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Fitness a passion for JBLM spouse

Ranger spouse, Andrea Dornelas, working to become a personal trainer

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When first meeting Army spouse Andrea Dornelas, one can tell right off the bat that she is a determined individual. Not only is she the wife of a Soldier in 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, but she also works full time and cares for two kids at home. While this may seem like a run of the mill Army household, Dornelas has also jumped back into the world of being a student. She is keeping her sights focused on becoming a certified personal trainer and would ultimately like to earn a degree in nutrition.  

"I have been tossing around the idea of becoming a personal trainer for about a year and a half," Dornelas said. "I had bought the books to start studying for the certification test, but with two moves and a deployment, I had to put that on hold." Once the dust settled, she contacted the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and told them what she wanted to do. "They helped identify the best options to suit my goals - within one week's time, I was registered for class."

In addition to juggling school and life in general, Dornelas is also an avid runner. She started three years ago and has completed several races ranging from 5k (3.1 miles) to full marathon (26.2 miles) distance.

Living at Joint Base Lewis-McChord also gave her the opportunity to join the DuPont-based running group wear blue: run to remember, which serves as a living memorial to fallen Servicemembers. With them, Dornelas is currently training for three marathons, as well as a 52.4 mile ultra marathon in San Francisco.

How does she have the time to fit it all in? "Planning," Dornelas said. "I always plan ahead and make sure that my training plan is realistic," she said. "Second is my husband's support. He is very supportive of my running and helps me out tremendously."

Though the path to becoming a fitness guru may be riddled with the unknown, Dornelas is more than determined to achieve her goals. Ultimately, she wants to help those with very busy schedules. "With small changes, people can achieve their weight loss and health goals," she said. "In many cases, they just need the resources, tools, and guidance to get there."

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