Life Lessons Learned on the Mountain


Kristine Schlichting, PhD

I love LOVE LOVE skiing — it is a sport that I was not able to do for many years when I was very sick with multiple debilitating chronic illnesses. During these years, I was barely able to get out of bed much less go barreling down a mountain. Fortunately, my body has fully recovered and I have gained a fresh perspective and newfound exuberance and joy for the full-throttle activities I have always loved. Getting back on mountain this year, I feel like a kid again, so full of love and appreciation for this sport.

Here are a few life lessons I have gleaned from the Mountain:


Just do it — get out of your own way

When you find yourself a bit overzealous at the top of a trail that is beyond your level of difficulty, don’t spend a lot of time at the top looking down. This is like being at the top of the diving board looking at your toes — if you do this, your legs will begin to shake and psychologically you will lose all your strength like a balloon being deflated. At this moment, you must “just do it.” Believe in your ability, think fast, and come up with your best laid plan. Recognize that the adrenaline will kick in and that inspiration will come to you as you are going down the mountain. You got this!


Give into the intensity

You know that feeling when the hair on the back of your neck raises, your heart soars, blood pumps, and your breath quickens. All you know is this moment — this is my type of mindfulness! Seek out situations/people/inspirations that provide this experience of flow and being in the moment. This is one of the great pleasures of life!


Dig deep, use your edges, bend hard, and pivot often

Look for things and people that challenge you. I always say if you are the smartest person in the room, then you need to find another room. Embrace the depth of your experiences, don’t stay surface level, ask the hard questions, make important points, and don’t be afraid to argue. It is important to push yourself beyond your limits — or you will never know what you can do — testing yourself in the beyond is important to do often.


Bear down and bring out grit

Be prepared to fail and fall. Failing and falling are all part of the journey. However, you must do two things when your fail. You must use the information of failure to understand your weaknesses and what you need to work on in the future. Most importantly, you must-must-MUST get up again and again. Never give up!


Stay stead-fast and breathe deep

When you hit a patch of ice — don’t panic, stay steady, brace your core and prepare for the unexpected, but hope for the best case scenario.


Know your limits

Don’t get careless when laser focus and intensity are required in a task. End the day before you are completely wiped out. Be aware when the brain and the body need a break — costly mistakes can happen.


I look forward to reading your comments and continuing this journey with you! Happy Skiing this Season! See you on the Slopes!

Dr. K


author biography

Dr. Kristine Schlichting, PhD, aka Dr. K, is an innovator, entrepreneur, expert problem solver, and change agent fusing together the principles of psychology, organizational behavior, coaching, and wellness.   She is the Director of Hopewell Health Solutions Inc. – a mullti-disciplinary psychology group practice in Glastonbury, CT.  Dr. K is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Connecticut and earned her Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Connecticut. She also received specialized training in both Cognitive-Behavioral and Solution-Focused Therapy during her Masters’ degree training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Over the past ten years, Dr. K has “broken the box” of traditional talk therapy to develop a new model (i-Therapy™) for change which is based on recent developments in neuroscience. Brain-based i-Therapy™ at HHS is active, dynamic, and collaborative; this therapy requires discipline, practice, and collaboration.  I-Therapy is an effective, short-term treatment that is strength-based and goal-oriented.  Guiding her staff in this treatment ensures that every HHS therapist’s work is rooted in this practice

Dr. K has conducted research in the areas of anxiety, group dynamics, and video self- modeling. Her innovative research has been published in various articles and books. She travels throughout New England providing consultation, seminars, and trainings for conferences, medical offices, schools, and corporation.

Dr. K is a fierce advocate committed to helping all children and adults reach their fullest potential. She also is a mother to a child with dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, and learning disabilities so she understands firsthand the struggle many parents face. In her free time, she enjoys having adrenaline filled adventures with her husband and her children.


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