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Sean Turner: Movement is Medicine

Sean Turner is a personal trainer, ultra endurance athlete, and recovering drug addict. Find him on instagram @sean_turner_integrated. You will be hard pressed to find a more productive human being. You can find him daily sharing stories of intense workouts, long runs, and self reflection sessions. This is all in between his time spent working as a personal trainer, building up his recently founded nonprofit, and fulfilling his duty requirements for the Air Force Reserve.

Drugs and alcohol were a tool for Sean to silence his insecurities, until they weren’t. Addiction and substance abuse behaviors tend to create problems, not solve them. At a dark point where Sean no longer believed in himself, exercise allowed him to rebuild his confidence and self-worth that he had lost along the way.

“I’m a drug addict. I consider that a disease of passion. The way I run, I run with passion that’s why I have to run a 100 mile race and a marathon every weekend. The way I work out I work out with passion. When you see me in the gym you think. ‘That guy is a psychopath.’ I’m shooting to burn two thousand calories in an hour and a half…But I also judge myself with passion. I also criticize myself with passion. I also use drugs and alcohol with passion... But when I use what I call my 'passion tank' on positive things, it doesn’t leave as much room for the criticism or the feelings of self doubt or the feelings of self hatred.”

After years of life spent in a meandering fog of drug and alcohol abuse, Sean is making up for lost time. Sean, a self proclaimed mental health and wellness activist, has found purpose and clarity in his sobriety. He uses his platform on social media to be an example for others who are looking for ways to improve their situation. Whether you are an addict, or someone looking to get into better shape, Sean’s honesty and transparency with his journey can only help to inspire and motivate you.

“I strongly believe everything is about being kind to others and loving everybody and accepting everybody for who they are. That includes yourself. I definitely preach that in the way that I even go about using my social media or fitness. I’m very transparent about where I am at. If I am having a bad day I am going to tell you I’m having a bad day. I think it’s very important especially for young males to understand that it’s okay that it’s not always okay. You don’t have to be this tough figure…When it comes down to it, I can put my head down and do some gritty things. I can go through a lot more physical pain and what’s deemed tough than a lot of people can, but to also show that I can also go and talk about my emotions and accept weakness and accept advice and accept help. It is something that I needed to see when I was younger. That I don’t have to be this tough man. I very early felt that I had to be the man of the house. I had this certain image of what a man is. Now what I want to show is that a man is someone who can just be him no matter what and accepts failure and accepts vulnerability and accepts weakness. But accepting it doesn’t mean you just roll over and die because of it. It means you look it in the eyes and you face it and take it on. That’s true strength. It’s not looking the other way when things get hard. It’s being open to other people and talking to other people and accepting help.”

Sean’s mission now is to help others overcome addiction and negative thought cycles by introducing them to fitness and journaling. This past summer Sean launched a nonprofit organization, Second Start Foundation.

“I started a nonprofit to encourage addicts in recovery to have an active lifestyle. I believe that physical exertion induces a state of emotional vulnerability, which can be the leading point for recovery or higher cognitive ability. Addiction and recovery has a price tag. Luckily my family could afford it and give me resources, but a lot of people don’t have access. It’s just the easiest way to feel the little pride in yourself in recovery when you can’t control your mind. You can’t just start thinking better and be happy. But most people can accomplish the goal of going for a walk or doing push-ups. You can see those tangible milestones faster than you see the mental changes. You can push yourself to do twenty push ups before feeling content to enter a room. It feeds off each other. Once you better yourself physically, mental gains come along. You start to own yourself. That’s what I want to show is true ownership of myself.”

Sean’s latest goal was to compete in the Tesla Hertz 100 Mile Run in Rocky Point.

Learn more about Sean’s story and see him attempt to tackle the 100 mile race by watching the full film produced by Sound Local.

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