Hello. Hi everybody and welcome to the fit to fat to fit experience podcast. I’m your host, drew Manning and I’m your cohost when nanny and we were coming straight at you guys from the Island of Hawaii. Thank you guys so much for joining us on today’s episode. We appreciate you guys being a part of this podcast. On today’s episode you guys, we have an amazing guest. Her name is Sarah plumber. She’s actually an old high school mate of mine from Centerville high school out in Virginia. And I brought her on to share her story. She has such an amazing story. She, um, is an ex Marine who, uh, went through some sexual abuse and her story made national headlines, uh, to hopefully help change the way the reporting is set up in the military when sexual abuse happens. And so she’s a voice for change, for change, for the better.
She’s the voice for resilience to, I mean, this is a woman who’s had several brain traumas. She’s been struck by lightning. She’s broken bones in her body. She had kind of a difficult childhood. She’s moved 34 times in her life. She’s definitely somebody who has every right to kind of be, you know, down on life. But instead she has taken what she’s learned and she’s, uh, has tips and advice and built programs to help people become more resilient to embrace life. And she has a very interesting wellness approach that I think everyone would really enjoy listening.
Yeah, I think you guys are really gonna feel connected to Sarah and what she shares. Today’s episode we get into her story and what she went through and how she’s changed, how yoga saved her life and how movement in general can help those of you who might be struggling. So whether it’s yoga or you know, running, uh, there’s a lot of science behind some of these methods that people use. Like Sarah talks about, like for example, for her, it’s yoga that can help you overcome treble pass. And Sarah is a certified holistic health coach. She’s a yoga instructor and currently a master’s of social work graduate student at the university of Denver, suicides in Denver with her husband. And we are honored to have her on and we thank her for her service. Uh, but first before we dive in to today’s episode, uh, our show sponsor, our amazing show sponsor quest nutrition. We love quests. You guys. We’ve been a big fan of theirs for a long time. We love their protein bars. I recently started using their MCT powder, uh, which is, has awesome benefits, a great source of energy. And of course the pumpkin pie protein bar. I love,
my favorite is the cookie dough. But what I really like about it, you guys is of course, you know, we tried to just eat clean whole foods all the time. But the truth is, is with always being on the go with our busy schedules, meetings, driving kids to and from school. There are so many times where you need a snack or especially a protein source that’s on the go. So I always keep some in my car and my purse that way I make sure that if I’m out on the road, I don’t get caught in that fast food trap. Um, I also often give them to my kids and snacks because they’re healthier. They’re lumens sugar and they’re packed full of proteins. So make sure to pick some up. Keep some in those areas. Like I said, keep them in your car at the office and the purse so that you can have snacks on hand. Exactly.
And I wanted to announce you guys for those who don’t know yet. My TV show fit to fat to fit on A&E network airs on January 12th at ten nine central. So Mark, your calendar is set. Your DVRs, this is going to be an amazing show you guys. Nothing like, like nothing you’ve ever seen before. There’s no other TV show like it follows 10 trainers from across the country on their journey from fit to fat to fit. And so a, you’re going to love the show. Um, Arizona January 12th I can finally talk about it. Ah, I’ve been waiting so long to announce this to you guys, but you’re gonna definitely want to tune into this TV show. But for now let’s go hang out with Sarah. Sarah, thank you so much for joining us here on the fit to fat to fit experience podcast. How are you doing today out there in Denver?
Well, I am trying to stay warm here in the snow, but thanks so much for having me on. I’ve been pumped since we coordinated this.
Yeah. And so for all you guys listening who don’t know, Sarah and I actually went to high school together, right class in 99. Yep. And Centerville high school has produced a lot of great people. Uh, Sarah, myself included. And while the ludicrous didn’t graduate, but if you saw that clip on ESPN with Lindsey’s, uh, [inaudible], he actually went to Centerville. Do you know that? Yeah,
yeah, yeah. Claim to fame there.
Yeah. So that’s what I’m Centerville high school Wildcats. Anyways, so Sarah and I went to high school and um, I wanted to have her on because she has an amazing story. And so what I want to start out with, Sarah is actually I want you to tell people a little bit about your background because you have, what’s the word I’m looking for? You have a great story that kind of led you into the Marines. And I kind of want to start with your background first. Like in the high school days, which led you to make the decision to become a Marine?
