Praise for samantha Arsenault livingstone, oly.
“We invited Sam to come work with our women’s team for a weekend in the fall. I knew it was going to be a special weekend and Sam hit it out of the park. Her vulnerability, honest and real journey into the woman she has become has ignited a fire in our women. Our weekend journey was filled with releasing the inner critic, diving deep into themselves as individuals all while cultivating a culture for THIS team. She’s able to navigate conversation because of her sincere honest and gentle demeanor that makes everyone feel comfortable.
I’ve been extremely fortune to have Sam in my life for 15 years. She has been a rock and guiding light for so many. Her passion and positivity is infectious and our women have benefited grateful from her services. I can’t wait to have her work with more of our teams in the future. She is the best of the best!”
-Stefanie Williams Moreno, Associate Head Coach, University of Georgia Swimming & Diving | 28 x NCAA All-American | 4 x National Champion
“I have grown in so many ways, I can barely even begin to express it. I have been able to move into a space of awareness of my emotions and acknowledge them as a part of being human and not as failure to be perfect.
I have also grown into a space where I can articulate and define my core values and qualities that i want to live my life by; kindness, helpfulness, rational, diplomatic, and passionate. And because of these values I have also been able to grow into another space of awareness in regards to my reactions of certain situations, especially when they are rooted deep in emotional responses; anger, fear, shame, disappointment, frustration.
I have been able to create space for me and for the little things in life that I enjoy and need to have a life worth living that it not overwhelmingly packing every single waking moment of every day trying to accomplish and check every box to make sure that things don't end up "wrong" or "bad", when in reality that will never stop bad things from happening and they will still hurt all the same.
I have also been able to branch out and ask for help when I need it because it truly does take a village to live this life we are all living together.
- Alice O’Connor, PT Student | USA Figure Skating National Team | 2 x Member of Top Ten World Championship Team | 2 x Top Three Finishes at USA Nationals
"Samantha Livingstone is an inspiration to so many, not simply for her athletic accomplishments but for her story and how she has grown into person and leader she is today. In sharing her journey in such a vulnerable, honest and graceful way, she is educating and inspiring so many to find their best selves. Sam's passion and positivity are infectious, and I would recommend her services to anyone looking for a dynamic force to jump-start real change."
- Carol Capitani | Head Coach, University of Texas Women's Swimming & Diving
“Samantha brought courage, light and honesty to our Women’s Leadership Summit. She bravely shared her story and gave others the permission to feel. Her vulnerability created a safe space where our coaches could really connect and grow. We will definitely be having Samantha join us again at future events!”
-Morgan Weinberg | Manager of Programs & Services, USA Swimming- Sport Development
"Samantha Livingstone offered a powerful message for our teachers and staff on opening day. Using a unique set of experiences that include an Olympic medal journey, parent of child with life threatening illness, and as a classroom educator - she weaves her stories in a way that connects and resonates with audience members. Her messages are timely in quick-paced world of high stress, and her experiences and messages touch upon the many themes we are experiencing in schools - from trauma and social-emotional gaps, to wellness and revisiting the core question of why we educate, and why this path has such power to impact others. Samantha has a infectious presence, offers humility and humor, and closes with real takeaways that teachers and staff will remember and utilize throughout the school year. Ultimately, my staff asked for more of Samantha, testifying to the power of her words to move others."
-Dr. Howard "Jake" Eberwein III | Superintendent of Lee Public Schools
"Sam Livingstone was invaluable to our team. She challenged us to dive deep and explore who we are as individuals and as a team. Sam's open and approachable demeanor allowed us to be our true selves, and to engage in important conversations. Sam is not only relatable and engaging, but is also incredibly empathetic to the challenges of the modern-day athlete. We are so thankful to have Sam as a resource moving forward."
- Alice Lee | Head Coach, Williams College Lacrosse
"Last year I came across a picture of a fiery little girl striking a pose in the pouring rain – soaking wet, wide grin, bold and loving life. The caption read: REMEMBER HER? She is still there . . . inside you . . . waiting . . . Let’s go get her.
That was my goal and is exactly what Samantha helped me to do – rediscover the fearless, enthusiastic girl who had gotten lost in (to quote Samantha) All. The. Things.
Samantha is so naturally talented at bringing out the best in people. She’s a listener. She’s intuitive. She has a gift for truly understanding and for knowing just when and how much to guide, nudge, question and cheerlead. And she really, really cares.
With Samantha’s encouragement, wisdom and passion, in two short months, I made dramatic changes in my life/work balance; and for the first time in many, many years I embarked on a project (other than the fabulousness of being a mom) that lights me up. I realized the power, and necessity, of purpose.
The shifts in my day-to-day and in my big dreams far exceed where I thought I might go when we started working together. Rainy days still come, of course – but Samantha has reminded me how to step out and sing."
