Story and photos by Rick Baptista
65th Air Base Group Public Affairs
LAJES FIELD, AZORES — “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” — Socrates
Although Socrates is quoted using the term man, this concept perfectly fits Shamiqua Victorine, a U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. serving as Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Career Development for the 65th Force Support Flight in the 65th Air Base Group located at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal.
Staff Sgt. Victorine is originally from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in May 2011.
“After attending University for two years and drowning in student loans, I decided to join the Air Force as a means to further my education. I initially entered the Air Force Reserves, but after returning home from technical training at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, I decided I wanted more. I contacted an active duty Air Force recruiter and a few months later I made the transition from a reservist to active duty,” said Victorine.
When Staff Sgt. Victorine is not taking care of Airmen in the Military Personnel Office you will likely find her working on her passion, body building.
In 2013, a serious health issue caused her to evaluate her priorities. She learned that her body had certain dietary limitations and she used body building as a mechanism to overcome those limitations. Other personal and professional challenges presented themselves in 2014, and she was able to use her passion as a “resilience tool to overcome those challenges,” Victorine said. After five months of intense training, on Sept. 27, 2014, she competed in her first body building show in Florida, the Ruby Championship where she placed 6th in the female under 30 age category.
“This is where I fell in love with the sport of body building,” Victorine said. Since then she has competed in five more competitions consistently placing in the top four. On Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2018, she competed in her first international competition in Italy where she placed fourth in the under 30 category.
Staff Sgt. Victorine is currently preparing for an upcoming competition at her next duty assignment with the 39th Air Base Wing, Incirlik, Turkey.
As she continues to train and compete she also takes time to help other individuals struggling with health and fitness. In 2016, she obtained her Certified Personal Trainer certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
As she continues following her passion she has a long-term goal of being “The first International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness Bikini professional from St. Thomas and that goal is not a matter of if but when,” Victorine said.
Staff Sgt. Victorine’s advice for people struggling with personal challenges “There are no shortcuts, invest in yourself, invest in appropriate coaches and understand this is a lifestyle. Remember resilient people sometimes have non-resilient moments, life is going to happen, use fitness as an outlet.”