Sure. Well, um, I actually grew up in a military family. My dad was in the air force for Oh, a total of about 25 years, give or take. Um, so we landed in the, you know, Northern Virginia, Washington D C area the first time he was stationed at the Pentagon. And then, uh, we moved and came back and then ended up that I was able to graduate high school from Centerville and was able to go to all four, four years of high school there, um, on. I didn’t have to move because my father took an assignment overseas where, um, my family couldn’t go with him because he didn’t want to move me in the middle of high school like some of my other siblings had had to do. Um, which I really appreciated. I mean, being and look at us now, now, you know, connecting as like old high school friends, it really does make a difference to, you know, stick around in a place for a little while.
So, um, I felt very fortunate that as a military brat, I was able to stay there. Um, you know, and at this point I’ve moved over 30 times myself, uh, between, between my father and myself. I’ve moved about 34 times, depending on, depending on how you count that, but, um, but growing up I was the youngest of four kids. Um, I had two sisters and a brother. My brother and I were closest in age and he was an incredible athlete as well. Uh, played varsity basketball, soccer, track swimming, um, and then went on to run and win an NCAA championship, um, in column like, so he and I were, were buddies growing up. Um, he was where I got a lot of my athletic inspiration from. And um, you know, he trained me with soccer, basketball and run me through drills and stuff like that.
And he went to Centerville as well. Um, he graduated in 95, I think. Um, but yeah, so we grew up in the Northern Virginia area, so active and people are pretty driven there in that area. So, you know, sports were always competitive. Um, and I grew up playing soccer and basketball varsity there at Centerville. I ran track on the varsity team as well. Um, but at that point was starting to narrow down sports. So even though I’d swam competitively, I wasn’t doing that anymore in high school and eventually narrowed it down to soccer being my main sport. Um, but yeah, that’s uh, it was a great area to grow up in if you were a student athlete, I think.
No, I agree. You know, I grew up playing football and wrestling my whole life and you know, graduated from Centerville and have nothing bad to say. I actually loved it a lot. And so I can relate to you in that. And uh, you know, I kind of want to get people a little bit more of your background because you’ve been through a lot of crap in your life, a lot of hard things. Uh, for example, I just want to name off a few cause I’m reading from your bio here. So for those of you who don’t know, Sarah has been hit by a car struck by lightning, broken both arms and legs, had a mini stroke and has been deployed to Iraq twice. So pretty much you are classified as a better. All right, I’m going to say it like what, can you give us a little bit background on about some of these things? Like how did these things happen?
Yeah, I’ve had some interesting injuries and accidents over the years. Um, most recently one of my, my most current head traumas was on my 31st birthday. I was mountain biking. My husband and I were getting ready to move from Ohio out here to Colorado, um, a few years ago and literally the day before we were getting ready to make the hall and it was a beautiful day and I was like, Oh, I’m going to go get one more bike ride on this. Like one decent trail that, there was an in Columbus, Ohio. And um, I took a really bad spill, kind of off the side of a little cliff, a ravine and landed on my head and sliced my calf open. And, uh, and got a really bad, um, concussion, a little traumatic brain injury. But most of my, my major head injuries have been, I mean, that one kind of makes sense.
I feel like, you know, mountain biking can be dangerous, but, um, I’ve been hit by a car on my bike twice, once as a five-year-old actually. And then again as an adult when I was about 25. Um, yeah. And the lightning strike happened when I was, I was actually still active duty in the Marine Corps and I was out for a run, going to get some, some PT. I was on base at Quantico and, um, you know, you’re, I don’t know if you remember like in Northern Virginia, the lightning, I felt like every summer there was almost at least one house that burned down in little Rocky road that get struck by lightning. Um, so I was out for a run and yeah, just, I got struck and thrown back and, but I was kinda out by myself, um, on some trails, near some trails and then, uh, just had to get up and run back to my office. So
were you passed, did it, did it just knock you back or did it,
did it knock you out? Well, I’m not 100% sure cause I, I don’t feel like I was out. Yeah. I mean I woke up
on my back, um, as far as I can tell, it hit me in the foot, like burn my shoe a little bit, burned my hair. Um, and I got thrown back and hit my head pretty hard by the time I got up and ran,
my Marines were like, wow man, what’s wrong with you? And I was like, I think I just got struck by lightning and then like threw up a little bit. And they were like, of course you did. Like they weren’t even surprised. I mean, we can look at this in a positive way, you know, because not very many people that happens to, it’s like you’re exceptional. It’s not that you’re unlucky, you’re exceptional.