-Susan Dudley Stout, J.D., M.Ed. | Founder of Own Beat Athlete | Former teacher and swim coach | Athlete and athlete’s mom.
"As a young swimmer, I looked up to Samantha, herself a young Olympic Gold Medalist and NCAA swimmer. I later had the privilege to meet, become teammates with and most importantly friends with this amazing woman. Sam epitomizes what it means to be a confident, empowered woman and now long after my Olympic days have ended, I continue to look to her for leadership and direction.
I’ve never met anyone with such a passion for helping others as Sam has. Samantha’s experiences and ability to overcome adversity, have equipped her with the leadership and coaching skills to help others in need of guidance."
- Kara Lynn Joyce | Founder of LEAD Summit | 3 x Team USA Olympic Swimmer | 4 x Olympic Medalist | 18 x NCAA Champion
"Often times it is difficult to connect with teenage audiences. During Samantha's "Dreams Come True" presentation at the Bay State Games, I looked at the audience and not one teenager was on their phone. They were listening so intently to her. Samantha's story is a must hear for any athlete, coach, and parent!
I've had the opportunity to work with, and listen to, many guest speakers. It is clear that Samantha loves what she does and her connection to the athletes is genuine.
I'm so happy we are able to connect with Samantha and have her talk to our athletes about her journey from competing in the Bay State Games, as a high school athlete, to winning an Olympic gold medal! Samantha was so easy to work with and very accommodating to meet as many athletes as possible."
Peter LeClerc | Director of Sports and Operations at Massachusetts Amateur Sports Foundation (Bay State Games)
"I am a work in progress. Instead of seeing this truth as a stop along the journey to PERFECT (the old norm), working with Sam has helped me see that progress IS all I need. Since I was a young girl, I have always wanted to connect others to tools and resources that improve lives. I’m eager to support people in their time of struggle to see another way. And, to do it with compassion. BUT, when comes to seeing myself as worthy of the same tools, support, and compassion…? UH. I was holding myself to a different, must harsher standard. Still do from time to time (see that work in progress bit?). Sam encouraged me to see myself with compassion, to call out the inner critic and say “no, thank you.” She helped me break away from the labels I’d stickered all over myself… lazy, un-athletic, non-committal. Working with Sam, I have pushed through these invisible barriers and, at 40, I’m in the best shape of my life. Better yet, I’m pulling off more labels every day and well on my way to achieving my dream of supporting others on this wacky journey! Thank you, Sam!"
- Siobhan Crosby, aka Coach Croz | Tech Trainer + Wellness Coach
On January 1, 2017, I took a long, hard look at myself....on New Year's Day no less--how cliche right? But I was knew I could not go through another year at the pace I was going. I was a tired mom of 3 little ones (bigs + twins). I was extremely concerned with making everyone else happy and not so much myself. I was trying to live up to this unattainable level of perfection---pretending I had it all together when really I felt as though I was unraveling. There was no balance to my life & I needed a change.
I saw something Samantha Livingstone had written and it just clicked for me. I needed to reach out to her because what she was saying: finding balance, giving yourself compassion, finding joy, recovering perfectionist---I wanted that. Heck, I NEEDED that.
And getting in contact with her and starting this wellness journey has been one of the best choices I have ever made. I have more energy, more patience, more compassion for myself. I am nurturing me which is a change, but one I know makes me a better mother, wife, person. I am a work in progress, after all this is a marathon not a sprint, but this has been an amazing transformation and one I can't wait to continue and see where it takes me next!
-Caitlin Pasquale | Mama of Three (bigs + twins) + Nurse Practitioner + Recovering Perfectionist
"Samantha has been an amazing source of guidance, support and inspiration at a time when I have needed it most. She provides validation and insight with her attentive listening, adept intuition, and candid advice. Not only does she acknowledge her own unique struggles, she also provides the invaluable “secrets” to her accomplishments while teaching you how to utilize your own strengths. She truly has a gift to enlighten those around her. Samantha is awe-inspiring and a model to look towards."
- Julie Proto Crane | Twin Mama + HR Manager
"I’m a junior at Mount Greylock Regional High School and asked Samantha to come give a mini-lecture at my school in a program called Greylock Talks. Greylock Talks invites interesting community members to give a short presentation on their area of expertise, whatever that may be, during the high school study hall period. Samantha gave an abbreviated talk on her top ten tips to “Stay in Your Lane.” Even though her time was limited to a mere 15 minute talk, she was still able to give captivating, clear, and concise advice on how to help high school students achieve their goals. Her positive energy and enthusiasm made her a popular speaker among all the students. As a young woman that had struggled with body image and self confidence throughout middle school and high school, it was both relieving and inspiring to listen to Samantha speak. She talked about what she did to achieve her dreams and the personal struggles she had to work through to get there and to succeed thereafter. Not only did Samantha acknowledge that that kids who struggle are not alone, but she was able to pinpoint culprits of self-doubt and self-hate and explain how to beat them. Samantha very easily started a necessary conversation during her lecture which continued even after she left the school.
