I am Nikkita and I am not your average woman, I am a black woman.
A woman who stands at five feet, six and a half inches tall with skin the colour of milk chocolate. My eyes are almond shaped, evenly spaced and brown. My lips are full, my nose round. My body is firm and muscular not like that of a body builder but that of a runner.
You see, I have been an athlete for more than half of my life. A runner; a hurdler in fact. I have been taught to excel with physical barriers in front of me – to attack each hurdle with no fear. This, my running has given me more privileges then one can actually imagine. I graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor’s degree and NO school debt – a full scholarship does that! Upon getting my education I pursue a life as a professional athlete which I continue to peruse. For some this is only a dream, but for me this is my way of life.
Most people know my name for the accolades I possess, Olympian, medallist. I am not your average woman, I am a black woman, two – time Olympian and international medalist in the 100 meter hurdles.
This is only a piece of my story.
Those moments…when you realize the very thing, you’ve been running from, trying so hard not to become you become. It’s as if the fear somehow leads you right into the hands of what you so desperately didn’t want. All your “smart” decisions and choices don’t seem so smart after all when you are starring at the “mistake” in the mirror.
On January 14th2014, I watched my then husband pack the back of his new car with his belongings as I held our two-month-old son in my hands. He was leaving us to pursue his career in the United States, the same career I had put on hold to have our son. I watched him carefully with so much emotion. I didn’t know what it meant for our relationship, yes, we were husband and wife but in those moments, it didn’t feel like it. I was angry – and all I could think was “I’m married, but I am now a single mother.” I had become the very thing I had worked so hard not to become. I was black and a mom raising her child alone – the very thing society looks down upon. I mean I had to be realistic, there is only so much a father can do to “help” raise his child when he lives miles away in another country! I wasn’t sure how this was all going to work out but part of me knew that all of it was going to fall on me, my shoulders, the weight of his world. I was about to embark on a journey I had no desire or business embarking on.
My days were long, hard and sad, I couldn’t for the life of me get passed the way my life had turned out. I did everything right – or the way society tells you to do it. I feel in love, I got married and had a baby and still I found myself raising my child alone. I was alone or so it felt. I wish I was prepared! There is something to be said about being in the dark. Being scared! “Set your eyes on a prize” they say, “no matter what it is, dream, work hard and achieve!” My dream was something of simplicity – to rise again and be free. Be free of the sadness that lived within me, be free of the blood that ran through the veins of my mini me. Be free of all the pain, the self- doubt, the second guessing and all the other doubts in between.
My divorce nearly killed me – bringing me to my knees.
“Grab on to someone and let them carry you through” they say, so I latched on and flew. Kaedence I called him – the beat, the rhythm and the rhyme of my heart. He is my sun, the shiner of my light on every waking morning, the bringer of my joy in every quiet moment.
I wish I was prepared for the love and time he would transform within me. This love for you my child is all consuming, this love is indescribable too hard to put into words. Your love for me, your constant love for me no matter if I do wrong or right is love I can’t deny.
He is the blessing I never knew I needed. The one who set me free from all my hate and foolish pride.
Did I tell you I am not your average woman? I am a black woman with accolades but most of all I am a mother, I am his mother. I am a black woman who is single, raising him because my heart beats with Kaedence!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton