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Mountain Mantras by Kathryn Kemp Guylay

Mountain Mantras

Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes

by Kathryn Kemp Guylay

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9965328-2-2
Publisher: Healthy Solutions of Sun Valley

A founder of a nonprofit shares the guiding life principles that she discovered while learning how to ski as an adult in this debut memoir/self-help guide.

Previously a road-warrior management consultant, Guylay “opted for a career change” to spend more time at home with her young children, and she founded Nurture, a nonprofit focused on family nutrition. She and her family moved from Chicago to Sun Valley, Idaho, leading Guylay to finally commit to learning how to ski, already one of her investment banker husband’s greatest pleasures. She spends the bulk of this book discussing the life lessons, or various “mantras,” gleaned from that experience, including “change your lens on life”; “get some good boots on”; “zoom out for the best view”; and “throw yourself down the mountain,” or commit to action. In an appendix, Guylay discusses the way yoga and other mindfulness practices, including meditation, fit within her framework as well. She brings clarity and enthusiasm to her concepts, including providing bullet points at the end of each chapter to summarize how her mantras can be applied to skiing, wellness, and life, and even offers rhyming couplets—“Embrace imperfection / Failures are moments for reflection”—further encapsulating her ideas. While Guylay’s nutrition tips at times seem digressive, her passion for good nutrition is infectious. Her food groupings in “Recipe Frameworks,” designed to make cooking easier, are particularly helpful, offering readers several ways to combine a grain with a protein source, some vegetables, a healthy fat, and seasonings to make a tasty, nutritious meal. Her struggles to master skiing later in life are humorous, inspirational, and instructive. Overall, an interesting hybrid memoir/wellness tome.

An intriguing life story effectively mixed with sports metaphor to provide useful wellness/life advice.