Well, I’ve met a few other people who’ve been hit and it’s survived as well. I mean, and then there are people who, I have a friend whose son was struck and on a camping trip. And had a lot of problems afterwards. So I don’t, you know, and I laugh about it and I don’t mean to make light of it because certainly there are people that it turns out quite differently. But um, yeah. Yeah. Thank, thank God. It, I turned out all right after that as far as I can tell. So
no, that’s the thing is you’re amazing. Like your brain seems functioning at full capacity. Like you’re very educated and very smart people can tell that from your interviews and things like that. And so you’ve been through all this hell, but you can tell that it’s made you a stronger person. Like you’ve had your arms broken, you’ve had more than a dozen, uh, traumatic brain injuries. Uh, and so you’ve been through a lot in your life. And I feel like, you know, that that makes you stronger. And do you feel like your brother, you, you mentioned your older brother kind of training you for soccer and things like that. Do you feel like, uh, you coming from a military family that helped develop that, um, that characteristic in you to be strong and to keep fighting through these kinds of adversities?
or, or where did your strength come from? Like to overcome these things? Cause a lot of people would probably, you know, not be as strong as you are today.
Well, I think the good news is this stuff that makes, that makes a person strong or makes a person resilient, you know, one definition of resilient being, you know, returning to original form. So this concept of like bouncing back, right? Um, the good news is that stuff is teachable and trainable and learnable and practice civil like you can, it, it isn’t one of these things. It’s like either you were born with it or you weren’t, but like anything, environment definitely impacts us. Um, and I, I would be remiss if not to give credit to my family. Um, all of my siblings and my parents. Um, both of my parents are really creative, intelligent people, um, with a lot of problems too. But really, but really interesting people. Um, and so education was always really important in our household for, for all of us kids in the family.
Um, and, and really so were sports other than one of my sisters who, um, started having pretty bad knee problems at a young age, but before that was very involved with sports. So I think, you know, growing up in an environment where a space was held for us to, to really have the privilege to be able to do homework, to get outside every day and, um, you know, practice our sports or, you know, they take us to the mountains in Virginia pretty regularly, things like that where we were always really active I think now as an adult and, and, and really kind of from an academic standpoint, studying this mind, body connection, um, even taking it beyond what I think I intuitively was really starting to tap into about 10 years ago, but now I’m understanding it academically. Uh, I recognize that they were building that in us from a very young age. Having that, um, that integration that, that made all of us pretty strong people, I think.
Yeah. And I mean, and not, it’s not just even you being resilient and coming back from hardship. You know, one of the things that I noticed from watching your clip is you’re not just, okay, I’ve had some hardships and I pushed through when what I’ve listened to you. And of course, I don’t know you personally, I can just glean a little bit about you from watching some of the clips with you speaking is you’re also so positive and full of life. You know, a lot of times people do tredge through, you know, hardship, but it seems like you’ve come almost through better, you know, more uplifting, more full of life, more grateful for experiences and the now is, do you feel like that also was kind of ingrained at you in an early age? Or do you feel like there’s something that is attributed to you loving life and really being able to embrace even negative experiences and come out happier or more positive or?
Well, I would give you a part answer. Um, I think as a kid, I, you know, being, being the baby in the family perhaps, you know, youngest child stereotype, I was always a little bit of, uh, an entertainer. Um, lots of, uh, home video footage of me and my brother putting on skits or me just doing ridiculous things and being goofy and school, I constantly got in trouble for being a talkative and too sarcastic and you know, making jokes, class clown type of stuff. Um, so I think, you know, again, whether through family or just, you know, natural temperament and I always had a silly side to me. Um, and, and even in childhood we went through, I would say some pretty difficult things, but, but for the most part stayed up beat. I think where I consciously made the choice to be happy, uh, was after some of the more drastic events, the rape that I survived the combat deployments, the stress associated with, with that lifestyle in the Marines, um, was a conscious choice to say, I will not let the proverbial them, you know, whether it’s an assailant or a coworker or a whoever, I won’t let them take my happiness.
I was very determined. It kind of an early stage in, in what I would call my recovery, um, to continue to be happy, to be a happy survivor. Um, and in seeing other women and men who had survived similar things that I had and to see them brokenhearted, broke my heart. Um, and in some events and some advocacy work I started doing years ago, that was another place where I remember very consciously, I mean in this particular summit I went to sitting there looking at the room and seeing people who were justifiably angry and sad and um, and saying, I want it to be a part of kind of shining some land back into that community. So
yeah, I love that. And, you know, I don’t want you to share overshare what, whatever you don’t feel comfortable, but I would love for you to kind of, because you briefly touched on it, explain about the abuse that happened and how that unfolded, um, while you were serving in the Marines. Yeah.
