KRIPPIT SPOTLIGHT: Barbara Edelston Peterson
This month, Krippit is showcasing a very special founder who is dedicated to bettering society through non-profit organizations and humanitarian efforts. Barbara Edelston Peterson is a sports psychologist, world class extreme endurance athlete and humanitarian champion. She is the founder of many organizations including Project Be Moved, A.I.R (Acute Injury Recovery Therapy), Foreste + Hils Designworks and Whole Champion Foundation just to name a few. I had the opportunity to interview her and ask her a few questions about her fascinating life.
Q: What inspired you to become an author?
A: I began writing when I was in high school, I wrote a beautiful hand-written book entitled A Young Woman’s Journey to Her Heritage when I was 17. I had envisioned it also being a film, but unfortunately the 350-page book burned in our home which was part of the Firestorm of 1991. Soon after that, I was bedridden for a complicated pregnancy. As an extremely active person, it was the biggest challenge I had every experienced. We did well, and I knew I had to share our practical tips with others who found themselves in the same situation. I wrote The Bed Rest Survival Guide in 1998, and a 2nd edition in 2013. Writing is a wonderful way to clarify thoughts, and invite a large audience to share in the unique wisdom being discussed.
Q: What is your daily motivation?
A: I’m athletically oriented, so I workout twice a day. I love the sunshine, and I love fresh air, but most of all I love the free-to-feel-relaxed feeling afterwards. I like to be as productive as I can be throughout the day, but that usually means writing on the computer, which is stationary. I insist on personal and professional balance, and I enjoy time with family and friends.
Q: In what ways do you hope that the book A Whole Person Makes The Whole World Better inspires readers?
A: I hope my readers are moved by the “new" whole: personal, social, and environmental responsibility, and that only through awareness, responsibility, and action - can we make a positive difference locally and globally. Most people are ‘aware’ of the extreme challenges of humanity and the environment, but they don’t care enough to take small steps everyday that over time becomes real change. Awareness and care of self is where change starts, it then moves outwards to others and to the environment. My hope is that the book’s message is bold enough - that with AWARENESS, RESPONSIBILITY and ACTION individuals can make a difference.
Q: How did you maintain personal well-being as a professional athlete?
A: Some people would say that being an extreme endurance athlete and a mother is overly stressful, but I found it to be the perfect balance. I loved caring for my family, being involved with daughters’ activities, and having time to train for my goals and high expectations. I never let the energy commitment for sport dominate in a way that I didn’t have time to love my family and friends, or do outside activities such as my jewelry design work or writing books.
Q: In a time where division is embedded in society how do you plan on uniting humanity, as mentioned in your book?
A: I hope the simple but powerful messages throughout the book moves people regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic background, or geographic location as I believe every human being especially when informed and inspired, can step up and make a difference. When this happens, we will each benefit while the whole planet heals.
Q: What is your design process for making jewelry?
A: I collect high quality gems, pearls, stones, and metals from around the world, then design strands to be worn together in unpredictable combinations so that a special one - of - a - kind aesthetic occurs - that is ultimately breathtaking when worn. I also have an arm of my company called RE-FORESTE + HILS DESIGNWORKS which revives people’s old and unworn pieces through new redesigns that are worn and loved forever.
Q: How has your quest for sustainability impacted your daily life?
A: Everyday, I teach myself and others how to live better and inspire others through awareness, responsibility, and taking action knowing that there’s a positive ripple effect. I ask myself to drive less, to stop using plastic, to eliminate paper towels, to plant my own vegetables now that it’s Spring, to recycle my clothing by donating them, and to be a role model by sharing inspiring ideas in person with others or on social media. I spend a large portion of everyday creating workbooks for high school and young students.
Barbara's message of igniting change in one's self and bettering the global community is truly inspiring. As a founder, she drives her organizations forward with passion and belief that we can all become better citizens. Conducting this interview has inspired me personally, and I hope that it did the same for you.
Check out one of Barbara's endeavours; Whole Champion Foundation at https://wholechampion.org/