Fitness guru Blayne Soriano named YC’s ‘22-23 Prescott Campus Alumni of the Year
Submitted by Yavapai College News
Success can be achieved in many ways. It can be found through steady progression in a field of expertise; or built, by stamina and industry, through professional experience. But only a select few individuals can carve their own path to success, using their wits and heart to guide them. On Wednesday, Yavapai College named one such person – fitness and health expert Blayne Soriano – its 2022-23 Prescott Campus Alumni of the Year.
“I’m extremely grateful and honored.” Soriano said, at the College’s Wednesday Awards ceremony. “Yavapai College was a starting point in furthering my education. It taught me more about self-discipline, dedication, learning life skills and showing up for myself. I currently run two businesses in this community, which give me the opportunity to give back to the people and places like this that have shaped who I am.”
A YC Class of ’06 graduate who found success way off the beaten path; a fitness trainer whose clients range from six to seventy-three years old; a workout entrepreneur who found business success in the thick of a global pandemic, Blayne Soriano has forged her own career path by working hard, having faith and following what she loves.
“I think so many people in business are looking for the wrong thing,” she said. “I learned a long time ago: if you’re true to yourself and lead by example, you don’t have to ‘sell’ anything.”
A Prescott native and Bradshaw High graduate, Blayne graduated from Yavapai College in 2006 and transferred to Mesa State University in Colorado, (now Colorado/Mesa University). She earned degrees in Visual Arts Administration and Business, married and moved to Cancun, but saw no particular path early on. “I started getting into fitness when I was 22 or 23. But I didn’t have a healthy relationship with it. I was falling into the ‘diet culture.’”
Her own studies revealed a deeper complexity to fitness – it required a regimen of exercise, nutrition and a holistic, lifestyle-based approach. “I kind of fell in love with learning about it.” She began sharing her lessons with kindred spirits, in-person and online. “People said, ‘hey, you could do this for a living.’ But I was just sharing what I was learning.” When her mother took ill, Blayne returned to Prescott to take care of her. Her death hit Blayne hard, but “it also taught me life is so short. I’d better do what I need to do.”
She started over in Prescott, and soon her love of fitness and desire to help others began to show her the way. Work as a Crossfit coach soon led to informal instruction in her garage; a desire to demonstrate healthy cooking inspired her to create her own start-up, making and delivering prepackaged meals from her home. She was answering needs she saw in the community, and working patiently through her own connections, when the pandemic turned the world upside down.
“Suddenly, everybody wanted to come to my gym and work out,” she recalled. “I told them, ‘I don’t have a gym, I have a garage.’” People came anyway. They trusted her, and the relationships she’d built created a network. “People didn’t want to shop, so they needed prepared meals, so the meal business took off.” While the pandemic shut everything down, Blayne’s home became a hive of activity; cooking, packaging and delivering meals while friends pumped iron in the garage.
Today, Blayne’s business is thriving on multiple levels. She owns her own gym, where she supervises workouts with two assistants. Her meal prep business employs its own chef and is moving online. She is recognized as a reliable authority on fitness and nutrition. And she regularly holds fundraisers for local causes and charitable organizations like Agape House, NoCo Community Kitchen and the Prescott Women’s Shelter.
Through it all, she has stuck with her own program: follow your heart and build through relationships. “Numbers on a scale aren’t the correct measurement of success. But seeing people change and try harder and show up more – because they’re falling in love with the process and getting results – that’s my favorite thing ever.”
The Yavapai College Alumni of the Year Award is bestowed annually on Prescott and Verde Valley graduates whose careers exemplify scholarship, character and public service. For further information on YC’s Alumni of the Year Awards, please visit: www.yc.edu/alumni
Yavapai College operates six campuses and centers throughout Yavapai County and offers over 100 degrees and certificates, a baccalaureate degree, student and community services, and cultural events and activities.
To learn more about YC, visit www.yc.edu.