Wellness Student of the Week: Stephen Syarto

What are some benefits that you have experienced through the PE/Wellness Department classes you have taken?

I am currently taking Aerobic Conditioning Program and Beginning Weight Training with Jodi Kuyt, Intermediate Yoga Tone and Stretch with Melanie Schiele-Gady, and Circuit Training and Physical Fitness with Lannie Collard.  After my second deployment to Iraq as an Infantryman with the Army, I had a yearlong break in service.  Due to a serious back injury from an IED I got really out of shape and nothing seemed to be working.  Thanks to the Wellness Department I now max my pushups and sit ups and run my 2 mile time at the top Army standard!  I set the example for fitness at my unit.  In my classes I also learned how to eat healthy, and my energy level has exploded!  I teach my four boys how to live healthy, eat healthy, and enjoy life.  I’m able to do more with them outdoors, including running and biking.  My youngest son has Down Syndrome which means he has low muscle tone.  I have learned exercises in yoga that will help him as he gets older to develop a stronger core and normal muscle tone.  I thought yoga was going to be easy but it turned out to be harder than any workout I had ever done.  Melanie has broadened my fitness horizons, helped me to be more flexible, and decreased my stress level dramatically.  Lannie and Jodi have managed to push me to my limits every single class and I could not believe it when they were matching me push up for push up, running me to my breaking point and forcing me to step outside my comfort zone in order to better myself.  I absolutely love how great I feel every day after class.  My family and friends notice the huge change.  I’ve already lost ten pounds of fat and I feel great.  My aerobics class and circuit training class have given me workouts that I bring to my soldiers, and have helped me feel better, sleep better, and be in better shape than my soldiers.  The weight training helps me stay strong while my cardio and flexibility keep getting better.


What goals do you want to achieve taking these classes?

I want to lose weight and be more versatile in my overall fitness, not just a weight lifter or runner.  I want to be in better shape and be more educated in my health so I can set the standard for my family and be around longer for them.  In general I want to live a healthier lifestyle that will benefit my family and my soldiers both physically and mentally.


How are you making fitness part of your daily life?

I am making better diet choices.  I am now keeping track of my blood pressure and my cholesterol.  I am exercising at least five days a week.  The classes I am taking have changed my life.  We have people at every fitness level and age group.  I’ve learned that exercise does not have to be long or dragged out and can be something fun that I look forward to.  No matter how out of shape or in shape you think you are, these classes tailor workouts that will push you in new ways without causing injury.  Each person is pushed to succeed, and everyone encourages one another.  It’s the kind of camaraderie I love about the military.  We all want to help each other succeed and we are all going to push each other and support one another.  It’s been a great experience and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to improve their outlook on life.  It’s not just about looking better and feeling less stressed It’s about having a more positive outlook on life that helps me to be more successful and a better person.

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