And, and so the relevance of the story isn’t, you know, the detail of the assault itself, but, but really the main failure of the system, um, was, was a systemic failure and was from a justice standpoint in that, um, you know, gosh, it’s a failure that thousands of others have faced too. And in many instances, much worse than my own experience. But, um, what happened for me, um, in the early two thousands around the time the military area in the Marine Corps in particular was saying, you know, that they were a modern, uh, modern military, um, that valued mental health. Um, I was told by one of my commanders that it would be no threat to my career. No problem if I went to get counseling after the assault. Um, especially in a very performance oriented environment like that. You know, I was getting great grades. All my physical fitness was 100%, you know, doing great basically.
And um, so they were like, you know, it’s not like you’re even having any other problems, but Hey, it’s a modern military, you know, go get, go get this mental health support, you know, if you feel like it would be helpful. And um, you know, and I don’t think they did it maliciously. I think those commanders at the time really did think that it would be fine. Um, unfortunately in the aviation community, they’re very, very particular, um, about anything about your health, um, because they see it as a risk, you know, they invest so much money in you to, to train you to be a pilot. And at that point I’d already been flying, I was flying in college and, and did a program through the Marine Corps where you, you basically kind of get your private pilot license. Um, so then when I went to flight school in Pensacola, I was just flat out told I was medically disqualified from continuing the flight program because I had sought counseling after the rape.
Yeah. And, um, I spent and because I’m a, because I’m a fighter, I was like, yeah, I don’t really think that’s the right answer. So I fought through the various layers of bureaucracy for about, Oh, ended up being about nine months. Um, um, you know, in the meanwhile was, was doing other work, um, for the Marine Corps there at Pensacola doing some protocol planning stuff. And um, but long story short, they just, it, they told me I was medically disqualified so I got a new MOS and then that’s when I went into intelligence. So then I was an intelligence officer for the remainder of my career.
So that’s, that’s one place where the system fails you right with telling you that you could go get counseling, it’s totally fine, it’s healthy. And then at the same time they’re saying, sorry, you’re disqualified because you sought counseling. Is that right? But then, but then also there’s another place where the system fails you, right. I mean after the rape and the incident that happened, you had a good report, your commanding officer, right, about this incident. Yeah. I kind of wanted to tell people about that because that isn’t that where a lot of the legislation and the changes in the military like reporting sexual abuse has changed over the years was because of the way it was set up where you just go to your commanding officer and he’s the one that legally decides what happens. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m trying to summarize
partially, right? So, um, typically in these instances, two things happen a lot of times the other layer of a justice is that it’s someone in a position of power who’s assaulting someone below them. So let’s say an enlisted, you know, either army, air force, Navy, even Marine or whatever, um, is assaulted by a superior officer or superior enlisted member. They’re already in a position where it’s hard for them to go. You, your immediate option is to report that to your commanding officer. Um, with all those power dynamics, that alone makes it very difficult. Um, the metaphor that I’ve used is it is like getting raped by your brother or sister and having to tell your father or mother what happened. But imagine that your father and mother were like also the final legal say. So, um, that’s really messed up. That’s really hard for, it’s hard enough for people to report.
Um, but then to be within that, that, that hierarchy and have to report makes it feel pretty impossible to most people. Um, so the legislation that’s an action, well that’s, they’re trying to get past and is yet to get passed, which is mind blowing, um, is the military justice improvement act, which stipulates that, um, the reporting goes outside the direct chain of command. So basically that whole, the metaphor of like children to parents like that there would be another Avenue to report and that that legal counsel would be outside of the chain of command. Basically the final person to, to rule, you know, thumbs up or down or whatever on the case would not be someone who knows. It, probably knows both people who are involved oftentimes. So it’s just asking for some impartiality, asking, you know, to, to try to remove some of the bias and make these cases, um, be handled better.
Yeah. And thank you. Thank you for sharing that with us. I mean it’s, it’s a tough topic I’m sure to talk about, but the same time you’re doing a lot of good in in that even though it’s slow change, hopefully there will be some substantial changes so that it is fair and that justice happens in these situations.
And the reason, you know, I, it is obviously very personal subject, but um, you know, somebody actually on one of our other podcasts talked about his sexual abuse and the reason why I think it’s so profound for us to open up and discuss about it, and I don’t know if these statistics are still as accurate as they used to be, but they say that in their lifetime, you know, one in three women will be sexually assaulted and one in five men. Um, and given that high statistic and knowing, you know, how hard it is for people to overcome that, I love to see someone like you that has been through so many trials. Um, and obviously not just the sexual abuse cause you’ve had a lot happen in your life and then come out on the other end. Like you said, resilient and full of life.
