A gymnast for 21 years, Olympic Silver Medalist Samantha Peszek stands proudly under the spotlight as the 2015 NCAA All-Around Gymnastics Champion. As Peszek stands on the podium and smiles to the cheering crowd, she soaks up her final ovation, marking the end of her impressive gymnastics career. As the celebration fades and fans leave the stadium, it was time for Samantha to move on to the next phase of her life.
Moving on does not equate to abandoning the sport in which she grew up and loved. The now 26-year-old Samantha is still deeply committed to her sport despite retiring three years ago. In fall 2017, Samantha launched Beam Queen Bootcamp, a two-day, weekend beam clinic for young girls with a focus on improving gymnastics beam skills and confidence.
“Imagine a female empowerment conference tailored for young gymnasts.
The gymnasts even have a whole rotation dedicated to confidence training,” says Peszek.
What is Beam?
In the world of gymnastics, the balance beam is considered the most difficult and unforgiving event. Imagine having to gracefully flip across a beam that is 4 inches wide, under competition pressure. There’s no room for error because any small mistake can lead to a fall. “It’s the hardest event and considered by many in the sport to be the “make it or break it” event depending how mentally tough you are,” says Peszek. The apparatus is so challenging that Peszek once considered quitting gymnastics all together. Ultimately, Peszek refused to succumb to her “nemesis” by putting in the extra work improving her abilities. What was considered her least favorite event was now her best event where she earned two NCAA titles – her freshman and senior years.
At Beam Queen Bootcamp, Samantha hopes to share her tips and tricks with up-and-coming gymnasts making the hardest event a little easier. Ultimately, she hopes to share her life lessons with her Beam Queen Bootcamp gymnasts. One lesson includes, “No matter how far you get or how good you are, there will always be obstacles. You will have fears, doubts, injuries, etc., but if you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything in the sport and in life.”
What was supposed to be a single event in her hometown of Indianapolis has expanded to Peszek holding Beam Queen Bootcamps across the United States from Anchorage, Alaska to Memphis, Tennessee. “After that first event, I had gyms from 23 states and four countries wanting to do an event in their location. My mind was absolutely blown. No one has ever done an event for gymnasts focusing on just beam,” says Peszek. The expansion of Beam Queen Bootcamp does not stop there. Peszek’s next goal for Beam Queen is to hold events internationally. As a supplement to Beam Queen Bootcamp, Peszek recently launched a gymnastics-themed podcast, IHAVECOOLFRIENDS.show, where she interviews coaches, gymnast, and experts within the field, educating and informing listeners for all things gymnastics.
If that is not enough, Samantha also has her eye set on sharing her life lessons beyond the gymnastics community. Samantha and her Olympic teammate, Alicia Sacramone, continue to grow their fitness community, The Gympire. At the Gympire, Peszek and Sacramone create gymnastics-based workouts for fitness enthusiasts focusing on strength, balance, and flexibility. The future is ever so bright for Samantha as she aspires to motivate people to live their best lives, being both mentally and physically strong.
Meet Samantha Peszek, Lorna Jane True Believer:
Any advice to young gymnasts wanting to compete in the Olympics?
My advice would be exactly what my parents told me growing up – “you can do anything you set your mind to.” If you believe whole heartedly that you can do it and you want to do it, then you will and that’s true with anything in life.
What are three accomplishments that you are most proud of? (It doesn’t have to be gymnastics)
- Olympic silver medal
- 3 NCAA titles — two on beam and one in the all-around
- Starting my own company
If you could share one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would share that life is about balance. It’s just as important to have fun and enjoy the journey as it is to stay disciplined and focus on the big picture. It’s also about sharing moments with your support system. I’m so lucky that I think I have the world’s best family and friends to surround myself with. I love sharing moments with them and encouraging them to accomplish their dreams too.
How do you Move?
I love to workout and I love how it makes me feel. I love to run, hike, flip, and stretch!
How do you Nourish?
I love eating healthy too. I’m a big fan of breakfast and starting off the day with a good hearty meal. With that being said, I’m a big dessert person too. I eat healthy most of the time, but I am a big advocate for the “Treat Yo Self” lifestyle. Life is just too short.
How do Believe?
I believe because I know anything is possible.
Samantha is wearing the Varsity Core Ankle Biter Tight, shop Lorna Jane tights here. Learn more about Samantha via Instagram @Samanthapeszek. Check out The Gympire at @thegympire, and Beam Queen Boot Camp @beamqueenbootcamp.