I was very intrigued when I heard that Nikki Call had achieved two podium spots at BattleFrog last year with two broken arms. At first, I was honestly surprised that someone could push through that much pain and still podium. After chatting with Nikki online and doing this interview with her, I realized that the story of how she both broke arms isn’t what I wanted to tell, but the story of a stay at home mom who strives to be the best she can.
Please tell us a bit about yourself:
Growing up I played a variety of sports including softball, basketball, track, and volleyball. I grew up in the country riding horses, swimming in ponds, and playing in the woods. I've always been active. My parents always joked I never stopped going 100mph. They often worried people would accuse them of child abuse because of all the scrapes and bruises I constantly had! If I'm not constantly doing something, I get bored. Thankfully my husband and kids are used to my crazy ideas and constant “monkeying” around outside.
What is your proudest achievement to date in your sport?
I would say my proudest achievement was earning a spot on the podium. I've done this at a couple of CTG events in 2014 and then managed to snag two 3rd place podium spots last year with BattleFrog… with two broken arms and not even knowing it! I think for anyone running Elite, making that podium is always a goal!
What was your toughest race to date?
My toughest race had to be BattleFrog San Antonio, 2016. That was my first and only DNF race. It was the first race of the year for me. I had fallen off the monkey bars. I knew I was hurt but didn't know how bad. I finished lap one and then the medics told me I couldn't go back out. I was heartbroken. I never started something and not finished it. Looking back, I'm thankful the medics took me off. I could've made my injuries much worse than they were. And at that time, I didn't know how bad they were.
I understand that you podiumed Battlefrog with two broken arms; how on earth did you pull that off?
Honestly I'm not even sure! My doctors tell me my drive, determination, high pain tolerance and maybe a little craziness made it possible. After my first race when I fell I waited a week before going to the Dr. He did some pulling, pushing, twisting and turning on my arms. It was horribly painful. I could tolerate it. We thought I just broke all the blood vessels and bruised the muscles. Over the next 4 weeks I completed 4 more races. Two of which I made podium. A week after my last race I went back to the Dr. and told him I was still hurting. We did X-rays and we were both blown away when we found out I had broken my right arm at the elbow. I ended up going straight in and getting a cast put on.
A couple weeks later I went back for X-rays. My left arm was bothering me and since I fell in both arms we thought I should get it X-ray also. Sure enough I had broken my left arm at the elbow as well. Talk about a blow to the gut. Since I'm a stay at home mom with 3 kids I convinced the Dr. not to cast my left arm. I promised to keep it in a sling and have my oldest son and husband help me when needed. Thankfully I healed without a cast on the left and after 4 weeks in one on my right I was fixed up. Unfortunately nobody warns you that PT is more painful than actually breaking your arms! It took 3 months of PT two times a week before I was able to start doing things I loved to do again: lifting and monkeying around.
If you could design an obstacle, what would it be like?
I'm an upper body girl! I love anything that involves using my upper body. My favorite obstacle is Stairway To Heaven that CTG has invented! And rigs! Love me some rigs. So I guess the perfect obstacle would be a mix of those to. Ladder up, rig hangings in the middle, then ladder down!
What is the weirdest thing you have to bring with you on every course you do?
I wouldn't call it weird but before every race my oldest son makes me rubber band bracelets. I always wear one when racing. I look at it in times I feel like giving up on an obstacle. I remember him telling me to never give up, to give it another try.
When someone comes up to you and says “you inspire me” what is the first thought that comes to mind? is that weird for you?
My first thought is how grateful I am. My entire life I've always looked up to many different people. I still do. Some of these people I've met and some I haven't. To be an inspiration to someone is truly an amazing thing. I always hope that every post I make, every picture, and every workout I share inspires someone to try something new, or to start moving. I want people to know that everyone starts somewhere. We all fall down but what's important is we never give up! And no it's not weird, it's humbling.
What is one little known fact about you?
People see me as a social butterfly. I'm very energetic, encouraging and happy 99% of the time. But what people don't see is that I'm actually very critical of myself. I'm never happy with being good. I want to be better, all the time. I set goals for myself but when I hit those goals I'm happy, but I just want to set that bar higher. I’m very hard on myself. Having amazing friends and a very supportive husband helps. They help keep my “crazy” thoughts in check. Lol
How do you balance family life with racing?
I'm a stay at home mom with 3 kids. While they are in school I focus my training during the day. On the weekends and when it's nice outside I take the family to the backyard, the local track, our lake, or the park. They always enjoy participating in my workouts and trying new things. Being a positive influence in my children's lives is important. I strive to show them that anything is possible if they put their minds to it.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the OCR community about yourself?
It doesn't matter how slow, fast, big or small you are. You can be the most elite athlete or the average Joe. But as long as you try hard, be you, and encourage every person you come to meet, you can't go wrong. I've become a better friend, athlete, wife and mother because of the amazing people that I've come to meet in the OCR community. I look forward to many more years and many more people through this amazing sport.
If someone wants to reach out to you on social media, how do they find you?
on Facebook: Nikki Call
on Instagram: MommyCall