Logistically speaking, Samantha was very easy to work with. She was approachable, organized, and frequently checked in with my colleagues and I to see if we had any questions for her and to update us on what her talk would be on. Samantha is an excellent speaker and an incredible human with an incredible story, and I hope our paths converge again somewhere down the line."
-Bella Bote | GreylockTalk Student Coordinator + Three Sport Athlete
"I have struggled with my relationship with food and my body image for as long as I can remember. Since losing my mom in 2008, all of this has become heightened. Sam has a way of speaking directly to my soul. She can see who I am capable of being. She can see my strength. She can see my inner athlete. She can pull that person out. With Sam's guidance, I am just plain happy in my skin. I am no longer dieting. I'm fueling my body. I have harnessed an inner strength that I didn't know existed and I am moving towards a healthier relationship with food."
- Jill Dalfonso | Maternity Nurse + Open Water Swimmer
"I've known Sam for over 10 years - first as a swim parent and now as a wellness client. After she left swim coaching, we kept in touch over Facebook. I would read her posts and quietly admired her strength; she became an inspiration. It wasn't until March of 2016 that I finally worked up the guts to contact her.
I have been obese for many, many years and my health was definitely not great. I've tried many diets, but nothing really worked. I’d lose weight then gain it all back. It was a miserable cycle. I remember when I pressed the send button for the first time, I immediately regretted it and started thinking 'why did I do this, it's just going to be another fail for me.' I was hoping Sam wouldn’t see my message, but she did.
I am more than happy we started that conversation. It has been a bumpy road with some ups and downs since I started this journey with Sam, but she's never given up on me, not once, even when I sometimes gave up on myself. Whenever I think, “OK, I suck at this.” there she is to pick me back up and encourage me. Her messages come at just the right time.
I'm not "dieting" anymore ~ thanks to Sam, I'm working on living a much healthier life by making better choices. My journey is a work in progress and it always will be, but with Sam, I’ve gotten much further than I could have on my own, and am still continuing on! I'm more than happy and proud to have Sam on my side, and it's my honor to know her and have her as such a big part of my journey."
- Doris Basic | Mother of five + Warrior
"In my opinion, Sam is more than just a coach, she is a force. She has the ability to inspire people at their lowest points. Sam guided me through obstacles that I couldn't break down on my own. By thoughtfully listening and patiently speaking with me, I was able to find clarity and peace in my mind and body. She has shown me a path to walk down that I never thought existed. The support, guidance and authenticity of Sam are what I'm truly thankful for and would encourage others to embrace."
- Lily D'Agnese | CICU Nurse + Triathlete
"I have known 'Mrs. Livingstone' for 11 years. I was a freshman in high school, wide-eyed and terrified, looking for friends, answers and direction. She was my freshman Biology and junior Anatomy & Physiology teacher. Far more than that, she was my "go-to" for all of life's problems, my guidance, and my greatest role model. I spent innumerable hours just sitting in her classroom searching for rest and motivation (I would get to school early and leave late just to make sure of it!). Sam was beyond busy with life and work. What was the difference between her and the hundreds of other teachers? She never once made me feel that way. She was an open ear and a guiding voice. She is brilliant, funny, loving, and as humble as she is incredibly impressive.
High school may have only been 4 years- but those years helped make me who I am today. Perfectionism and anxiety have always found a way to creep-up and speak lies into each area of my life- athletics, academics, relationships, my self-confidence, and my goals. During these years, the pressures of life manifested in ways I couldn't imagine- things I never saw coming. It was Sam who noticed my struggle, sickness, and need for help. Junior year, I learned that my dad, my hero, had been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). After mourning with my family, all I wanted to do was go to Sam for comfort and as always, I found it.
Today, I am finishing up my second year of med school. I first fell in love with science in Sam's classes. She not only has such a gift for teaching, she has a gift of encouraging everyone she comes into contact with. What she taught me was deeper than a curriculum could ever go. I was one of hundreds of students to feel this way. I carry with me the lessons she has taught me. Because of Sam, I better know how to love who I am now while working each day to be better and grow stronger.
There was something very different and special about this teacher I was gifted with. She never let me believe that I was anything but capable of my greatest dreams and goals. Each day I walked into her classroom, I grew as a person. She helped me learn that to be imperfect is to be human - but to be amazing is a choice, each day."
- Dr. Hannah Dahl Childs | OBGYN Resident + Forever Athlete