Nikki’s Voice keeps going

Nikki's Voice at 2016 Intertrust Cayman Islands Marathon

“Limitations are self-imposed.” That’s what Scott Ruby said about the message he hopes people get from his partnership with Nikki Christian. The pair have become regulars at endurance races, including marathons, triathlons and duathlons over the past two years.

Christian, 25, was born with spastic cerebral palsy, a condition that affects movement and coordination caused by a problem in parts of the brain responsible for controlling muscles. She can’t run or swim due to her condition but she’s on the water and on the road for nearly every race.

“She’s the heart and soul of the team. I just provide the legs,” Ruby said in a recent interview with Nikki sees it the other way. “I feel so sorry for Mr Scott. I wish I could do more to help him,” she told us, pointing out that despite that, the runs are her favourite part because she likes to see her partner get going on the road.

Nikki’s father, Raymond Christian admits he thought the partnership would have been a one-time thing. “We didn’t expect it to go this far because back in 2015 when Scott approached us about it to take part in the December marathon, we thought that was it. It continued to grow from there to where it is right now,” he said.

Due to an unlikely bond and their persistence, the Nikki’s Voice team is on a roll and there doesn’t appear to be any stopping them now. Whether it’s the Flowers Sea Swim, the Cayman Islands Marathon, the Mercuryman Half-Iron Triathlon, or the Captain Marvin’s Splash N Dash  (where we caught up with them) they are there getting set with their specially designed racing equipment for Ruby to push Christian for runs and cycling and a kayak which he pulls her in for swims.

Nikki’s Voice at 2017 Capt. Marvin’s Splash N Dash

“It’s worked to the point that we’re not a novelty anymore. We show up and it’s not like ‘oh my gosh, there’s Nikki and Scott’. It’s now ‘here comes Nikki and Scott’. They’re always ready for us. The way that the endurance community has embraced us…they include us, they don’t make special provisions for us, per se. They make sure that we’re safe but the fact that we’re now just part of the scenery and they anticipate our arrival, that’s beautiful,” Ruby said.

Back to his message about limitations being self-imposed. “You need to live your life by how you define yourself, not being defined by others,” he said, adding that he hopes they will continue to be a source of motivation and inspiration for others.

“When people see what one person would do for another – what Nikki would do to push me and what I do to push Nikki, and together we spread the message of inclusion. Disabilities are only something that you put on yourself. Inclusion is the key,” he said.

Mr Christian said he hopes that as they continue this journey, other parents with children who have disabilities similar to Nikki’s, will be encouraged to follow suit. When that happens, it simply mean Nikki’s Voice will be getting louder as their message catches on.

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