Maria Rivera | Southern Ute Drum

SunUte Community Center


Maria Rivera | Southern Ute Drum

Welcome to SunUte Fitness! We offer training, assessment, incentives, and a large selection of modern fitness equipment in our 5,000 sq. ft. fitness center. Stop by today for a tour.

Fitness Assessment

Are you as “young” as you want to be? Our Polar BodyAge® System will tell you where you are today and give you a benchmark to measure your progress. It also tells you how many years you are able to take off your BodyAge with a plan for creating a younger, healthier you. Included in this assessment are health and nutrition questionnaires, height, weight, blood pressure, body fat percentage, max VO2 testing, and strength and flexibility tests. Please talk with a SunUte trainer today and get all the support and encouragement you need to reach your goal.

fitness assessment area

Fitness Training

SunUte trainers are available for personal training by appointment. This benefit is included with your membership.

Fitness Training

Kid Care

Our Active Kid Care program is designed to get your kids moving! We have an amazing team of providers that love playing with children. The equipment for your child to play with ranges from scooters to hula hoops to big balls to the parachute. Our staff is trained in CPR. First Aid, and Love and Logic and we are here to ensure your children have a fun and safe experience while you work out!

Kid Care

A few rules to know before you join us at SunUte with your children:

  • Parents/Guardians are not allowed to leave the building while your child is in our care.
  • We only are allowed to take care of your child if they are over 6 months and under 8 years of age.
  • We are not allowed to change diapers, but we will come and find you if necessary!
  • Please send healthy snacks with your child.
  • Please do not allow your child to bring toys from home.
  • If your child is sick; please stay and cuddle your child at home.

Employee Biographies

Abel Velasquez, CPT, Pn1

SunUte Fitness Director


  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in Exercise Science-Exercise
    Specialist– FLC, 2014.
  • AFAA Certified Personal Trainer since 2010.
  • Certified USA Powerlifting Club Coach.
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1 Coach.
  • Native American Fitness Council Functional Fitness
  • Native American Fitness Council Living Lean:
    Nutrition for Life.
  • NPSF Certified Pool Operator.
  • American Red Cross First-Aid and CPR Instructor.
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor.
  • American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor.
  • Certified American Red Cross Lifeguard.



  • Running 5k’s, mud runs, and Spartan Races!
  • Competing in strength and weight lifting events.
  • Hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, swimming, and hanging out at the lake.
  • Enjoying time with my wife and two kids!


I am an enrolled member of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation of Oklahoma. I am also part Southern Cheyenne and
Hispanic. I’ve been into fitness and weightlifting my entire life, as I was exposed to the “gym life” from an
early age. I grew up watching both of my parents push themselves to get stronger, faster, and more fit.
Seeing this had a huge impact on me and created a lifelong obsession with fitness. The day I turned 13, I was
finally able to use the weight room at SunUte and I haven’t looked back since.

I have been with SunUte for 13 years now, working my way up from an intern to part-time Fitness Trainer to
Head Fitness Trainer to now the Fitness Director. I truly believe SunUte is one of the best, if not The best,
facilities in the four corners region.

Over the last 4 years, Water Safety and Drowning Prevention has become a focus of mine. Drowning is a
leading cause death for children/youth, but it is preventable!


Sage Frane

Group Exercise Coordinator


  • Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science
  • Fitness and Leisure 2001
  • AFAA -Group Exercise Instructor Certified since 2004
  • Yoga Alliance – 200 Hour Registered Yoga Teacher
  • Yog Sadhna – Yoga Nidra Level 1 teacher-50 hour
  • LesMills Certified – BodyPump ‘03, BodyStep ‘03,  BodyFlow ‘04, BodyCombat ‘09, CXWORX ‘16, SPRINT ‘17, and Born To Move ‘18.
  • American Red Cross First-Aid and CPR Instructor
  • Certified American Red Cross Lifeguard
  • Mental Health First Aid Instructor certified ‘18


  • Traveling
  • Hiking
  • Attending yoga retreats around the world
  • Camping and mountain biking with my two boys, husband and friends.


I have been actively involved in the world of fitness/recreation for nearly 20 years.  I started working at SunUte 18 years ago and have never looked back.  Over the years I have been given endless opportunities along with support which helped me to develop as an individual, group exercise instructor and manager of SunUte’s  Group Exercise Programs.

When I first started here we averaged 4 classes a week with 2 instructors teaching.

We now offer an average of 36 classes a week and have 21 phenomenal instructors leading the way.

Why I do it!

I love group fitness because we work as a team to do our best in every class.  The  groups energy, drive, motivation and love of fitness is a magical thing to experience. I get chills thinking about all the amazing  classes I have been apart of.  I adore the strong knit community of members and instructors who care about each other and help keep each other  to stay on track and reach their goals.

My most recent passion has been becoming an instructor for Youth Mental Health 1st Aid. This new endeavor has given me the opportunity to dissect my own mental health and also to help others understand the importance of learning about mental health illnesses/disorders and how we can all better support our youth and our entire community.


Eliyah Lucero

Personal Fitness Trainer


  • Bachelors of Arts Degree in Exercise Science, Exercise Specialist FLC 2018
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness, Certified  Personal Trainer 2018
  • American Red Cross First –Aid & CPR Certified 2019


  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Traveling and exploring new places



I found my passion for fitness growing up as runner. In college I began studying exercise science and I loved the idea of taking my knowledge and skills back to my small reservation in New Mexico where I grew up. As I have grown in so many ways at Fort Lewis College, I realized I have made this my new home. Sun Ute has given me the opportunities and experiences to help the community. I believe in resiliency. I know all individuals are stronger in body and mind. I strive to empower myself in health and learning but also in my clients. I understand overcoming challenges as I have overcome many of my own. I want to instill confidence, independence, and strength in my clients so they can meet and exceed their goals in health and fitness.


Jacob BoxJacob Box

NASM Certified Trainer


  • CPR and AED certified
  • Bayfield High School Graduate
  • Outstanding Citizen (Awarded by Durango Police Department)


I enjoy running, backpacking, camping, spending time with my girl friend and my dog, lifting weights, and playing video games.

I have lived in the Ignacio/Bayfield area my entire life and graduated from Bayfield high school, I have studied at Fort Lewis College and have my personal training certification through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). I love being active and helping others achieve their goals!


Photo credits:
Nancy S. Young | Southern Ute Shared Services
Robert Ortiz | Southern Ute Drum
Jeremy Wade Shockley | Southern Ute Drum