Airman discovers passion for weightlifting
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Staff Sgt. Victoria Dean, 57th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron unit fitness program manager, was looking for a way to get back in shape following her first pregnancy in January 2011. Little did she know, however, that her motivation to return to physical readiness would inspire a passion for competitive weightlifting.
After a couple months of doing endurance and strength training, a friend took notice and wanted to help her. The pair began working out together, and during that time Dean was approached by the head of the gym at Luke AFB, Ariz., to participate in a weight lifting and physique competition.
“I had never done anything like that before; I thought he was crazy,” Dean said.
She won the weight lifting event and came in fourth in the figure part of her very first competition. Six months later, she won another body building competition.
When she commits to something, she gives everything she has as evidenced by her commitment to weight training and living a healthy life style since then.
It didn’t take long after being assigned here as an weapons troop before Dean’s supervision took notice of her fitness level and made her the unit fitness program manager. As the UFPM, Dean advises and trains fellow Airmen who have failed or struggle on their Fitness Assessment.
“I take pride in preparing my fellow Airmen for their PT test,” Dean said. “Everyone has different fitness levels, but with hard work and determination, anyone can achieve their goals.”
The 99th Force Support Squadron’s Warrior Fitness Center has become a second home to Dean. She works out by herself and with her Airmen twice a day. During this time, the Warrior Fitness Center Sports Director, Larry Bridges, took notice of her during a weight lifting competition held at the fitness center where Dean won with a dead lift of 275 pounds, a squat of 185 and a bench press of 145.
“I have never seen a female lift that much weight,” Bridges said. “It’s very impressive, watching her lift; [it] inspires people. She proves with hard work, determination and discipline you can be successful in your fitness goals.”
With Dean not having a weight lifting background and winning her first three events convincingly, Bridges nominated Dean for Nellis’ Female Athlete of the Year.
“The Warrior Fitness Center is a great gym,” Dean said. “There are so many pieces of equipment and tools everyone can utilize to make the most of every workout. Being able to use the fitness center all the time has given me the ability to make my body the way I wanted, I hope to continue to win weight lifting competitions.”
From the birth of her child to being nominated for Nellis’ Female Athlete of the Year, one thing remains the same, Dean’s persistence in wanting to live a healthy life style. After her accomplishments from the past two years, Dean’s sights are set on the National Armed Forces Natural Bodybuilding Championships in San Diego, Calif., Sept. 7.