WINTERVILLE, Pitt County - Nikki Justice is a fierce athlete. But a few years ago, her dreams of competing as an athlete were nearly taken away.
"For me, like the obstacles mean more than just hey lets go out and go run a race, they have a very literal meaning for me," said Nikki Justice, a Spartan Race Competitor.
From a Division I track and field star to the competitor she is now, Justice has crossed several finish lines. When doctors told her she may not be an athlete again, she was devastated.
"I actually almost lost my legs," Justice said. "I had Compartment syndrome."
Compartment syndrome is a rare condition caused by pressure build-up from internal bleeding. But Justice said she was not going to give up.
"Kept going, kept fighting. At the time I was still running D1 track," Justice said. "I couldn't run anymore but they put me on javelin, which turned out to be an advantage. I had no idea.
"Everything's 20/20 hindsight. Because who knew that my javelin would come to pass, you know for Spartan Racing there's a spear toss."
Justice is now dominating the Spartan Racing World. She recently won the Female Elite in the West Virginia Super. She trains in her backyard or at Planet Fitness in Winterville, using monkey bars, battle ropes and the stair climber. She trains several days a week for several hours a day.
She said anyone can do it as she knows all too well what it's like to conquer obstacles.
"Personally, I would love more people to get off the couch and on the course because you really don't know what you're missing," Justice said.
Justice will race the televised Spartan World Championships in North Tahoe, Calif., at the end of September. Her episode of "Broken Skull Challenge" will air Oct. 3 on CMT.