Turino Fitness

What makes you different, makes you beautiful.


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New Things

I like doing new things.  It terrifies me, but I like that feeling.  It’s not often that a 46 year old mother of two feels that electric feeling of “WHAT IN THE HELL AM I DOING??”

The first time I felt it was when I did a story (I used to work in television) on skydiving.  In a way, I think I felt I’d been sleeping my whole life until I made that first skydive.  Detractors would say that it’s seeking an “adrenaline rush.”  Meh.  It was more than that, for me anyways.

I like learning and doing new things.

Many things followed.  I don’t become a MASTER at them.  But I like the beginning stages of complete, “Wha??” followed by “Ohhhh I might be getting this.”

With every sport or hobby, there is a learning curve.  There’s a new language.  There’s a new culture.  There are new people to befriend.  I love it.  I love peppering my life with all of these amazing people who do some of these things EXTREMELY WELL.  Lifers.

Me, I like to jump around and dip my toe in and explore.

A partial list:

Skydiving – Doing something completely unnatural – jumping out of an airplane – requires good people, equipment and teaching.  I was blessed to find this at my dropzone in Michigan.  Forever my family, bonded by love of this crazy sport that was technical, physically challenging and timebound.  Loved.  Why did I leave?  My gear got stolen and I became a mom.  Other things took precedence.

Running – Well, I still love running.  But I remember when I wasn’t a runner and was fascinated by long distance running.  How could a human body propel itself forward for many, many miles?  It was unnatural!  So I bit into some longer distances and found out.  I loved the solitude and the meditative quality of running.  I still do.  My body doesn’t love the longer distances as much and now I get a little bored, but I still love it.

Triathlon – Ahhh triathlon.  Never boring.  People are helpful, supportive, and eager to teach.  Three sports to master??  Crazy talk.  Considering I had never had a swimming lesson in life and open water FREAKED me out, doing triathlon was HUGE.  I loved the variety of training and still do.  I took a break from it for a year, but will be delighted to return.

Pilates – I tried it.  It didn’t work for me, but I tried it.  My friend and I took partner classes for a winter and it was fun.  Not for me, but fun.

Weightlifting – LOVE.  The end.  I will always weight train in some capacity.

Swimming – Here’s what I love about swimming….I’m terrible at it.  Truly.  When I bellied up to my gym’s Master Swim Class I was shaking with fear.  It took me 2 years to feel confident enough to go to that class.  I would watch them swim and wonder at their ability to swim with such ease.  Crazy.  But I went and you know?  Again – people were so amazing and helpful.  The coach was incredible and she laughingly told me after attempting the butterfly, “Sarah, maybe we should do some one on ones.”  Hahaha!  I’m excited to go back.

Crossfit – This is new.  Again, new language, new movements, certainly a new culture.  But the people?  Super nice, helpful and hopeful that they can teach this old dog some new tricks.  My body may not agree…we’ll see.

My point is this.  Do what you love.  Me?  I love to move my body and learn new things.  I like to meet new people.  I like to try all sorts of new stuff!  It makes me feel alive in a way that I can’t put words on.

My future will hold at some point:

Yoga, Boxing, Karate, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Group Meditation, Cycling, Bellydancing (why not?), Hip Hop Dance (why not?), Olympic Lifting, Salsa Dancing, Roller Derby, Australian Rules Football…and more…

Wherever you are on your wellness journey, think on it.  What do you love?  What makes you feel alive?  What brings you pleasure?  Seek it out and DO THAT.

Because exercise isn’t supposed to be a dirty word.  Exercise is SUPPOSED TO BE FUN.

Get out there.  Anyone wanna take a bellydance class with me?




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It’s the morning of the Twin Cities 10 Mile and Twin Cities Marathon.  It’s cold out, but the sun will be shining and the leaves bright orange, yellow and red.  It’s a magical morning.

I’m as excited as if I were running it myself.  I have clients in the 10 mile and a friend running his first marathon.  Soon, I will layer up – grab my cowbells – and get out there to cheer.  If you’ve never been to watch a race before, this is a great one.  It is filled with people with fun things on their shirts:

“This seemed like a good idea 4 months ago…”


“Nice active man seeking nice active woman – please call ###-####”

and a variety of expressions on their faces:





My stop is around the 24.5 mark or the 8.5 mark for the 10 mile.  I’ve cheered various places on the route – including the top of the ‘big hill’ but I think my spot is the greatest.  It’s at this place on the route where people are starting to see light at the end of the tunnel.  They’re starting to think, “I can REALLY DO THIS!”  And this feeling, kind of, sometimes, overrides their pain.