And you know, that’s just a great example to people listening that there is hope and you talk about, you know, faith and hope and, and stuff. And I wanted to kind of talk about that. I know I noticed on your site and listening to you talk a lot about the first step is faith and you talk about faith in your body’s ability to heal faith and love, um, faith and others. Um, I found that that is obviously for a lot of people, the hardest step is, is that as having that faith when they’re at their lowest, when they’ve been through a hardship, whether, you know, maybe even someone that is listening that has been sexually abused and they just feel hopeless, you know, how, how have you found you can motivate people to take that first step and be hopeful and find faith in themselves and that things can change.
Oh gosh, that’s, that’s such a huge, yeah, a huge topic. Um, are you guys comfortable? Let’s sit down and talk about this for,
you know, faith. I mean faith is interesting because I’ve, I’ve heard both instances from people both that they feel it’s harder to find faith when they’re low. And others that say that actually it’s harder for them to kind of tap into that faith element when things are going well cause they sort of forget God and it’s like, Oh, everything’s great. Um, so I actually just in my experience with working with clients, um, in my health counseling practice, many of them have said that in their low points was where they did find faith. Um, now faith is a big word. It means a lot of different things. It’s a lot of different people. Um, but I think this is where also the principle of like small changes making big differences is really, really shows up for me when I think about it. And, and the clients with whom I’ve worked where sometimes it’s just the one person that was like a conversation that was a turning point for them or something else.
They maintained like fitness wise, even in the midst of like chaos and stress and depression and coping with a trauma or, or something like that that, um, like a woman I worked with who described this experience for herself in Iraq, that she felt totally hopeless and everything else, but perhaps because it was so ingrained in her, she just kept running every day. And for her it just clicked one day when she was running like that. She could, that she could make it, you know, and those, those somewhat intangible moments that are, that are hard to describe where, um, but I feel like I’ve heard that in different ways from people where for me it’s like that epiphany on the yoga mat that I had or the epiphany when someone’s running and ironically or not. So ironically, a lot of the stories I hear are about when people were moving somehow, like that power of movement and kind of getting your stuff out of, you know, in a literal sense, getting unstuck, right.
Even if it’s going for a walk, if it’s, um, a little bit of stretching, a little bit of movement, playing a sport that you like, um, that, that, that’s really a gateway for a lot of people. Um, and, and in many ways like running in particular, I’ve heard many people describe as a very spiritual experience. Um, so yeah, so those are some of the, some of the stories I’ve heard from people and I think, um, there’s some research I’ve been reading recently too that basically shows our brains are wired to connect now to God is how it’s argued. Um, and I’m sure there’s plenty of people who would argue otherwise, but there’s something to be said for that. Um, um, that wiring that we all have to be relational and to be relational to people and energies outside of ourselves. And so, um, you know, many paths up the same mountain as they say. There’s many ways to get there, but I think ultimately that’s a pretty human experience to, to want that and to seek it and as a mode of survival to eventually find it.
Yeah, no, I love that. And I’ll, I’ll let drew talk. I know he’s probably looking up for like, let’s get a question, but no, like, just, just you talking about that. Um, I’ve been reading a lot of stuff as well lately about connection, like what you’re talking about and you can call connection with, with deity, with energy. But like you said, I’m kind of showing that we’re all connected. And it’s interesting what you said about a lot of people finding this faith or hope or motivation, um, through movement. And it’s surprising in the way that the more I, I, I experienced or even read or research, it’s actually not, not surprising because a lot of that comes from in those moments, for example, when you’re running or doing yoga. And of course this could be other things, not just body movement, but it so happens a lot with that.
