BRANDON, Miss. (WJTV) – At 25-years-old, Shekinah Banks is in her athletic prime.
She is also a full-time mom to two adorable little boys, but with the support of her family, coaches, and sponsors, she has a real chance to jump against the very best in the world.
With sweat soaking her singlet and resistance bands strapped to her legs and waist, Shekinah Banks sprints in a tight circle of flat orange cones.
Her eyes tightly closed. She’s racing against time to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming an Olympian.
Her husband, Justin, has been right there every step of the way.
Shekinah proudly states, “He believed in me more than I actually believed in myself sometimes.”
Justin adds, “I get up every day. I go to work, sell cars, and she trains in the morning and in the evening about three or four days a week.”
Shekinah needs to jump 21 feet and seven inches, in a sanctioned meet to make it to the Olympic trials in July in Eugene, Oregon.
It’s a mark she’s hit it in practice.
After five years off, she’s already surpassed her high school and college records.
Shekinah explains, “So that’s what I, we are trying to maintain, what I have gained, so that I can carry it over to the Olympic trials, if I am blessed to make it to Eugene, Oregon.”
With a good showing there, it would be on to Rio.
Justin asks, “Who wouldn’t want to go to Brazil? But yes, sure, I would love to go there, and hopefully we can be there in August.”
Shekinah leaves us with this before heading off on a sprint, “I just want to throw it out to all the young athletes, all the old athletes, any of the athletes out there, if you want to pursue your dream, please, continue to go for it. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”
A world class spirit to go with world class talent.
Shekinah is hoping to clear 21’7″ in a USA Track and Field sanctioned event very soon, then the family will plan a July trip to the pacific northwest.
Shekinah was the state 5-A long jump champion while at Provine High School in 2008.
As a freshman in college, she broke the school record at Coppin State in Baltimore, Maryland.