Meet Nikki Gregg: professional stand up paddler, whitewater racer, surfer, mountain biker, kayaker, fitness instructor, and former snowboarder. If her list of daily activities wasn’t enough to exhaust you, Nikki also runs her own appropriately named business—NRG Life—which is modeled after her energetic and enthusiastic approach to outdoor fitness. It all began after a trip during college to New River Gorge in West Virginia to go whitewater rafting.
“I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn’t know what to wear, what to do, or what to expect and I had no idea know we would be tackling class V rapids. It was intense! I got thrown from the boat, then got hypothermia, but in the end it I got the greatest adrenaline rush. I couldn’t wait to do it again.”
Fast forward to 2015 and that drenched river rat is now known as the “Queen of Stand Up Paddling”. Nikki has pioneered SUP training, fitness and racing, helping thousands of others get their start with this hot sport.
“The great thing about SUP is the barriers to entry are pretty low and it’s so easy to get started. You can do it solo and just get a quiet break from it all, or head out with your girlfriends with a bottle of wine and paddle out to a sweet spot on the river and get a workout and a picnic.”
As a professional athlete and an unconventional fitness educator, Nikki’s passion for body mechanics and health shows up in her work. “One of the greatest rewards about teaching people how to SUP is watching them grow as they challenge themselves. It’s a sport that changes people’s lives. Women especially seem to feel empowered by the sport.”
“It’s often the ones who are the most afraid of falling in who fall in first, but getting back on the board is such a breakthrough moment…I love it when they get back on deck and you can see it in their eyes and their energy… They’re hooked!”