You’re, you’re, you’re then pushed into the moment, um, instead of thinking about the past, which is often where we, you know, the depression comes from, um, a lot of heartache thinking about the past and all that you’ve had. And then it takes you also out of the future. You know, thinking about what’s to come, the anxiety of that, the fear and anxiety and you’re just in that moment. And my belief, um, from my own experience and also from reading and talking about, um, like you were just saying about connection and our mind and how it works is when we’re in the present moment, we are actually very connected. We’re connected to ourselves, we’re connected to deity. Um, we’re connected to our soul or essence. And I think in those moments when you let go of the past and you’re not anxiously waiting for the future or living in that fear in the moment, you can find a lot more joy and hope and faith and motivation because at a core, you know, that’s how we’re wired, you know? So anyways, I was just thinking that that’s so profound that you experienced that and that so many other people you work with experience that same thing, you know, from having those moments. And I love that. Yeah,
no, this is very powerful stuff’s there. And thank you for talking about this because just like Linda was saying, I think the majority of people, you know, whether they’ve had hardships in the past or not, or traumatic experiences struggle to be in the moment. We’re always worrying about the past or fearing the future and we’re rarely in the moment. And that’s where you can find true happiness in my opinion. And so, like you said, there’s a lot of paths up the mountain, right? As different for you, for each person. So I kind of see that as you who’ve discovered yoga, which you said has saved your life and has helped, you know, overcome your past. I feel like there’s a lot of movements that can be done to help people, uh, be in the moment. So yoga, I recently just started doing meditation, um, and uh, whether it’s CrossFit or running or swimming or biking, whatever it is, some kind of movement is, is beneficial, which helps you to become in the moment. And so for you, I kind of want to ask you, you know, how did yoga saved your life? And then now, how do you apply that to other people and teach them through your, um, yoga retreats and your, uh, health coaching. How do you help other people through this, uh, movement of yoga that you found worked for you?
does that make any sense? I don’t know if that made any sense. It’s another big question. There’s no, I get all, we like to make it difficult for me. We’re like, let’s have people on our podcast and ask them very difficult questions. It makes for a good show. Yeah.
You know, for me yoga was, was an anchor point, um, to the present moment. And, and the epiphany I mentioned earlier was me realizing so simply, but realizing if I was breathing it then I was alive. And that was an a, an a moment in a time of my life where I felt, I did feel like I was suffocating. And I felt like every moment, I mean, I was an excruciating physical pain. I was in emotional pain, my body was breaking down. I had so many health issues, um, and life itself felt almost impossible. Um, but, but rolling off my bed, my little kind of caught like bed, um, interact and onto the floor onto this yoga mat and watching the same cheesy DVD over and over again. Cause I had, well, I had like two DVDs with me and this old laptop and, um, and I’d play it and just to be guided through the breath.
Um, you know, no one had really explained it to me. I mean, even though these were good yoga IBDs and they were taking you through breathwork, like, you know, when you’re new to something, in some ways it’s like you better understand it later even if you’re intuitively feeling it in your body. So I now again, what I know about breathwork, I’m like, Oh yeah, totally. That makes sense. But at the time it was purely just an experiential thing for me in the moment to be like, Oh my gosh, breathing intentionally. It gave me a sense of agency. It gave me a sense of control. Again, it was like the thread or the, the rope that that really kind of I could hold onto and pull myself out of that dark hole. Um, and by no means did it happen overnight and like, you know, the beaming light from heaven came down in this one yoga moment.
But like it started the process for me of recognizing place does, where I had the ability to choose. And I think breadth is it not, I think we know obviously everybody breathes. But I mean I think it’s just like the one thing that nobody can touch ever, no matter where you are. If you were in a prison cell as big as your body or if you were out running a marathon, like your breath is the thing you can control. And knowing how closely linked breath and thought are and breath and emotion and knowing how heart rate affects thought process and ability to focus and how you feel and moods and emotions, it makes total sense. Um, but that knowledge wasn’t what I knew yet. All I knew is it made me feel a little bit better for a fraction of a moment.
Yeah, I love that. And do you teach that to people that do your S your retreats? Like, is the, that part of the, is it a different type of yoga that you teach or,
so there’s, I’ve also had training in trauma informed yoga and, and then lots of teacher training with kind of say this broadly normal yoga, also yoga, there’s so many different types of teachers, but um, um, trauma-informed specifically like working with a veteran population, um, not all veterans have PTSD, but if you’re working with a known, um, PTSD population, uh, there’s, there’s some differences around like how you use touch. Um, you know, certain words, like for the most part, you’re not going to open up with Sanskrit with, with people like that that you’re gonna speak. Um, a little, I think a little more directly, a little more simply, um, not because they’re stupid at all, but because keep it simple, you know, people are in there, you know, if they’re actively dealing with something or are in kind of an acute state of trauma or stress, you really gotta just keep it simple.
Um, but what I’ve found is, and lots more to say about trauma informed yoga, but I won’t go down that rabbit hole. But what I have found is that learning trauma informed approaches to yoga has changed how I teach regular yoga and then like in studios and on my retreats. And then the third component of now just about to finish my master’s in social work, um, um, understanding the just shockingly and heartbreaking prevalence of childhood trauma. Um, and understanding that most people really most well over 50% have some form of childhood trauma. And understanding how that impacts health, kind of bringing all three of those together now inform how I approach my yoga retreats, even if it’s not veteran’s specific. Um, even if it’s open to the general public and just, I think having a lot more compassion for people. I think I was still pretty hard on people, um, for a while. So the more I learn about this, the more I learned about that, not just for myself, but an understanding, um, you know, impacts on other people. I hope it’s made me a better, um, counselor and coach and teacher.
