Nowadays you can write newsletters like this one and distribute them to many recipients with one click, in my childhood it was all about handwritten letters to the Christ Child, which were put on the windowsill and picked up by the angels. Christmas Eve was celebrated at grandma's house with the whole family, our wishes were under the Christmas tree - fulfilled and torn out of the wrapping with great anticipation.
When I think about upcoming Thursday, Christmas Eve 2020, not much has actually changed between then and now. Christmas for me is a family celebration. We sing Christmas carols under the Christmas tree and it's the children's shining eyes as they unwrap presents that make this holiday special for me.
One gift I remember very well was my first cell phone around my 10th birthday - a Nokia 3330. Back then you made your own ringtones on your phone, the game 'Snake' was still on it and a cell phone was a very special gift.
Fifa-fanatic as I was, I also got a Playstation and the corresponding games at some point. Trying out everything right away - that was the best and most important thing. Everything as always.
Not quite so used or ordinary was this past year! Travel bans, social distancing, cancellations of events of all kinds.... enough to keep one’s head down and dive off. But this was somehow not quite my approach and so today - ten days before the last day of the year and my 30th birthday - I can look back on some very cool events.
What definitely sticks in my mind is my flash ascent of 'Neverending Story' in the spring at Magic Wood, Switzerland. This 8B+ boulder was opened 17 years ago and has been pretty legendary ever since. For me it had seemed doable to climb it first try and so I had been obsessing over it for quite a while. As you have only one go you better not waste it and make sure you find that moment when fitness, mental strength, weather, humidity all come together. Being the first one to succeed in this definitely makes me proud. In general, my trips to Magic Wood this year were pretty memorable and doing the first ascent of the direct finish of ,La Force Tranquille‘ 8C should not be left out.
Looking purely at rating and difficulty, this year I didn't quite get to where I got last season with Perfecto Mundo (9b+)‘ but it's the number of routes and boulders in the high-end of the scale that particularly stands out.
Meanwhile, I have a video of almost every one of my projects, so of course the memories remain very present and I can always relive the emotions.
As the new year approaches I am often asked if an ambitious person like me needs resolutions. My resolutions for a new year are always rather goals and are big ones to come in 2021 with the Olympic Games just ahead. For me, it's crucial to always have a big goal in mind. Of course, this is also extremely motivating in training and helps me to give everything in preparation so that I can achieve the big goal of an Olympic medal in the summer.
Once the goals or resolutions are set, I don't give up and work on them until I achieve them.
Staying healthy is always at the top of the 'wish list' and curing injuries well; I resolve to take even more care of my body and work as hard as I can to prevent more serious ailments from occurring in the first place. That simply makes life and climbing more enjoyable. Personally, the focus is undoubtedly on my further development as a person. It might sound cheesy but there is an incredible amount of potential in this and I will continue to work hard in 2021.
The first weeks and months of the new year are already pretty packed: Starting in January, hard training is on the schedule. Hopefully a few smaller bouldering trips to Switzerland or the Maltatal in Carinthia will work out. But the focus is clearly on the Olympic preparation and before it really starts in April with the Boulder World Cup in Meiringen / Switzerland, I already want to be in strong shape for the first international test competitions.
The next few days the focus is on the family, for me the pressure has fallen off after successfully buying presents for my girlfriend, I am virtually waiting for the little bell that sounds on Christmas Eve when the Christ Child has done his work and the candles on the tree are lit.
I wish you and all of us a wonderful Christmas in the circle of our loved ones and a good start into a healthy, exciting and successful year 2021!
Photos by Alpsolut | private | Moritz Liebhaber