Clubhouse Chronicles: Pause, pivot, progress during coronavirus downtime

Mark Godomsky
AVSC executive director

The past month has proved to be a period of rapid adjustment to incremental, yet major, changes. Daily life has been altered not just in our community or country, but across the globe. While frontline workers valiantly carry forward with their jobs, the majority of us are spending exponentially more time at home than we ever have before.

If your family is anything like mine, we are finding the silver linings in time at home together, and while we’re immensely grateful to be in good health and in a comfortable home, there are some challenges, too. Screen time is up across the board. Social isolation has impacts on all of us; we miss spending time in person with our friends. We all miss our respective teams.

At the beginning of this month, I wrote to our families and supporters that I can’t help but think that these challenges are ones that are exacerbated by, but not unique to, this period of social distancing. In fact, these are challenges that youth in our valley face frequently. It is not uncommon for kids to have no other option than to spend time at home with little but a device to keep them occupied.

I shared that it’s made me think a lot about the value in the programs that we provide to local youth: while there are many things that beat sitting at home on the couch with a device in hand, I can think of none more meaningful than exploring the local mountains with mentors and friends. Not only for the fun of it, but for the social-emotional growth and the physical and mental health benefits.

Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club is doing our best to innovate and provide outlets for our athletes, within the current stay-at-home parameters, that provide them with some semblance of their “normal” athlete experience: the ability to see teammates, to be motivated by a coach, to share their challenges alongside peers. Our coaches, who generally do not rely on technology for their most critical job functions, are now leveraging platforms from web conferencing on Zoom to live streaming on Facebook to building out workouts in the Train Heroic app. They are altering workouts so that athletes can complete them with limited equipment and guidance. They are revisiting the winter season, filled with challenge, growth and accomplishments, and helping athletes set new goals for their future.

While the medium has most certainly changed, the message remains the same: you are capable of being the best person and athlete that you can be, and we are here to help you get there.

Thank you all for your continued belief in the value that we provide to local kids. COVID-19 will end, and when it does, we are as enthusiastic as ever about continuing to provide opportunities for local youth to thrive as athletes and as people. In the meantime, I hope you and your family are healthy and finding ways to stay engaged and positive at this time.

If you would like to join AVSC in any workouts, check out our Facebook group “AVSC Strongest Together” — workouts start Monday at 3 p.m. (streaming within the Facebook group) and will continue every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 3 p.m.!

Clubhouse Chronicles is a behind-the-scenes column written by the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club that runs periodically in the Outdoors and Sports sections.