Member Spotlight: Northern Rocky Mountain's Brenna Kelleher

Name: Brenna Kelleher
Member Since: 2005
Primary disciplineAlpine
PSIA-AASI Division: Northern Rocky Mountain 

PSIA-AASI National Team Member Brenna Kelleher teams up with PSIA-AASI Level III instructors Glen Plake and A.J. Oliver for a segment in this season's Warren Miller film "Timeless," presented by Volkswagen. 


In the Winter 2020 issue of 32 Degrees Brenna talks about the performance anxiety that comes with representing instructors and PSIA-AASI members on the big screen. Read about her experience below, and then check out "Timeless" when it plays near you. 


The Anxiety that Comes with an Audience
Last winter, I was lucky enough to film a segment for Warren Miller Entertainment’s “Timeless” film with A.J. Oliver (Alpine Level III) and Glen Plake (renowned freeskier, Alpine Level III instructor, and member of Western Division’s Education Staff). I am SO grateful for the opportunity and amazing experience. Our filming location was Mustang Powder, a cat-skiing lodge in British Columbia. Although we were not in steep, exposed terrain – we skied mostly in the trees – the stakes were still high. 

Filming with a professional crew has a lot of rewards, but it is also stressful when you need to perform well – planning can help diminish this anxiety. 

Performance anxiety is real. The first
couple days seemed like a failure all around, first getting used to the camera, and then the snow conditions and the type of skiing. Skiing in deep snow, steep trees, and pillow lines is not something I’d ever done. It was a completely different way of skiing. The combination of learning how to read the terrain and then ski well and on the mark of where the film crew wanted you to ski was challenging. It took a couple days to find my legs.

Fortunately, my years of teaching, learning, and challenging myself to understand what
makes a ski turn and perform helped me to adapt to skiing new terrain. The days were challenging, both mentally and physically, but it took me back to my home base – teaching. This time, I was a student in the learning experience. 

Glen was a great mentor. He assessed lines I could ski, teaching me how to look at
and remember them. His support gave me the confidence to go – helping take away the feelings of self-judgment and the future judgment of others.

People are generally most critical of themselves, but we can be extremely critical of
one another as well. We are particularly guilty of this in the ski industry. When filming, you are definitely cognizant of this fact. I didn’t want to let anyone down. After the first couple days and figuring out the snow and terrain, I realized I just needed to be me. 

One of the beautiful things about skiing is once you go it is all about you and the snow.
It always brings a smile to my face. – Brenna Kelleher

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