We’re following the adventures of eight incredible people as they travel the globe and transform their lives through Spartan. Check out our NEW series — Everyday Spartan — and get inspired today.
TOGA! TOGA! TOGA!
The raucous chant is familiar across generations, but its new placement can be best seen at the shower station at Spartan events across the globe. Why? Because of Everyday Spartan, Kressa Peterson’s brilliant invention of the Shower Toga, a small idea seeded in the mud and grime of the aftermath of a Spartan Race.
How Kressa Peterson Became a Spartan
Seven years ago, Kressa acknowledges that her journey into Spartan was routed in fear that she had for her husband’s health. “My husband was overweight, and I seriously thought he might have a heart attack.” She tried to get him to go the gym, purchasing a gift certificate for some cross fit sessions and edging him towards more activity, but it wasn’t until they saw a commercial for Spartan on TV that things began to shift. “My husband said, ‘That looks like fun.’ He really didn’t mean anything by it, but I paid attention and I bought him a Groupon.” Kressa’s husband took the plunge and raced his first race alongside their son. It wasn’t long after that Kressa joined her family and signed up as well.
“We ran around the country doing Spartan races and then I created Shower Toga to clean up after the racing. The rest is history!”
Kressa Peterson's Battle with Breast Cancer
But not so fast. Kressa has had her fair share of struggles and clawed her way through them with the fierce determination and go to war mentality of a true Spartan. When Kressa was diagnosed with breast cancer she knew that she needed something to bury herself into. She lost her mother from ovarian cancer at a very young age and was changed by the declarative statement from her doctors, “You have cancer.” She needed an outlet and Spartan became that for her.
“I had seen what Spartan had done for my husband. He lost 40 pounds and got into great shape. AND he really enjoyed it!”
Kressa felt a shift in her outlook as she took on the diagnosis and also the training for her new hobby. “I truly took bad experiences in my life and bettered myself. I took chances that I may not have otherwise taken.”
Her relationship with herself grew, as did her self-esteem and sense of self-agency. “Spartan gave me the confidence to believe that I was truly capable of anything and I guess I seriously fucking ran with it. Because of that, when my idea for Shower Toga came along, I never gave up.”
Making Shower Toga a Reality
This mental resilience and sheer determination landed her a spot on Shark Tank, The View, and eventually a deal with Mark Cuban. But she didn’t end there. Paying homage to the inception of her idea, Kressa pushed for a partnership with Spartan Race and got it.
“I don’t really know how it all happened other than I literally just put one foot in front of the other and never took ‘no’ for an answer. I fought for my product because I whole-heartedly believed in it.”
The road hasn’t been an easy one for Kressa but she’s hell bent on making the best of the struggles that come her way and ensuring that she pays it forward. The principle of finding your True North is one that Spartan founder and CEO, Joe De Sena, speaks of often. We must find purpose in our productivity and continue to work towards that which brings us meaning. Kressa has certainly found such meaning in her work thus far and has goals to extend her purpose in a way that provides a further contribution to those in need.
“I have big plans. I want to produce Shower Toga for disaster relief out of a more biodegradable fabric that will break down easily. More people die of infection and hygiene after a natural disaster than the actual disaster. Shower Toga can save lives and it’s up to me and my new business partners to make it happen. That would make a happy camper and I WILL get it done.”