Sandy Sanders

Sandy Sanders - Athleta Sponsored AthleteSANDY SANDERS is an avid fitness enthusiast and trainer, a mother of two, and a woman fueled by her desire to live life without regrets. “There are two types of regrets in life — regretting having done something and regretting having not done something,” says Sandy. “It’s the second one that eats away at you, leaving you with ‘what ifs.’ When it comes to sports and fitness, that’s half my mantra. The other half is my competitive fire that says ‘you can do better than you did before.'”

Sandy began challenging herself with competitive swimming in elementary school, and continued swimming competitively into college where her ‘live with no regrets’ mantra pushed her to take on new sports, from 5K races to 150-mile bike tours and triathlons. Soon she was winning her age group races, and looking for more. The next challenge came when she was graduating from the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps and she had to select a naval community. Not one to set her sights on an easy target, Sandy chose the Navy’s Special Operations Community — in spite of the low odds of being selected — because she knew she would prefer to look back and say “I tried” rather than wondering “what IF.” Not only was she selected, but she graduated from Dive School as the US Navy’s first African American (and Vietnamese) female Basic Diving Officer! The pride in being one of the few women to earn the title of US Navy diver truly fueled her desire to keep living without regrets.

Another great challenge she faced was her divorce. Not one to wallow in self-pity for too long, she found the strength to bounce back by teaming up with her children to publish two children’s books, and each summer she reconnects with her sense of adventure by traveling to a different country to try a new activity, which to date has included surfing, ziplining, kiteboarding, and hiking up and sliding down waterfalls.

Sandy’s love of sports and fitness has shaped her into a person who wants to inspire others to find the same love. She divides her time between a full-time job, her kids, teaching fitness classes, discovering the world of pole fitness, and competing in various races. She recently qualified for the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships and ended 2012 on a high note by finishing 9th woman overall and 2nd in her age group for the 2012 World’s Toughest Mudder.



  • The first African American (and Vietnamese) female US Navy Diving Officer
  • Finished a 12 mile bay-to-river marathon swim to raise money supporting the fight against skin cancer
  • Selected as a member of the US Navy Running and Triathlon team
  • Overall wins at various runs and triathlons
  • Certifications in: Adult and Children’s personal training; Group Training (step, fitness dance, indoor spin, boot camp, zumba); TRX; Scuba and deep sea diving
  • Three-peat wins as first in her age group in the Danskin Women’s Tri — recently placing 6th overall out of 1,189 competitors in the 2012 Danskin Women’s Tri (Sandy Hook, NJ)
  • Gained the respect of US Navy SEALS for being only one of two women to compete in a SEAL team competition, and scoring top 3 in her gender mixed age group
  • Second in age group and 9th out of 100 women in the World’s Toughest Mudder 2012 (after only 9 days of prep)
  • Qualified for the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships