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The Fear Workshop

A Conversation With Fear


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Mermer started skiing at the age of three at Windham Mountain, New York and then went on to Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont where she ski-raced on a national level. She started teaching skiing in 1979, and in 1987, became an examiner for the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) to train and certify ski teachers throughout the east. In 1996, Mermer won Skiing magazine’s Instructor of the Year Award. That spring, she earned a spot on the PSIA National Demonstration Team, an elite team which spearheads the development and direction of ski teaching in America and represents American skiing internationally. (She was one of the few women and the only mother to do so.) She has lectured at PSIA’s National Academies and National Women’s Seminars, and the National Ski Patrol’s annual conventions. Dubbed “the ski industry’s fear specialist” by the late Stu Campbell, Mermer uses skiing as a metaphor to elucidate the philosophy and strategies she’s developed about fear, learning, and innovation.

As an examiner and Demo Team alumna, Mermer still travels across the northeast to train ski teachers and examiners, and each spring she serves as the guest coach at the Women’s Camp in Snowbird, Utah. But she especially loves teaching at Windham, her home mountain, where she runs three programs: her acclaimed annual Fear Workshop, her Off-Piste Prep Workshop for women, and PowerLearn®, a one-of-a-kind, comprehensive, season-long program for seriously committed students.

Photo of Mermer Blakeslee skiing

“Skiing is a great privilege, one that without any pretensions of being deep or therapeutic or meaningful or meditative is all of that. And more. It is animal pleasure, a salve for the soul, a jolt to the spirit, a merciless school for the ego. It is full of tangible—sometimes playful, sometimes fearful—metaphors for the psyche, but it is undeniably sensual; we touch the snow, the mountain, the ground, the earth. And it has proven also to be glue for a community—sticky, warm, and lasting.”

~Mermer Blakeslee

PowerLearn Program

The Fear Workshop

A Conversation With Fear

Making Skiing Fun AgainSAM Magazine


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