After giving birth to her daughter in August of 2008, Samantha Petersen decided she needed to make her health a priority. A friend told her about CrossFit and they started together.
“In October of 2008, a friend and I decided we needed to lose weight and I decided I wasn’t going to be big anymore,” Petersen said. “We walked in the doors of Mt. Baker CrossFit at the time weighing 230 pounds. I was sore as all get out, but loved every minute of it.”
The idea of competition was sparked when a friend’s boyfriend planned to compete in the 2010 Washington Sectional and encouraged her to sign up. While hesitant at first, after talking about it with coaches, she signed up three weeks before the sectional. “I signed up not knowing what I got myself into.”
She said she was nervous because there were so many movements she didn’t know, still wanted to lose weight, and was still fairly new to CrossFit. But she placed 5th at the Sectional and 7th at the North West Regional. “Last year, I placed 7th wanting to go to the Games in my first year. (This year), I wanted to become No. 1. I told myself I wanted that No. 1 spot,” she said. “I have learned a lot in a year and I am ready for this. I am so excited that I made it. I am ecstatic and still in shock that I placed in that 1st spot.”
Without any athletic background except for a few middle and high school sports, Petersen uses a specific kind of motivation while competing. “Motivation is everything. Times always get tough, but you build yourself back up. Everyone has that breakdown point, and everyone always has a reason to get back up,” she explained. “Mine is my daughter and our well being. I have told myself that I am not getting as heavy as I was, nor will I let myself go again.”
That and fun are Petersen’s motives behind continuing with competition. “I love what I do. I have fun with it,” she said. “It is all about laughing, enjoying yourself, and having fun. If you lose that, there is no point to keep going. As long as you are smiling, then you have everything.”
Petersen’s training mostly focuses on attacking her weaknesses and trying to improve as an athlete. She will sometimes hit workouts twice or three times a day. “I do follow a coach’s program. He will let me know if he wants me to work on something or what workout to do,” she said. “For the most part, I play it by ear. I go in when everyone else does. I love to train with everyone.”
Between training sessions, Petersen is a certified nursing assistant, a coach at the gym where she trains, CrossFit Whidbey Island, and a mother. “With the time I do have, I love to spend time with my daughter, boyfriend and family and friends. I am a hard worker and I love to have fun doing it. I am all about the peace, love, and happiness.”