very close. I finished 4th, one hold shy of Rob D, while Vasya took the lead of the pack for the night. That Russian is monster. Anyway, psyched to be back at it--crossing my fingers right now for a few healthy comp months with my sights set on qualifying at the United Bouldering Championship Pro Tour (UBC) and having good outdoor season once the snows melts and temperatures get a bit warmer. Sidenote:I have a lot of respect for each one of these guys. Vasya is a full-time student earning a PhD in Biomechanical Engineering who climbs about twice a week. Rob works his body into the ground day after day doing construction and demolition, still managing to train after long days of swinging a hammer and heavy lifting. Brian is recovering from a partial-tear in his shoulder and Andrew is only in high school--he's a youngster with an amazing ability to read and decipher quicker than most. All of these competitors still manage to maintain top form with the best in the country. Inspiring."