To Be a Superman- Or Woman: Cut Out the Whining!

Karen Bossick from Eye on Sun Valley did such a great job covering the major points from my wellness talk at Zenergy Health Club and Spa, my reaction was: “We covered ALL that in just an hour!?”

Keep reading to get your free copy of the book covered in the article, Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes. The book features a Foreword from the now 5x and Olympic GOLD medalist Kikkan Randall.

Click here to read her article online.  Or see below, or read as a PDF. Enjoy!


There’s been much written about New Year’s resolutions and goal setting in the past month.

Should you set them? Should you not set them?

Not only should you set resolutions, or goals. But you should set them down in writing and keep them close to your heart, says a local author Kathryn Guylay.  She told a group of people at a presentation at Zenergy that Jack Canfield, author of “The Success Principles” and ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul,’ had once asked a group of Olympic athletes how many set goals.

All raised their hands.

But when he asked how many had a copy of their goals with them, only one athlete raised her hand.

That was the athlete who went on to win a medal, Guylay said.

“Write down your goals—‘I’m so excited to be reaching this many people.’ Or, ‘By this time, I will be debt free.’ And carry them with you wherever you go,” she said.

Guylay, a certified nutritional counselor and former management consultant for Fortune 500 companies, introduced her book “Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes,” in 2015. It offers suggestions for living life more fully based on lessons she’s learned from skiing and stories from elite athletes to offer suggestions for living life more fully.

Guylay drew on some examples from her book as she addressed questions on a wide array of topics.

BREATHE IN through the nose and out through the mouth, she told listeners: “When you do that, you’re saying: I’m not being hunted. My breathing is unlimited. If you’re not being hunted and you’re not bleeding, you’re okay.”

SKI BETTER, not harder, she said, quoting a line that Vamps Coach Kris Thoreson had told his group earlier in the day. Rather than try to do a million techniques at once, focus on utilizing a little grace for more glide.

ZOOM OUT for the best view. It’s easy to get caught up on the hamster track, checking emails and the thousand other crazy chaotic tasks that we could spend all our time doing. Every time you get on the chairlift you have an opportunity to meditate or to examine your life, drinking in the big perspective at the top of the mountain.

“If you’re on the Warm Springs chair, you’re stuck there for 10 minutes!” Guylay said. “Think about what you’re passionate about—what you get so excited to do. Think about what your God-given unique gifts are. Now, think: What is the critical need in the world you can meet using your passion and gifts?”

If it’s difficult for you to identify your gifts, ask others. Perhaps, they’ll tell you you’re a great connector,” she said.”The hope is you’ll do this earlier in life, rather than later.”

POSITION YOURSELF. Harvard Psychologist Amy Cuddy discovered that men tend to spread out all over the place, draping their arms around chairs and leaning back, during board meetings. This gives them the appearance of being bigger and it pays off, helping them exert power over the women who tend to make themselves smaller by wrapping their arms around themselves and holding their wrists.

ADOPT the Superman pose. Guylay recalled how Liz Stephen—“a 90-pound powerhouse” on the U.S. Nordic Ski team—shared how she stands like Superman, her hands on her hips, when she was in Sun Valley last spring for the USSA Super Tour. Two minutes in a power pose spikes a person’s testosterone and drops their cortisol stress hormone.

EAT LIKE AN OLYMPIAN. Most people set very difficult goals for themselves when it comes to nutrition. Then theyScreen Shot 2016-01-07 at 7.51.16 PMdon’t follow through and they beat themselves up over it, Guylay said.

When she asked Olympians how they eat, they told her they “eat a rainbow.” They have a competition at the salad bar to see how many different fruits and vegetables they can put on their plate,” Guylay said.

When she works with school kids, Guylay tells them how each color of the food rainbow affects a different part of the body. Red foods are good for the brain; orange and yellow, the eyes. White foods, such as mushrooms, are good for the gut. Green vegetables tend to have a lot of calcium and so are good for the teeth. And blue and purple fruits provide antioxidants, which Guylay symbolizes by hugging herself.

HALF YOUR PLATE should be made up of fruit and vegetables, with the emphasis on vegetables. The other half should be divided into whole grains—think quinoa and millet if you can’t tolerate wheat. It should contain a little fat—maybe avocado or salad dressing–to help you absorb the nutrients in your salad.

And every meal should have protein.

“I’m a daughter of a biochemist and I can’t tell you how important protein is to the body,” Guylay said.

On a budget? Split peas cost only a penny an ounce. The stuff that Indians eat every day as dal bhat, they’re great for the digestive system.

ENTICE children into eating healthy by giving food monikers. Children consume carrots three times faster when they’re called “x-ray vision carrots.” If you’re making a smoothie, call it a “Dr. Seuss Smoothie” or “Miracle Juice.”

OPEN UP YOUR CHEST, putting your hands behind your back and arching your back while looking up. When you collapse your lungs, you’re dealing with grief, Guylay said. Opening yourself up is a happy pose, she said.

“Open your heart and feel the foundation by grounding your feet on the floor.”

GREET each day as a fresh start. Start it off with a healthy breakfast, such as steel coats flavored with peanut butter or Greek yogurt. And say, “Thank you” for the first breath and the new day.

“Gratitude is a powerful thing,” Guylay said. “And, hey, we’re in Sun Valley. So cut out the whining!”

Here’s a link to get your free copy of Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes. The book features a Foreword from the now 5x and Olympic GOLD medalist Kikkan Randall.


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