Former Extreme Skier Kristen Ulmer Confronts Fear, Anxiety At Lunchtime Learning Event

Aug 14, 2019

Kristen Ulmer
Credit Kristen Ulmer

Everyone gets scared sometimes. But author, speaker and U.S. Ski Hall of Fame inductee Kristen Ulmer argues we don’t have to be afraid of fear.   

Ulmer became very familiar with fear during her time as a professional skier.

“First of all, I was considered the best woman big mountain extreme skier in the world for 12 years," Ulmer said. "I was also voted the most fearless woman athlete in North America, and so I have this really unique background of learning about what to do about fear through my ski career.”

Once she retired from skiing in 2003, Ulmer learned what she calls a zen approach to fear, and now she works with clients to help them deal with their own fears. She says the worst way to approach fear is to resist it.

“Resistance can be conquering and overcoming it; fighting it; rationalizing it away; replacing it with positivity; letting it go," Ulmer said. "All of these things are actually taught by psychologists and self-help gurus, like, resist, resist, resist. Fight a war against fear. See it as an enemy. It causes a lot of problems to resist it.”

Ulmer says the simplest way to deal with fear is to learn to build a good relationship with it.

"If you’re trying to do some form of what's called spiritual bypassing, replace it with positivity or ignore it, it's the worst thing you can do with fear," Ulmer said. "Fear is such a huge part of our human experience. It's with us every single moment of every single day in nearly every single interaction we have, and if you don't have a healthy, honest, inclusive relationship with it, then you're going to have some problems. You may not have problems today, but you will soon."

Ulmer will speak at the PC MARC’s Lunchtime Learning event Wednesday, Aug. 14 at noon. The event is free and located in the PC MARC party room.