Interview with Sole Inspirer - Nikkis Campbell
SI | Nikkis Campbell, IRONMAN! Tell the readers a little about yourself.
Nikkis | I am a mom of three young adults and a grandmother of one. I recently turned 45 years old and I am very much an introvert, more than people know.
SI | I love seeing your social media posts with your kids and granddaughter. Your granddaughter is the cutest ever.
Nikkis | Thank you!
SI | Have you been an athlete throughout your life?
Nikkis | I ran cross country and played basketball in high school. I started back running after my oldest 2 kids graduated high school and left home. I was in that phase where I realized I had a lot of extra time with 2 kids out of the house. I completed 39 marathons and I don’t know how many half marathons because after I ran my first marathon, I fell in love with longer distances.
SI | Who or what motivated you to become an IRONMAN?
Nikkis | Honestly, I have asked myself that so many times. I would like to say that one person stood out and inspired me, but there was really no one. I will say this, EVERY BLACK WOMAN before me is an INSPIRATION! Triathlons were not something I was inspired to do. I completed (1) Olympic Distance, (1) Half Ironman, (1) Half Ironman Relay before completing the Full Ironman. So as you can see, I chase distance because long distance works for me.
SI | Was the more difficult part of the IRONMAN triathlon mental or physical?
Nikkis | OMG……it is mentally draining during training. After so much training, the physical part of your body adjusts. Race day there is so much adrenaline running through your body that you don’t feel mentally drained or physically tired. You are so focused on becoming an IRONMAN that the excitement is overwhelming.
SI | In one of our favorite, of your posts on Facebook, you list the things that it took to succeed in the triathlon. How does it feel to look back on all that you’ve sacrificed now that you are an IRONMAN?
Nikkis | Now I am in near tears because there were so many sacrifices that no one even knew about but I can now say that IT WAS WORTH IT!!!!
SI | How long did it take you to train for the IRONMAN in order to make it to the red carpet?
Nikkis | It felt like a year but it was a total of 10 months. I was over training in the beginning because I didn’t have a coach and never did throughout my training. I bought the BE IRON FIT book and it helped me a lot with my training. It’s a great book if you can’t afford a coach.
SI | Did your food intake and overall nutrition aid in or take away from your success?
Nikkis | Prior to training, I was a vegetarian and sometimes I ate seafood but not a lot. When I started training, I was drained and needed more than vegetables. I was HUNGRY ALL THE TIME, so I started eating rotisserie chickens. I ate so many rotisserie chickens that they knew me in the grocery store. The cashier would say, “What flavor chicken do you have today?”….so embarrassing! But hey chicken saved my life! lol
SI | Did completing the IRONMAN triathlon do anything for your confidence or sense of self?
Nikkis | So I’ve never been a fast runner due to asthma and a ton of injuries, but I always knew that I was mentally tough. Completing an IRONMAN showed me that I can do a lot, if I just focus and commit to it.
SI | How do you feel today about your major accomplishment, completing the IRONMAN triathlon?
Nikkis | It’s not the fact that I completed an IRONMAN that excite me. It’s the fact that I am a BLACK WOMAN that completed an IRONMAN. If you ever attend an IRONMAN event you will notice that there aren’t many (maybe 5 or less) of us out there. Knowing that I am on the list of black women to complete an IRONMAN brings a smile to my face EVERYDAY!
SI | Is there another IRONMAN race in you?
Nikkis | My next goal is between me and God! I revealed a lot about my training, with no regrets. I had amazing support throughout, but in my darkest hours, the moments of self-doubt, the moments where I wanted to quit, the nights of asthma attacks and agonizing pain… it was God that got me through. So in 2019, I have a new goal to pray about and it is a goal that excites me.
SI | Thank you Nikkis for sharing your IRONMAN journey!
It was worth it!
I made so many sacrifices….