Interview with Urška Repušič: Climbing as a no. 1 priority

It was obvious since her early childhood that she was born as a climber. At 18 Urška Repušič is representing Slovenia at world competitions in bouldering and lead. If you want to know how much time she´s willing to sacrifice to training or where she gets her motivation, read more.

Who is Urška Repušič:

When she was 7, she has already climbed all pieces of furniture at her home. So her parents signed her in a climbing class and changed her life. Now she´s almost 19, she´s a highschool student who´s devoting all of her leisure time to training. She´s focused on competitions. Last year she was second in bouldering and fifth in lead at World Youth Championship. At the adults´ World Cup she´s finishing in the first 20.

"I think bouldering competitions are more relaxed and chilled than lead."

What do you like better - boulder, or lead?

I truly enjoy both. When it comes to indoor trainings and competitions I prefer bouldering because it gives me exciting and tricky challenges every time. And honestly, I think bouldering competitions are more relaxed and chilled than lead. That gives bouldering a few extra points. But I would probably choose lead over bouldering when it comes to outdoor climbing. All in all, I love every single discipline and every aspect of climbing.

What are your plans and goals for the upcoming season?

I want to give all in and show my best performance at every competition I´ll attend.

Are you staying mostly focused on competitions, or do you plan some climbing outdoors?

My focus will be on competition season but I’ll try to spend some time climbing outdoors too.

What draws you to the competitions so much? Is it the atmosphere or the fact that the rivalry that makes you try your hardest?

It´s the athmosphere and my desire to show what I am capable of. Rivalry sure does affect you but other competitors are also my friends. I learned to give all and also to be happy for them when they succed.

Competitions are like new challenges and I´m always looking forward to them. If comps would represent something that puts me in a bad mood, causes me nervousness or aniexty I wouldnt be doing it.

"When you do something for yourself – like I do climbing – no sacrifice is too big and every loss can be overcome."

Where do you get your motivation?

Interesting question… It´s just there.

When you find an activity that you love as much as I love climbing, the activity brings you happines and satisfaction. It becomes a passion and then motivation is not hard to find. I fell in love with the process of training - it gives my life a purpose and shows me who I am and what makes me happy.

When you do something for yourself – like I do climbing – no sacrifice is too big and every loss can be overcome. The motivation constantly lives within you.

If there were no competitions and only outdoor climbing (or if you have infinite amount of time and you´d be able to both), what areas would you visit next year?

With infinite amount of time I would visit every rock climbing location that exists, haha. China Yangshuo has tempting rock climbing spots, I´d also visit some classics like Spain or USA. That would be fun!

Are you thinking of some bigwalls, multipitches or other climbing disciplines? Maybe even later, like when you´re 40 or retired.

Yesss! Climbing outdoors more would be number one on my list. And multipitches were always my wish. There are so many remaining goals and wishes – it’s exciting.

"Organization is the key."

You´re very young, at high school, how do you manage the full schedule - school, climbing, friends, leisure time?

Organization is the key. Handling both - trainings and school can be really exhausting, but always worth it.

Do you have time for other hobbies besides climbing? Or student jobs?

It depends how much time you dedicate to climbing. In my case other hobbies and student jobs are not an option.

"My studies will probably be subordinate to climbing."

What are your plans after high school? Is climbing gonna be no. 1 priority, or is the future career gonna take this place and you´ll focus more on your studies?

I’m gonna choose a school that enables me to train as much as possible. So my studies will probably be subordinate to climbing. But as much as I love to climb and compete, I also want a good back up - education.

Where would you like to be 10 years from now, how would you like to live?

Doesn’t really matter as long I’m happy with my life and people in it.

Who’s your biggest supporter?

Coach, family and closest friends.

How much do you train, do you have a strict training schedule?

I train around 5 times a week but I don’t have a “strict” training schedule. My coach gives me training plan so my schedule is very flexible. I follow the plan but it doesn’t matter when I go. I just have to check everything from my training list for that day. Usually I do two trainings per week with my coach, I try to train with him as much as possible. It gets better in January when national trainings begin so I get more chances to train with my coach.

Do you keep any kind of a diet because of climbing, or do you eat whatever you like even if it´s not healthy?

I try to eat healthy but I don’t really stress over “eating clean”. I trust my body and my intuition. I don’t have special diets or forbidden food.

Are you having a Christmas break from it (climbing or diet or both)?

This season I took the rest a bit earlier than usual. That means my rest is already finished and trainings are in full swing. And so are baked Christmas goods. (the interview was made shortly before Christmas, ed.)

What´s your favorite way of relaxing from climbing?

Studying is not my favorite, but it is my most common rest day activity during the school year. When I have free time in summer there are many other fun things to do like spending time with friends, trying different sports, road trips, reading a good book or just watching a movie, going to concerts and other events.

Can you imagine life without climbing? Or living with a nonclimbing partner?

Life without climbing would be less fun and less fulfilled at first but I’m sure I can find strength to adjust to anything, find new hobbies and passions. For the second question – that depends on the situation. If people are right for each other I don’t see any obstacle.

Photo: Jaka Sajovic, Luka Fonda, Tomaž Seliškar, Eddie Fowke, pdk