Wednesday, December 12, 2018

2018 Inspiring People of the Year Nikkis Campbell

She Overcame Depression and Became an IRONMAN

Good Afternoon,

First let me tell you that it is more than an honor to inspire one of the people that inspires me the most.  Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you.

The journey started towards the end of 2017 when my youngest daughter, my best friend graduated high school and left home for the Air Force.   The life I looked forward to was not as exciting as I thought it would be.  I was now an Empty Nester but came home every day sad and depressed because I was missing my best friend.  I have 3 kids and all 3 left home at 18, but the hardest was when the youngest left.  I was spiraling down a road of depression and I knew it because it was a road that I had been down before.  Until one day Alexis called and asked me what was I doing.  I told her that I was laying across the bed and her response was "Mom I did not make this sacrifice so that you could just lay around, I sacrificed so that you could live your life."  When I got off the phone tears fell and I got up and went for an 8 mile run.  The next day I decided to set a new goal and that goal was train for an Ironman.  

I did not know which Ironman I wanted to do but I knew that training would be tough and it would be what I needed to get me out of this funk I was in.   At first I was training entirely too much and too early.  I was doing this because I wanted to be tired when I came home, too tired to focus on the silence and thoughts of missing my youngest daughter who is now stationed in Turkey.   

I would wake up at 3:30 am go for a run or a swim, 8 am head to work, and every night I would run, swim or bike.  I was so exhausted when I got home but I had a routine and it was a routine that I needed to get me through my depression.  In the midst of training I found out that my mom was sick and has dementia.  That almost broke me but I kept training.  Never thought that there would be a day that my mom wouldn't remember who I am.

Training was hard as I faced some mental challenges and physical challenges.  Most of my training was done alone and I relied on the BE IRON FIT BOOK to get me through because I couldn't afford a coach.  Training for an Ironman is totally different because you have time for NOTHING!  Thankfully my close friends understood and was constantly checking on me and making me laugh.  

On, September 30 I completed Ironman Chattanooga something that I dreamed of doing is now real.......NIKKIS CAMPBELL YOU ARE AN IRONMAN is what I heard when I crossed the finish line.   So to sum up 2018 it was a the year that I overcame depression, focused on myself and God, and became an Ironman.  



  1. YASSSS!!! Super proud, given that I watched Nikkis' journey to the Ironman. It wasn't easy, but it didn't have to be for her to do it. You are one of few who have crossed that line. Super proud of you as an athlete and as a person. Well done!

  2. Beautiful sis. Thank you for sharing your story. It matters. Mental health and physical health go hand and hand. Congratulations

  3. Thanks for sharing your story! Great job sis. #WeDemGirlz

  4. What a beautiful story from a beautiful person. Depression is REAL and many are afraid to talk about it. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your outstanding accomplishment!!

  5. You are as Awesome as every. Your dedication speaks volumes

  6. Awesome Nikkis! You continue to inspire and motivate so many and probably without trying. I applaud you and your dedication to your health and passion for life.