Sasha DiGiulian rocks Rodellar, Bielsa and Margalef
Interview with Sasha DiGiulian after her recent spate of hard routes in Rodellar, Bielsa and Margalef in Spain.
American climber Sasha Di Giulian is going from strength to strength. After her recent 8c+ redpoint and 8b+ on-sight in Rodellar, DiGiulian travelled to nearby Bielsa where she on-sighted another two 8b's, before travelling to Margalef where she made short work of Aitzol 8c, Flash Over 8b+ and Via del Quim 8b+. With her sights now set on the Lead World Cup in Puurs, the time had come to check in on her stint outdoors.
Sasha, tell us about Spain
I felt as though I was in pretty good shape in Spain so I was happy to put my training to the test. The more on-sighting I do, the better I deal with this type of climbing and I feel as though I am stronger at on-sighting now than in March because I can now on-sight harder grades at a more consistent level. In March I did my first 8b+ on-sight and it was cool to be able to repeat this and 8b's again.
How do you choose the routes?
I choose my routes just based on whatever looks like a nice line to climb. Regardless of whether it is easy or hard, if it seems aesthetically pleasing to the eye then I want to try it! Long, clean climbs stand out because they are liketrue journeys up the rock face. I enjoy both steep and vertical but I don't tend to try slabs very often because I'm actually a little intimidated about falling on slabs...! If I had to choose, then I think my favourite angle is slightly overhung,
But Cosi Fan tutte overhangs wildly
Cosi Fan Tutte was one of the most beautiful and enjoyable climbs I've ever done and yes, that was quite steep. It was so beautiful because it follows a distinct line and for a large part climbs up this super obvious black tufa that tuns unparalleled up the steep headwal diretly above the beautiful bluish green river!
You were with a bunch of friends in Spain
The best bit of my day is hanging out and living the "climber" lifestyle with my friends - climbing in Spain was really relaxed and enjoyable. The day was just comprised of climbing, eating, sleeping, and joking around. Really simple but fun.
So do you consider yourself an athlete?
Yes, because climbing is a very large part of my life right now, especially this year because I am not in school either. Although I don't have a trainer I learn and work on my strengths and weaknesses with fellow climbing friends. I look up to a lot of my friends because I believe everyone has at least one aspect that you can learn and improve from. When climbing outside, I guess that is my "training", but when I'm in the gym I tend to train about 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week. I basically just climb though I do love to run as well so I do that for cross training to improve my stamina and aerobic capabilities.
What about your diet?
My diet philosophy is: food is fuel. If you are climbing a bunch, then you can't climb and hope to perform or be able to do anything without this fuel. I find it sad and quite ignorant when I hear people question my weight or diet. The fact of the matter is, if you don't eat and treat your body properly, then you cannot expect a positive outcome at all. Life should be enjoyable and you are not going to be having a lot of fun if your body and or health are suffering. I am interested in healthy foods that trigger optimal performance, such as a good balance of proteins, whole grains, carbohydrates, and fresh fruits and vegetables, but I also have an unyielding sweet tooth and I certainly don't see any reason to try and suppress that considering sweets are so tasty :-)
My best advice about training, diet and climbing in general is really try and listen to your body and take rests when necessary in order to prevent injury. Push yourself and believe in yourself, but most importantly, always have fun.