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April Athlete of the Month – Samantha Hanson

Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, job, interests/hobbies, etc). 

Native Texan, grew up in Spring and spent some time in Dallas. Found my way back to Houston in 2011 and have stuck around since. My parents live on 250 acres a couple hours north of here and I have a younger sister in Colorado. I have two senior dogs who I still call my pups, Bones and Bella. I have 2 degrees, one in culinary and the other in hospitality management and currently work selling commercial foodservice equipment, yes you can ask me for restaurant recommendations. I also am the resident green thumb. I absolutely love to garden, I’ll talk your ear off about gardening and how to create a space that feeds you and pollinators. Even though I never left the country until 2008 and really didn’t start traveling till 2014, I have been to some cool places and LOVE to travel, the world is so big and I want to see it all. My favorite parts of traveling are eating (imagine that), getting recommendations from locals, being in nature (preferably snorkeling) and learning something new from each trip. My dream is to run a bed and breakfast on the beach one day. 

When did you start doing CrossFit?

I started at District H in September(ish) 2018

What made you decide to start CrossFit?

I have always been active most of my life. In 2015 I realized that working out on my own was boring me so I started classes at a functional fitness gym. After moving to the heights from EADO, I bounced around a few gyms but knew I wanted to have more options for lifting weights and class times, so I ended up signing up at District H after my first class.

How has CrossFit made an impact on your life outside of the gym?

I can now lift and move the big planters around in my yard without help 😉 But really, it has grown my community, it has given me more confidence to try things and it has motivated me to get stronger. 

What is your favorite & least favorite WOD or movement?

Least favorite is hollow holds/rocks……basically anything that involves ab work. No, it’s not box jumps but you’ll never see me jump on one again! HA!

Favorite is the rower or kettlebell swings. But I prefer to keep the rowing under 500M . 

What is your favorite & least favorite lift? 

Favorite was the clean! I have learned to love front squats as I am currently making the biggest progress to my pre injury PR right now.

Least favorite is for sure…overhead squats. 

What are your CrossFit goals?

Current goals are simple; stay consistent, have fun and keep challenging myself. 

Also, dropping body fat % through the nutrition challenge, hitting 200lbs for back squat and 155lbs for front squat! 

What is your proudest CrossFit moment/achievement? 

Most people know but I broke my radial head in October 2019. I have, so far, had 2 surgeries and 1 manipulation with at least one more surgery coming up soon. I currently can’t even touch my face with my right hand (built in covid safety). I think for me it is when I find a way to modify a workout with one of the coaches…MOD RX all day! Sometimes it is easy to look back and say “I was so this” or “I wish this” before my injury but when someone mentions to me about how they respect the fact that I still show up, it reminds me that I can be proud of myself for doing just that. It isn’t easy, it is HARD a lot of days but I know I can’t live life with a “what if” attitude and this is what I have to work with right now so I choose to make the most of it.   

What is your favorite quote or words to live by?

“Not all who wander are lost.”

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things” 

Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you. 

Besides growing things, I am kind of crafty. I make homemade greeting cards and love to build things. Being able to create is one of my favorite outlets from the day to day. 

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What advice would you give to newbies?

Ask questions! You don’t know it all but that’s why you are here, Listen to the feedback. 

Make friends! Having community at the gym helps keep you accountable, keeps you engaged and makes classes more fun. 

Speak up/Brag a little! Did you just add 5 lbs from last week?? SAY SO! There is nothing better than hearing people cheer for you as you work your butt off to hit a PR. Celebrate it! 

Don’t compare! We all start from our own place, you are where you are and you’re welcome here no matter what that level is! 

Show up! Crossfit isn’t about lifting the heaviest all the time; to me it is checking the ego at the door, putting in the time and leaving the excuses behind you. 

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