Interview 11: “Any mountain is climbable!”

I first came across Valorie on Facebook.  She had amazing fitness photos and I thought “this girl looks pretty bad ass!”  Come to find out, she totally is!  This fit mama is not only a business owner, rockstar trainer, and international speaker but she living a blissful life with her beautiful family.  She lives her passion day in and day out and wouldn’t change it for the world!

Valorie has been in the fitness world for over 19 years.  She caught the fitness bug early in life while running track in both high school and college.  She majored in dietetic food nutrition and sports nutrition and along the way she got all the certifications she could possibly get.  “It was the smartest things I’ve ever done” she said.

Valorie has that spirit that says “I can do anything I put my mind and energy towards.”  I learned this right away when she told me that before she got into fitness she was expected to be a farm wife!  I was shocked to hear that!  She has such a different life from that but that makes sense once you talk to Valorie.  That wasn’t the direction Valorie wanted to go so she forged her different path.  She took a job as a group fitness instructor in the Twin Cities and joined an accelerator program.  She worked 14 hours a day, 6 days a week until she took a position as a program director down in Atlanta.  Now she and her husband Bill (also in the fitness industry) own their own facility down in Atlanta.

Together they present to trainers all over the globe.  They teach trainers the skills they need to be the best they can be. They show them cutting edge material and lessons they can implement through the years to make them incredibly effective and “personal” trainers. “Personal training is personal!  I wouldn’t have it any other way” says Valorie.  It’s the personal touches she brings to her clients, her gym, and her trainings that separates her from the pack.  She truly lives and breathes her passion for fitness but more importantly her passion for helping others.  

I asked Valorie if she had any major struggles that she overcame and her answer was very authentic and matter of fact.  Valorie embraces each stage of her life because she knows she’ll not only learn from it but if it’s not what she wants, she can course correct!  She doesn’t look at times as struggle, she looks at them as chapters in her life.  After having her children she described herself as “fluffy” but it didn’t feel like it was something she had to overcome.  She would just do the work and get back to what felt good for her.  She has the ability to look at every situation she’s in and see the positive and embrace the work load.  She knows that when you knock on the door of opportunity hard work answers and she embraces that hard work with open and excited arms!

“I feel like I got lucky because I knew what I wanted to do early on and I went for it.”  When we were talking her 15 month old started crying in the background. There was some phone shuffling and readjustments so he could be with her as we finished our call.  She shard that everyone has challenges and struggles daily through their chapters of life.  Currently she’s in mommy chapter and she is where she needs to be right now.  I liked looking at life from that perspective and it made sense on how she can look at things with such clarity.  When you know you’re diving into a certain chapter of your life, live all the way into it.  Be engaged, present and know you have the power to make it incredible.  

I asked Valorie what her top three tips would be to the person reading this today:

  1. You don’t need to look at exercise as a full hour.  Many of us say “I don’t have time” when we think it’s going to take that long.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  You can create a lot of intensity in 10-20 minutes.  It becomes doable. Everyone has 10 minutes to do something.
  2. From a food standpoint - I consider bread, wine and desert the 3 evils.  When you’re out to dinner with friends PICK ONE not all 3!!  That way you can feel a part of the meal, you’re not the odd person out and it also gives you choice.  
  3. When you get frustrated, stop and breathe. Really honestly give yourself 10-30 seconds and just breathe!!  Any mountain is climbable!

Valorie is the definition of a can do attitude. She knows what she wants so she works for it!  She also allows herself to live into each chapter of her life and enjoy the struggle.  So whatever chapter you’re in right now, embrace every bit of it.  If you don’t like it, take the steps you need to to change your path.  What I hope you take away from Valorie’s story is that no matter what happens you have the power and abilities to create the life of your dreams.  Believe in yourself, believe in your abilities and climb your mountain!

Thank you for taking the time to engage in my 11th interview of inspiring women!  Please feel free to share your comments, feelings and send this to a friend you think would benefit from reading this!  If you want me to interview someone you find incredibly inspiring, I would be truly honored to meet them! This is a journey that has no parameters or rules!  Let’s have fun with it and continue to spread the message of empowerment, love and kindness - to ourselves and others!

You can follow Valorie through the next chapters on Facebook at Valorie  Sonnemaker and on Instagram: @361FitMom