Lately all I can think of is Alex Puccio. Creepy, I know. In my defense, she seems to be everywhere: dominating comps, taking down hard boulders outside, constantly training, and popping up all over my Facebook feed. She’s been on the scene for many years, but recently she seems to be taking the climbing world (even more) by storm. So today I wanted to give some huge props to Alex Puccio for being a totally rad, feminine, strong, beast of a climber.
Just a year ago, when we interviewed Alex, she seemed pretty mellow about training, saying, “The week before [a comp] I try to practice flashing boulders or making up new climbs and doing them in as few tries as possible. Some days I’ll do a bit more power, and I’ll try to eat better. Maybe eat one day of brisket instead of a few days of brisket. Maybe a few cookies instead of a whole pack [laughs]. I try to be a little bit more scheduled. It’s really hard for me to be on a schedule. I’m not very good at it. Months out I have a rough plan, but it’s a very flexible plan.” If you follow her on Facebook like we do, you definitely know that she’s recently tightened up her training game. In the fall of 2014 Alex started training with Team of 2 (Kris Peters & Justen Sjong) and so far it seems to be majorly paying off.
About a month ago we got to watch Alex dominate Dark Horse Finals right in our own backyard. The annual competition hosted by MetroRock in Everett, MA consistently draws top climbers, including Angie Payne, Ashima Shiraishi, Delaney Miller, and of course Alex. Having seen her compete a few years in a row, I have to say, there was something different about her this time. Sure, she looked even more ripped/amazing than in previous years, but more importantly, she seemed more calm, confident, and technical. Here’s Justen Sjong giving us a little insight into the mental aspect of Alex’s recent training:
The weekend after she won Dark Horse Finals, Alex went on to win the American Boulder Series (ABS) National Championship for the 9th year in a row! In the final round of ABS Nationals six of the best female climbers in the US compete on 4 boulder problems. This year Alex did so well that she had the final round of competition won after the 3rd problem! Translation: she did so well on problems 1, 2, and 3 that she could have completely botched problem 4 and still won the National Championship. Of course she did not botch the boulder… instead, she flashed it.
Alex’s next victory came just a few days ago when she sent The Swarm (8B/V13) in Bishop, CA. The overhanging and crimpy boulder was first sent by Matt Birch and has since seen many repeats, including an FFA by Ashima Shiraishi. On 8a.nu Alex is currently ranked #1 for female boulderers and #18 for male and female boulderers combined, making her by far the highest ranked female among the males. We predict that her upward trend won’t be slowing any time soon.
With the 2015 World Cup series fast approaching, we know that Alex will be giving the best climbers in the world some stiff competition. Going into last year’s World Cup series, Alex told us, “I know I want to win the bouldering World Cup circuit and I’m pretty dang close, so I feel like it’s not too far fetched.” Unfortunately, Alex didn’t win the World Cup circuit last year, but maybe she just wasn’t ready yet. Perhaps, with the extra mental and physical training she’s been putting in, this year will be hers on the World Cup stage. Either way, we’ll be here admiring, rooting for, and being totally inspired by Alex Puccio.
All photos from Alex’s Facebook page.