We’re delighted to have the smart and talented Nikki Peterson join Eliel as an ambassador for 2021! Nikki got into endurance sports at a young age, becoming an avid runner in 5th grade. She earned an athletic scholarship after garnering 11 state titles in cross country and track & field and graduated from University of Wyoming with a B.S. in Human Food and Nutrition. She worked in the Nutrition and Exercise lab for four years and has been published multiple times for research on vitamin D in the athletic population. She also became a Level 2 coach for USATF (United States Track and Field).
After a break from running to co-own two coffee shops for five years, Nikki found the mountain bike. Missing the competitive aspect in her life, in 2016 she jumped into a race and finished mid-pack in the Expert Category. She quickly made her way through Cat 1 (silver medal at USA Cycling National Championships in ‘16) and earned her UCI Professional License in one year. She then co-founded KS Kenda Women’s Elite MTB, which focuses on getting more women and girls on bikes by creating an inclusive and open environment with outreach in communities. At the same time, Nikki took online courses and earned her multiple subject teaching credential and M.A. in Education and Teaching.
Nikki is now the Program Coordinator for SoCal NICA (National Interscholastic Cycling Association). In this role she is responsible for the GRiT program (Girls Riding Together), Skills Coach Trainer program, marketing and social media, fundraising and sponsorship, among other responsibilities. She is Vice Chair on the Advisory Council for CAMTB (California Mountain Biking Coalition), which focuses on trail advocacy on the government level and collaboration of advocacy groups throughout the state.
Nikki believes that the key to reaching goals on the bike lies in keeping riding fun while pushing limits. She joins us today to share her thoughts on how to keep a positive mindset when the going gets tough.
By: Nikki Peterson
Not to sound like a broken record, but 2020 has tested a lot of people, physically and mentally. With so many changes and people feeling more isolated than ever, it can be hard to keep a positive mindset. However, it has been proven that having a positive mindset can have a lot of health-related benefits such as increased lifespan, lower rates of depression, a stronger immune system, and better cardiovascular health, among other things.
A positive mindset does not mean you ignore the difficult parts of life, but it does mean you approach them with a sense of searching for positive solutions, learning from situations, and finding growth as a person as you come out the other side. Also, there will certainly be times when you make mistakes or do not have positive thinking. That’s okay, it’s part of being a human being!
Below are a few tips and ideas for improving your mindset and continuing to work on seeing the sunny side of things!
1. Meditation and Mindfulness.
Apps like Headspace can be really useful if you are not used to meditating on your own. Start with five minutes and work your way up to 15 minutes, every day. In this case, a little can help a lot. You can meditate at any time during the day, though research suggests that doing it first thing in the morning is most beneficial.
There are plenty of books out there that can help explain a positive mindset while also telling stories about how it has helped others. A few of my favorite books are “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday, “The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion” by Dr. Simon Marshall and Lesley Paterson, and “The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive” by Jim Afremow. If reading isn’t your thing, these books are also available on Audible!
3. Your village.
That’s right, it’s incredibly important to surround yourself with positive people. Again, not everyone is going to be positive all the time, but in general, your village should make you a better person. Your coach, friends, and family should be there to pick you up when you fall and to point out your victories, even if they are small and you do not see them. In the case that you have less-than-positive people in your life, remember that it is okay to set boundaries.
Having a positive mindset does come more naturally to some people, while others struggle with negative self-talk and seeing the glass as half-empty. The good news is that it is possible to change your habits and thinking! Hopefully, the three tips listed above can help you make improvements in your mindset. Even if you already have a positive mindset, there is always room for growth, which is something very beautiful!