I’ve seen it all out there – bleeding nipples, poopy pants, Chewbacca (seriously), and someone carrying a flag the whole way.  And every year, I layer up and go out and yell.

Each person I see inspires me.  Each face tells a story.  By the time they reach me at that part of the course, there are no filters.  Whatever they are feeling is right on their face.  And it is beautiful.

So – go get ‘em runners.  Race Happy.  And we’ll be out there cheering for you and your amazing journey.




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Joy is a Choice.

No really, Joy is a CHOICE.  How you look at things is up to you.  You can’t control the circumstances, but you sure can control how you react and feel about them.

When my kids were little, I’d envy the array of emotional storms that would pass over them within the course of an hour.  HAPPY, MAD, SAD, EXCITED, CONTENT…and on and on and on.  Like little thundershowers, the feelings would come and they would go.  To this day, they still don’t hold grudges, they don’t stay mad, they let the feelings come and then pass on through.

I heard a preacher once who said, “They’re just feelings – they come and they go.  Don’t get too locked down on them because then the feelings control you.”

It’s hard though isn’t it?  When someone hurts you, disappoints you, frustrates you, angers you…to just, feel the pain – and let it go.

Somewhere along the way, instead of letting the feelings pass through, we started allowing the feelings to linger and turn into resentment.


Here’s what I think about the sticky icky resentment – it’s not a feeling.  It’s a choice.  And when you choose resentment, you’re holding on to the ick.  You’re allowing the feeling to stick and fester.  And that ick isn’t good for your health.

Conversely, you could feel it – and let it pass through.

There’s a great story in Jon Muth’s “Zen Shorts” about an old monk who was treated very rudely by a woman on the road.  The rest of the journey his travelmate stews about how awfully the old monk was treated.  When he brings it up at the end of the day, he expresses his outrage, “That woman back there was so rude. You picked her up, carried her on your back, and she didn’t even thank you.” To which the older monk replied, “I set the woman down hours ago. Why are you still carrying her?”

I loved this illustration.

You get to choose what goes on up in your noggin.  You have control over what goes on in your brain.  I’m not saying don’t have feelings.  Everybody has feelings.  But then, it’s your choice to let it pass.

And you can be PROACTIVE about joy.  Seek it out!  Make it a practice!  There was a guy I kind of dug in college who put it best, “Wake up laughing.  It sets the tone for your whole day.”

What if we did that?  What if we woke up laughing?  What if we CHOSE JOY.  Every day.

We’d be happier.  We’d be healthier.  Inside and outside.

Today – choose joy.  Choose to not let the circumstances of life push you off of that lovely center.  Stay in it.   Have a joy-filled day.

Peace.  Love.  Joy.





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It’s all going south.

I like it when three completely different things present themselves to you as gifts from the Universe and they all illustrate the same thing in different ways.

First thing – A conversation with my neighbor Joan. We were talking about our parents getting older and how difficult that is for us to see. For each of us the takeaway was to MOVE AS MUCH AS WE CAN, WHILE WE CAN.

Second thing – I’m at the gym in the changing room and the beautiful women of the Water Aerobics are drying off and naked. And most of them are senior citizens. They are laughing and seemingly at home and content in their bodies. They are beautiful. They are fit. I admire them. I want to be like them when I grow up.

Third thing – a woman came to my class. Lovely, strong, full of life. She is living with Multiple Sclerosis. And when I asked the class to run down a hill, she wept. She wept because she used to be able to run down hills, and now she can’t. Now, with a determined look on her face, she concentrates on her balance and she walks down that hill. This woman was a runner, a mountain climber, a MOVER. She grieves the loss of ability in her body, and yet pushes herself to do her very best in what she CAN do.

We spend a lot of energy….wait, no, we WASTE a lot of energy disliking our bodies and wishing that they were different. So much energy wasted despising, wishing, working, coveting, loathing….

And here’s the deal people. It’s all going south. For each and every one of us eventually….it’s all going south. Eventually the skin sags around the muscle and things loosen up. Unless you are going to get a body lift (is there even such a thing?) it’s coming for all of us…

So when are we going to love ourselves? Love this shell that we’ve been given that holds our beautiful selves? Take care of it, move it, stretch it…but moreover – be grateful that we CAN do what we do.

