My sanctuary sport, all are welcome

img_8186-2Sometimes life does not slow down!

Since deciding to compete at the US Sport Climbing Nationals, I’ve been training and focusing on the preparation needed to be competitive in the event. One of the biggest challenges is not psyching myself out.

The first day after I committed to this idea, the psyche was high. I couldn’t wait to begin training and create my training plan. Sound familiar? But, some challenges have come to present themselves and my plans have had to be flexible.

Originally, I wanted to give a day by day update on how the training was going or what I was doing, but life has gotten in the way and I haven’t been able to make the time. Today, I wanted to take a minute to set the stage and with each post, I hope to take you a little deeper and bring you with me on my way to the event.

First, if you’ve read my previous posts, then you know that there is a lot going on for me both in my private life and in my public life (for lack of a better word). First, we know that I’m technically homeless. March 1 will be 1 year living out of the same 2 backpacks I packed for Europe. That’s correct. Most of the clothes, my climbing gear, my work materials, etc. are the same things I packed nearly 1 year ago.

I have acquired some things in the meantime. In fact, I’m a little overwhelmed with extraneous items, but not surprised to find I’ve collected a few. It’s not until I have to move somewhere that I realize all of the crap I can get rid of. At least I know a) I can live a minimalist life and still be happy and b) there’s always room to cut back or rid myself of things sooner than when I change locations.

Fortunately, I have a good friend who is renting my condo and letting me rent back the guest room, while I sort myself out. The sorting out seems to be taking longer and is more complicated but I’m making progress. Sitting still, in one location, has the advantage of being able to address this. However, what’s nice about living somewhere that’s not home, with minimal external interference, is that there becomes time to do nothing. Or at least, this is what I discovered living in Germany last Spring. Being somewhat home has the disadvantage of always having things to do!

Now that I’ve got a “home” for a short bit, there are things to take care of like home repairs, vehicle repairs, heath insurance fiascoes, work and now the stress of watching my government turn this Country inside out. Where to focus, first?

The political aftermath of this past election has absorbed my free time. It’s important to me that I understand the issues, how we got here and what I can do from here. I can’t fight all battles so I must determine the ones that I am willing to fight and that takes time and energy. But, it’s a necessary thing and with today’s social media, it’s a new way of socializing discontent, promoting change, and reveling in successes. The challenge is that I am an athlete and a human being. I will not put my political views on the back seat when I think it’s important to speak out. But, I risk alienating those that follow me or friend me because of climbing and what I have to say for training or as a contributor to that community.

This is one reason why I am glad to have my Athlete Facebook page. If you only care about things related to climbing, training, coaching, etc., simply follow that page. If you care about me and my views, likes, dislikes, happenings as a person, follow my personal page. I won’t be offended if you switch, either.

Before this new Administration came to power, I didn’t realize how little I knew about the right political agenda. The term silent majority, used in the Nixon era, has been used in this election, too. Perhaps there is truth to that. Many felt that they couldn’t speak up and therefore, I never heard the discontent or opinions of the “other side” quite so loudly. Now, I am trying to listen to these views and opinions, not to convert anyone, but to understand how we got here and what I can expect going forward. I think it’s helpful to find discourse that enables me to become more appreciative of the diversity in our Country.

I put this out there because I want to talk about climbing and training and the US Nationals. I want to engage and encourage and hopefully inspire others. But, if you disengage because of my political views, I will be sad to lose you. Before you go, though, I want to say that I will never discriminate in my coaching, or otherwise. This is my sanctuary sport and I welcome everyone to engage in it with me.

Now that this is out there, let’s talk about how my training has been going. See you in the next post!

Disclaimer: WordPress may include ads, which I do not endorse, to various blogs following posts.


About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climbing athlete and computer software/technology enthusiast.
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