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Valetta Stewart

ACE Personal Trainer


ACE Profiles |  Valetta Stewart

My name is Valetta but everyone that knows me and are not family, call me Su'Rae. This is: My Life before and after the ACE Certified Personal Trainer course through the SALUTE YOU Scholarship 2013.

I've always been involved in fitness. Tag, hide & seek and kickball as a kid. Track and gymnastics in middle and high school, then the Army. Once I got in the Army at 17, I was officially hooked. All I wanted to do once I got out of Basic Training was to be a Drill Sergeant. And once I met Carl Lewis (track star)in San Diego and found out about Army Athletics I started running track on the army teams where ever I was assigned with the goal of making the All Army Team in Track and Field.

Although my life got in the way of track and field the Drill Sergeant bell rang true in 1987 and I found my training spirit. I so much enjoyed taking the newbies from zero to 60, "a civilian to a soldier" in 8 weeks. Transforming hearts, minds and bodies every single day. In my chosen time, I helped those who wanted to jump higher, run faster and do better. It worked for me and I loved the challenge and satisfaction. We trained and got results again and again.

When I hung up my boots in 1989 I was conditioned to keep myself in shape and I enlisted friends in the neighborhood that I thought would like training too. My next fitness wind kicked in when my boys joined scouting. (Baby Soldiers, little uniforms and all. I was a Drill Den Mother)! They did marching, drill combinations and man did they get fit. hahahaha. Pushups, grass drills, agility bars, climbing trees, swimming and earning merit badges. I think they nearly all had six pack abs 8-10 year olds LOL. We had the sharpest and most disciplined troop in our district. That fall I got my first certification as an Aerobics instructor, 1992. I got more certs, did more training and had a great life for more than 10 years.

I don't like things unfinished so I was back in the military in 2001 and I got 8 assignments (from then till now), all over the world yet managed to become a Raw Food Chef, Instructor and Trainer in Raw Food Nutrition. I was a vegan/raw foodie and struggled to stay raw in my many assignments. So I started a Blog, How to stay Raw while Serving Overseas. It kept me focused and gave me the drive to make new recipes weekly to sustain me. So there I was, a often volunteer fitness instructor and trainer, good with food especially vegan and raw. I taught classes at United Service Organization (USO Stuttgart) for two years in Raw Food, and helped people recovering from injuries and that wanted diet upgrades. Life was sweet. Then I wanted to fill a hole with my fitness and food clients. I wanted to offer more. . . What to do! Aha, I got it. Thanks to the Post 9/11 GI Bill, I went to school.

In August 2013, I completed Massage Therapy School because I saw the need for fitness professionals to have an option when clients needed to know the difference between soreness and an injury. I wanted to be able to do better functional movement assessments and have a more vast understanding of Anatomy & Physiology. I always loved receiving massage and I wanted people to know its not just for special occasions. It enriches life, improves muscle tone, relaxes the whole person, activates the lymphatic system and a myriad of benefits mentally, physically and emotionally. Near the end of my massage training the American Council on Exercise entered my life in the form of a chance popup ad that mentioned 1000 military scholarships available for a new career as a ACE Certified Personal Trainer called the "Salute You Program". I applied and was accepted 5 Aug 2013. Received my materials and blasted away.

Although it is slated as a 6 month program I completed the 18 lessons in about 40 days. I started at National Personal Training Institute for a certification w/ NASM using my GI Bill 2 October. I took 30 more days to study my ACE materials and take the diagnostic exams, got CPR and got a first time pass on the exam, 19 November, 2013. I was elated and "Officially" began seeing clients as an ACE Certified Personal Trainer.

The Fitness gods smiled on me because I was asked to give an interview about my ACE certification and the Salute You Program. I got the most wonderful writer of the Washington Post, Lenny Bernstein. After all was said and photographed, I was on the cover of the Wellness Pullout in the Post with a 3-page article. I was blessed and had dozens of calls, emails and contacts to the paper about my services as a trainer. I am totally booked with in-home training. I consult for Raw Nutrition and Vegan Strength Training. My clients range from 13 to 74 and I just got Certified in TaijiFit with David-Dorian Ross. (Tai Chi for Fitness) I teach those as group classes at Strayer University Prince Georges, to members of the American Legion and in corporate wellness programs.

Thanks to ACE, the Salute You Scholarship and the Washington Post, my life is amazingly blessed and I am helping more people than I ever thought I would or even could.


Learn More About Valetta Stewart »

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