If we take a wider view of our beautiful selves…not so myopic on our bellies, butts, jiggly arms, sagging jowels and zoomed out a bit. Maybe we could see how lovely we are as a whole. How nice it is to be right where we are…right here, right now.

Love the body you’re in. It’s part of wellness. Let go of the blaming, shaming, self-disgust, frustration. Embrace love, admiration, celebration and delight.

Please. And please stop letting marketing and sales geniuses define what beautiful is. It’s crap. Healthy? Yes. Eating well because it contributes to your wellness? Yes. Moving because it makes you feel good inside and out? Yes. But dieting yourself into submission because people say that’s what size you ‘should’ be? No. Working out obsessively because you want to look like xyz? No.

It’s all going south people.

Until then. Love your beautiful selves. Be grateful. Delight in yourself. Focus on health and wellness. Spread love around to others….and to yourself.


Whitefish Lake, Whitefish, Montana.

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Our family just got back from vacation.  It was a slice of heaven tucked into the Northwest corner of Montana.  I learned something – or relearned it – or was reminded of it – I guess?  I like to move.  My body likes to move. 

But the thing is…I’ve been ‘in training’ for the whole summer.  And with training, comes structure.  And I relax into structure.  There is some comfort in knowing what you have to do and when you have to do it.  It’s a building of blocks one at a time moving you forward toward a goal. 

Just before vacation, I was faced with a choice.  I was having physical challenges during my runs that weren’t getting better.  It was turning my training ‘not fun’ and my body was speaking to me in the form of some serious back discomfort.   So – I had two choices.

One.  Hang in there.  Gut it out.  Try to figure it out.  Go to my Muscle Activation Specialist and my Massage Therapist who specializes in myofascial release.  Man before my vacation we were trying to figure.it.out.  On top of their amazing work…Yoga? Check.  Physical Therapy exercises?  Check.  Obsessive stretching?  Check.  Rolling?  Check. 

Or two.  Step away and let my body settle down and enjoy my vacation. 

After some soul searching and listening to my body, I gave up on my goal to complete another marathon and picked NUMBER TWO. 

And let me tell you – enjoy my vacation is what I did.  I took two weeks OFF.  I swam.  Hiked.  Whitewater rafted.  Played with my kids.  Climbed.  Descended.  Ran around.  Walked.  Spelunked.  Canoed.  Alpine sledded.  Ziplined.  Biked.  Did this cool suspended ropes course.  It.was.just.awesome. 

I realized that as much as I like the structure of training…I also really liked just incorporating movement into my day. 


Exercise programs are great.  They provide you with direction – a goal – a structure.  Good stuff. 

But also…moving around in your daily living.  Seeking out movement in a way that makes you happy.  That is also really, really good.  

Have a dance party in your kitchen.  Go for a walk around the block.  Go for a bike ride with a friend.  Take a swim in a lake.  Streeeeetch.  Clean your house.  Garden.  Help a friend move.  Lift some boxes in your basement.  Take piles of bags to Goodwill.  Put together some shelves from IKEA. 

Move.  Move.  Move. 

Your body was meant to move. 

Peace.  Love.  Joy.



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The Mantra

It was humid. It was sticky. And the pain in my back was starting in the very middle of a very long run. What to do? I stopped to stretch with the gnats swirling around me…and ate a bar and tried to regroup. My back was screaming…

I was feeling dejected. You know when you think you do EVERYTHING right and nothing is going as you planned?? I strength trained all winter knowing that I was going to be running, running, running – in training for a marathon. I rolled. I stretched. I was ready, right?

Now…mid season and halfway there – back pain that scared me enough to consider dropping my training.


Have you ever been somewhere in or around this place? Not the same exact place of course…but somewhere in this place? Planning on something. Optimism brimming. Getting ready for months to do something? Excited. Hopeful.

And then something happens that gets in the way of your PLAN. Stops you. Slows you down. Rears its ugly head and bites you in the ass.

I freaking hate that.

I’ve done a lot of work to remember that I’m not the driver of the bus…but I do try and set myself up for success. And here I was…sweaty, in pain, unsure if I could finish, and frustrated.


I started running again…and with each breath I let something positive come out.


Then, it narrowed down to the basics…


again and again and again and again…with each step.

I have to tell you that it didn’t result in no pain, light feet, or a delightful run. But. I did finish. It wasn’t pretty. But I did finish.

When you’re in that place? That place where you feel despair, frustration, socked in, locked up…your very own power can set you free. Simply by saying the words.

