Be Nikita

 

Are you watching the Olympics? Did you see our local superstar BMX freestyle rider Nikita Ducarroz kill it in Tokyo on Saturday? Has she inspired you?

 

It was great to see Simone Biles overcome the twisties and medal in the balance beam. More impressive was her overcoming all the noise of the week, changing up her regular dismount, and landing a bronze medal.

 

We all have the twisties right now. I don’t know anybody who is firing on all cylinders. Sure, we are preparing for a kinda regular school year and the summer was somewhat normal and the mini-film festival is back this week and the days of sitting around covered in Cheeto dust should be behind us. But…

 

Things are not normal, things will never be normal or at least what was normal, change has happened, evolution has happened and you have two choices, adapt and thrive or wallow and stagnate.

 

Guess what Nikita and Simone did.

 

Nikita was enrolled at Woodland Star Waldorf school with my own kids back in the day (was it really 10 years ago?!?), my wife likes to tell the story of watching her mom trying to pry her out of the car at drop off only to eventually say, enough, and pivot to homeschooling. Luckily the Ducarroz clan is about as supportive, accepting and positive as any family on the planet (full disclosure, when Nikita’s grandmother passed a few years ago the family hired me to write her memoir which I did, poorly, but I got to know the family which was nice).

 

Nikita was experiencing anxiety to a level where she couldn’t leave the house but when she discovered her passion and unique skill in BMX it provided a path out of her mental prison. Not instantly, because that’s not how mental illness works but eventually BMX provided the exit sign out of the dark room. Today she travels the world, secures sponsors like Red Bull, has her own clothing line and is bringing back an impressive souvenir from Tokyo.

 

“BE THERE for each other. LISTEN. SUPPORT one another. It’s ok to not be ok, and it’s way better going through it with friends” -Nikita

 

 

You might know Simones story a little better but when she got the twisties (obviously my new favorite word) she didn’t pack up and leave she stepped back, cheered on her teammates, changed her dismount on her balance beam routine and got right back into the competition. Grit and perseverance, it’s a lesson for all of us.

 

And how do these two examples relate to you? Think about your own twisties, your own challenges, maybe your own mental illness. Are you going home or are you getting back up on the beam? Are you surrounding yourself with supportive people? Are you staying out of the excrement pool (social media) and listening to your own body because no one knows better than you do. Are you making plans and setting goals and working towards Beijing in 22 or Paris in 24 or Milan in 26 or LA in 28?

Or are you just concerned with going back to school in a couple of weeks like I am. The Olympics showcase the best humans can be: Connected, competitive, overcoming odds and obstacles, inspiring.

It’s time to start training, brush off the Cheeto dust, reconnect with people who support you, figure out your own twisties and be like Simone and Nikita.

 

 

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