Hmm. I love that. Yeah. And it’s interesting when you talk about how it was focusing on your breathing in the ER and the breath that kind of helped bring you back and kind of planted that seed of hope for you. Um, cause kind of going back to what we even were talking about before, you know, focusing on the breath, a lot of that has to do with like meditation and people meditating to, you know, basically be brought into the now, which is where we can find the most happiness and hope. Um, and it’s again, like you said, that focusing on breathing, it kind of takes you out of your mind, which in our mind is where we have a lot of that stress and the stories and the trauma and the fears and the anger and the anxiety. Um, man, we could probably do a whole episode about like yoga and meditation and benefits of things like that, but I love that.
But, um, last question before we ask people where to find you and then get into our lightning round. And you kind of answered this a little bit, but I want to see if there’s anything you want to add to it. Because a big component on your website is your wellness coaching. Um, and I wanted to ask, what do you think sets you apart from other programs or trainers in the industry? You know, this industry is so overly saturated. There’s so many programs, there’s so many trainers, you know, there’s so many different approaches. What do you think makes you unique in your wellness coaching and approach?
That’s a great question. I’ve, I’ve thought that myself at times and one of the main things is I would say is that I take, uh, a truly client centered approach and that I believe that they know best about themselves. They are an expert. You have lived in your body your whole life. I don’t know what it feels like to be in your body. I don’t know what it feels like to be in your mind. Um, you know, and I think having a, uh, a client centered approach in that way, in that I trust them and that I’m not coming at them from a, I’m the expert. You’re the dummy kind of perspective, which I’ve seen trainers and I’ve seen counselors and therapists take people. I’m a very patronizing or demeaning approach, just really that’s the last thing people need. They’re probably getting at other places in their life.
They don’t need that from you. So I think it’s something that my clients can feel and I think that I really do care. Um, and that, you know, they just need a little guidance and, and you know, we all do, but, um, but that, that’s a different model than shaming people into working hard or cutting them down. Um, so we take a very strengths based approach. Um, you know, so I think from a, if you were to work with me as a client, that’s, that’s what you would see is different if you were just, you know, perusing the internet. I think I differentiate myself from others because I’m a female Marine Corps officer, which is only three to 6% of the entire Marine Corps. Um, so there aren’t very many of us. Um, and then the fact that I’ve done some, some unique things like being a military Olympic athlete, um, that I also have the holistic health coaching background. I also have the social work. Um, I take a very integrated approach. So
you’re a bad ass you said in the beginning, but the differences is with everything you’ve experienced, with your positive attitude, with your unique approach. And I can definitely tell from watching your videos, your love for life and others, you’re just, you’re just an awesome bad-ass. So how it is.
Yeah. And no, you know, honestly, Sarah can totally relate to, uh, when you’re talking about, you know, uh, uh, client-based approach, um, and letting them be the expert, right? Because so many times there’s gurus and experts out there that say, you know, this is how you do it, you know, and, uh, even for me, you know, doing fit two had to fit. I did, you know, I gained that weight to gain a better understanding, to relate to my clients better, but in no way do I even pretend to know exactly what it’s like for someone struggling to lose weight. Like for me, I gained a better understanding, but at the same time, I still have no idea what it’s like for someone who’s been, you know, a hundred pounds overweight for the past 20 years. Yeah. There’s, there’s no way I can ever know that. But, um, and so I feel like if we can, you know, as you know, people, leaders in the fitness industry can teach that to the class.
They turn the power over to them. There’s so much more powerful and a, that’s what’s going to ignite true a true lifestyle change in them is if, if, if we can teach them, Hey, you’re the expert. Right? We’re not, we’re not like, we’re not the ones telling you exactly how to do it because it’s different for each person. And so I love that and I can totally relate to that. Um, before we wrap up, Sarah, I kind of want to talk a little bit about your book, which is launching. Can you tell me when it’s launching?
It’s out now on Amazon.
Got it out. I’m doing kind of a soft launch online through December and we’re trying to get it out available in time for Christmas. And then I’ll do some more hard launch oriented stuff in the new year. So some in person events in Denver and some places like that. So.
