The story of one man’s battle against cancer has ignited a movement in his community.
According to the dictionary, “A warrior is a fighter or soldier, especially one in former times who was very brave and experienced in fighting.”
That fighting does not have to be in hand-to-hand combat but can also be in terms of fighting for a cause that is greater than ones self.
Mark Petersen is a modern day warrior who is engaged in fighting for a great cause. His cause is one of building hope and empowerment of the human spirit.
In 2014, Petersen was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is a very treatable form of cancer, but still a death sentence to some.
After being told that his cancer treatment would cause him to put on excessive weight and could dramatically reduce his energy levels, Petersen decided he had to take radical action.
“I saw so many people come out of chemo therapy treatment, who were exhausted, worn down, and mentally defeated. I simply did not want that to be me. I had a family to support and children to be a roll model for,” stated Petersen.
An outdoorsman, but not necessarily physically competitive, Petersen got introduced to Spartan racing by a friend. Petersen half-heartedly entered a local race with his son and his friends and the rest, as they say, is history.
Petersen completed his first race and was immediately hooked. He saw the training, the obstacles and the struggle as a metaphor for life.
There are 3 main types of Spartan races ranging from 5 to 15 miles in length with as many as 30 obstacles to overcome during the race. A difficult challenge for a healthy person not to mention someone undergoing continuous cancer treatment.
While going through chemotherapy, he realized that he could be a role model for others and competed in over thirty Spartan races in one year to show everyone in his community that with conviction and dedication everyone has the ability to overcome the obstacles in their lives.
Petersen stated, “I want to help people understand that no matter what obstacles they face they can successfully overcome them with a positive mindset, physical training, and help from others. That is what Spartan races and the new Warrior State of Mind group is all about.”
Petersen’s upcoming challenge is taking a team of Utah Spartan racers to China in October to take part in an incredibly challenging race called “Agoge,” a 3-day event of anything-goes obstacle racing.
Mark’s dream is to one day be a professional Spartan racer so he can empower even more people through Spartan challenges.