The word “hunter” often conjures up an image of a burly man with facial hair in camouflage. But the face of hunting is beginning to change. At the forefront of that change is Under Armor Hunt athlete and model, Nikki Boxler. If Nikki has her way, she will help to inspire more girls and women to join the sport that she loves so deeply. Nikki learned to love being an outdoorswoman as a young girl. Nikki is a multi-talented athlete, and though hunting and fishing are her first loves, she is also a runner. Project Purple is pleased to have Nikki running as part of our New York City Marathon team. She will be running to honor her good friend and fellow hunter, Rick Carone, who is battling stage IV pancreatic cancer.
Nikki, a self-described “down-to-earth country girl”, grew up in Western New York. Her family owns and operates a large dairy farm and a safari animal park. Many of Nikki’s favorite memories involve the time she spent in the great outdoors by her father’s side. He taught her everything about being an outdoorsman through lessons on the dairy farm. She learned everything from how to drive a tractor to how to hunt. She has always enjoyed the camaraderie of her fellow outdoorsmen. Through growing up on a dairy farm Nikki learned the value of both hard work and team work.
The values that Nikki developed through farming and spending time in the outdoors helped to power her on to a successful career as a college athlete. During her time at the Rochester Institute of Technology, Nikki played volleyball and was a jumper on the track and field team. Nikki pursued a degree in Marketing and international Business and currently works as Marketing Director for The Financial Guys.
Nikki derives her professional satisfaction from her career in marketing, but much of her personal fulfillment comes from spending time in the great outdoors. When not at her day job, Nikki loves to be out on the water fishing for muskie or in the woods hunting or preparing for the upcoming hunting season. As a woman actively involved in these sports, she has developed a large social media following. She was discovered through her social media profile and was recently offered a spot as an Under Amour Hunt Athlete. Nikki also has other exciting career ventures on the horizon. Though she is not at liberty to discuss details, Nikki will be appearing on a television show coming out in 2016. Stay tuned to find out more specifics.
It was through her involvement with hunting that Nikki developed a relationship with Rick Carone. Rick has worked on a number of hunting shows, including Sheep Shape. Nikki and Rick initially developed a friendship based on a love for sport, but they have developed a bond based upon mutual respect and admiration outside of the world of hunting.
As the two got to know one another, Nikki soon learned that Rick was a warrior in more ways than one. Rick is a talented athlete who has been engaged in a courageous fight against stage IV pancreatic cancer. Rick’s valiant and selfless fight has inspired Nikki. She learned of the abysmal survival rate for pancreatic cancer and wanted to help advocate for a cure. She learned of the charity Project Purple through Rick, and decided that she wanted to run for the team.
Running the New York City Marathon has always been a goal of Nikki’s. When she decided she wanted to run in support of her friend, Rick, she knew immediately what race she wanted to run. “I wanted to run the New York City Marathon because it has always been a goal of mine to run such an iconic marathon. Throughout the run, there is a crowd of people cheering you on and helping you make it through each and every mile! I am excited to represent Project Purple for 26.2 miles on November 1st and for countless miles leading up to race day!”
Nikki felt that running the New York City Marathon was a great way to honor her friendship with Rick while raising money and awareness for pancreatic cancer. Nikki explains, “I am running for my good friend Rick Carone. He is the definition of a true fighter and inspiration. He is one of those folks that you love talking to, because no matter the struggles he is facing in his life, he is always positive and goes above and beyond to help his friends.”
Nikki also is running in memory of her friend, Kelly, who passed away from pancreatic cancer. Nikki remembers Kelly fondly, saying, “The time that I spent with him touched my heart. He told me his story and, although his story was sad, he had a light in his eye that lit up the room. I am truly blessed to have met some of the most inspiring and strong people through Project Purple!”
Nikki enjoys running, though it has never been her primary athletic focus. She explains, “The reason I like to run is because with each mile, you realize that you are capable of more than you ever thought possible. With each step, not only do your surroundings change, but so do your thoughts, strengths and perceptions on life.” On November 1st, 2015, Nikki will be bringing meaning to her miles as she runs for those affected by pancreatic cancer.
Please donate to her Project Purple Crowdrise fundraiser at this link:
To learn more about Nikki, you can follow her here on Twitter:
Nikki’s Facebook Fan Page is here:
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