They may not ring true when you’re in the middle of it, but they’ll remind you of your power. You are speaking directly to your subconscious.

Each of us is incredibly powerful. Powerful beyond measure. You just have to believe it. And say it. And if you don’t believe it? Keep saying it.

What you speak, you create.

Namaste & Peace,


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Why Strength Train? A manifesto…

“Muscle is metabolically active tissue that is highly responsive to the stimuli of progressive resistance exercise. With appropriate training, muscles grow and become stronger; without appropriate training, muscles diminish and become weaker.” –American Council on Exercise

I have so many people that ask me about how to lose weight. And even though my message is about loving yourself and embracing yourself wherever you are on your wellness journey, I get it. I think you can love yourself and still want to be healthier and want to make changes.

The problem is there’s a lot of shaming stuff out there. Stuff that makes you feel less than. Especially about nutrition. I’m not going to talk about that today. But I will say this – if you can just be as consistent as possible with eating really good, really whole food in healthy amounts. That would probably be all you’d need to get you where you want to be. In addition, if you are eating when you aren’t hungry, start journaling and figure out what emotions trigger you to use food for comfort. Then, you can start really giving yourself what you need emotionally instead of turning to food…which doesn’t really comfort you. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND “Women, Food and God” by Geneen Roth. Or, check out her website at www.geneenroth.com.

Ok I digress. So after the food thing can get looked at with some tenderness and care, the next thing is STRENGTH TRAINING. Yeppers – it’s time to GET STRONG.

And here’s why – (thank you American Council on Exercise for giving me some fantastic words around all of this) READ THE WHOLE LIST…IT WILL BLOW YOUR EVER-LOVIN’ MIND.

*Feeling STRONG. Important…no?

*A decrease in depression.

*Improved posture.

*Improved tensile strength in tendons and ligaments.

Improved bone mineral density which may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

*Injury prevention. – Muscles serve as shock absorbers and balancing agents. Balanced muscle development reduces the risk of overuse injuries that result when one muscle group is strong and the opposing muscle group is weak.

*Raised resting metabolic rate. Even during sleep, resting skeletal muscles are responsible for more than 25% of the body’s calorie use. More muscle = higher metabolic rate. In a matter of WEEKS you can improve your resting metabolic rate.

*Improves metabolism. – After a hard workout – you can raise your metabolic rate by 7-8% for 3 DAYS.

*Results in more calories burned on a daily basis.

*Raised lean muscle mass looks pretty good on a body – enhanced self confidence.

*Improved body composition, which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

*Lowers resting blood pressure.

*Improves blood lipid profiles.

*Facilitates movement of food and waste through gastrointestinal system. Four months of basic resistance exercise increases GI transit speed by 56% in older men!! Why is this important? May reduce risk of colon cancer!!

*Stronger muscles = reduction or disappearance in low back pain.

*Reduced pain of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

*Improved functional ability in older adults – Also in one study, older adults who performed 6 months of circuit training experienced positive adaptations in 179 GENES associated with age and exercise, giving their muscles mitochondrial characteristics similar to those of young adults.

Taken together…these benefits enhace the quality of life and lower the risk of premature all-cause mortality.

Now…let’s talk about aging.

Age alert…Physical capacity decreases dramatically with age in non-strength training adults due to an average 5-pound per decade loss of muscle tissue. You want to maintain your physical capacity and performance? Make strength training a regular part of your life.

BUT GUESS WHAT ELSE – that 5-pound per decade muscle loss leads to a 3% per decade reduction in your resting metabolic rate. That reduction = weight gain. When less energy is required for daily metabolic function, the calories that were previously used by muscle tissue (that has since atrophied due to disuse) are stored as fat.


Everyone wonders why they gain weight as they get older…this is why. “But I’m not eating any differently”…you don’t need to! Your reduction in muscle is doing the trick.

So, if you’re a person who grew up in the 80’s…we were told cardio, cardio, cardio. For the good of your heart, you bet! Get some cardio exercise in a way that pleases you. But for the love of all things good and right in the world…STRENGTH TRAIN.

And before you go all crazy and start doing plyo pushups or go buy some crazy DVD’s…I’d like to urge you to visit your nearest trainer or a gym with trainers. Why? Because then you can learn about form. Trainers can help you learn how to do strength exercises properly. Most trainers are taught to ‘straighten before you strengthen’ and that simply means – we’ll look for postural deviations and weaknesses and help you correct those before adding load to your work. This helps prevent injury.

Ok. Woohoo! Get after it. 


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