Like Tina, I met Nikki through a mutual friend when we began assembling our team so many months ago. I’m not able to run with Nikki as often as other team members who live a closer. However I have learned on the few runs we’ve done together, and from seeing her post about training runs online, she is one dedicated woman! I was initially impressed with her speed, but like Tina, she has a readiness to challenge herself (she will be running the South Padre half marathon later this year)! Nikki’s running story is also one of healing, so it’s no wonder to me that she and Tina have become so close.
1. NAME: Nikki
2. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RUNNING? I started running in 2009 in the military and ran for three years & then started running consistently again in 2015.
3. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SNACK? Coffee?! Oh wait thats not a snack! My fav snack would have to be A fruit cup with chili,lime & salt or plantain chips.
4. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NON-RUNNING ACTIVITY? Going on motorcycle rides with my husband or just catching up with a good friend over a cup of coffee! 🙂
5. WHY DO YOU RUN? – In August 2012 I finished my 3.5 year term in the Army. Once I exited the military, life began to challenge me in ways that I never thought it would. I was suffered from PTSD and post-partum depression. In 2012, in addition to our 3 month old baby, my husband and I were given my 13 month old step son from his mother who could no longer care for him. I also went from having a support system to having NO support system when we moved from Colorado back to Texas. This was one of the scariest times of my life. For the next 9 months, we had my step son and daughter taken from us. After fighting for our children in court for nearly a year at this point I felt like all hope was lost! My husband and I were separated for a year in 2013 and I was only beginning to see my daughter at this point. My world was crashing all around me and I was ANGRY at God! At this point I had begun working out sometimes twice a day because I didn’t know how to deal with the whirlwind of my emotions. In 2014, still fighting the courts to have our parental rights re-instated, the anxiety increased and I didn’t know how to escape! At this time I met Tina at a community college and we started to run together once in a while. Tina was truly someone that was sent from God to help me through this rough time of my life. In Feb. of 2014 my husband and I started living together again and it was NOT easy! There was so much bitterness and anger between us still. There were times that I was depressed and could barely function, but my husband and I started to attend church together. It was not until the summer of 2015 when my husband and I were baptized together that we truly began following the Lord and the healing began. At this point I had not seen my oldest daughter in nearly 3 years because she was with her father in Corpus and I was fighting a custody battle with her father. The hardest part in all of this was having to love my kids from a distance and rarely see them. I began running consistently in 2015 to combat the anxiety from these traumatic events! Every time that I would run I would feel freedom and JOY, something I had not felt in a really long time. After a few runs I started to use the time that I was running to pray. There were many times that I did not want to pray for the people that I had hurt or the ones that had hurt me, but I knew I needed to be obedient in praying for these people in my life.
Running is and has been a time that the Lord has used to draw me closer to him and to heal relationships in my life. Running has been a time that I have been able to truly heal my own heart as well! I am happy to say that although my children are living with my mother-in-law, we share custody with her and see our children often. Because of the persistence of running and praying I am now seeing my oldest daughter often as well. Running is something that breathes life into my lungs and something that controls my anxiety. I am so thankful that I do not have to live the life of my past anymore! I am so excited that I will be running the Cap 10K, Ragnar Relay Race, and the South Padre half marathon this year! I am also so thankful for the “Team Snack Attack” running community and all the encouragement that each runner provides for one another!