Awesome. We’ll make sure to put it in the show notes, the link to find her book.
Exactly. Just roll with it is the name of the book. And can you briefly just tell us what you want people to get from reading your book and what was the biggest takeaway that they can get from just roll with it?
Yeah. I, I hope, hope. I hope.
I wrote it because I wanted to write it for people who are tired of being, um, pathologized, demonized, judged, labeled for having challenges, um, for people who don’t identify like with a patient identity, but as like an agent of their own lives. You know, their changes, their choices.
You know, and to focus on, on the growth piece of things. So that strength based approach again of like I’m feeling empowered by this stuff versus further discouraged or cut right
down. Uh, um,
and then to loop back to a comment I made earlier in that resilience, resilience is trainable and teachable and learnable and it’s something you can practice. So a lot of my book is very geared toward, here are some practices you can try. Um, so each chapter is a, and yet it’s a personal story from my life that illustrates a core character traits that I felt like helped me be resilient. Um, but then I give examples, um, for things for the reader to try because I understand it’s not, Hey, here’s how I did it. You need to replicate it. It’s, here’s one example and maybe this gives you hope because one story in here is like something that happened to you or maybe six of the stories are things that happened to you. But I’ve always felt that seeing examples of other people doing, doing it, figuring it out, I’m solving a problem. Has been helpful to me and so I, I wanted to do a bit to provide that to others too.
Well, thank you so much and we’ll definitely have those links, um, in the show notes, everybody to her book. Just roll with it. And um, I think Lynn has some lightning round questions for you so we warned you about this. But before we get into that, where can, where can people find you on social media and your website?
sarah.com is my main website and most of my social media handles are Semper Sarah. Um, all one word or Semper underscore Sarah on Twitter. Um, and then the book just roll with it. The seven battle tested traits for building a resilient life or sorry, battle tested truths for building a resilient life, um, lives it, just roll with it. book.com and you can also buy it on amazon.com burns it noble and books millions.
Woo. Awesome, awesome. Check it out you guys. Like I said, we’ll make sure that that is in the show notes for you to find. So as everybody knows, we love to wrap up the show with some lightning round questions, which are basically questions that I thought up of that I want to know about Sarah that have nothing to do with anything important and therefore I like them the most. So the key to this Sarah, is I’m going to ask you the questions you have to respond as quickly as possible with the first thing that comes to your mind. Okay. Puppy.
All right. Okay.
If you could star on any reality television show, what would it be and why?
Uh, uh, dancing with the stars because I think I’m a terrible dancer and people would probably laugh at me the whole time and it would be entertaining.
I love it. I D I dance like from Seinfeld.
If you’ve ever seen that show, you understand you and I going out together, that would be interesting. Okay. Okay. Most embarrassing moment.
Uh Oh gosh. It’s terrible.
Oh good. [inaudible] Hey, you got to do it. You got to do it for some of the other ones. Oh, there’s nothing there. There’s nothing we could out of this show.
Drew and I are friends from high school and I was a late bloomer and the first time I got my period was in the middle of math class and it was so, it went all all over the seat everywhere. Like I had. Oh my God. And my brother who was home from college had to come pick me up from school.
Oh my. Oh my gosh dude. Being a woman sometimes. Seriously. So unfair. So unfair if it makes you feel better. Mine, mine is pretty bad. But that, that is not inappropriate. That’s totally staying in the show. Okay. Favorite cause you’ve moved, moved, you know, 34 times. And also I’m guessing you were pretty well traveled. Your favorite place you’ve ever traveled.
Oh, Argentina’s is in New Zealand. Three my top three favorites.
Ah, Argentina, Spain. Okay. Awesome. I haven’t been to any of those places,
but now they are on my list. I love them. I think I was, I think I was Spanish and my formal life, I think I, I belong in Spain. I love it there. Hey, you might’ve been awesome. Okay. The dessert that you most often eat. Um, okay. Lane aim answer is dark chocolate cause I eat that a lot now. Everyone’s like, Oh, dark chocolate tell before you, so I don’t know if that counts as a dessert but Hey, it’s still good. It’s Tice cream. I love ice cream. What kind of flavor? What flavor? Ice. Well, there’s a really special little place here in Denver called little man that’s like the best ice cream I think I’ve ever had. It’s delicious and all their flavors and they have like weird salted Oreo peanut butter cup. Ooh, I don’t know. They have weird combo flavors that are, Oh my God.
Gosh, that sounds amazing. I gotta to ask you this, Sarah, have you, first of all, have you ever been overweight or have you always been in shape?
Yes, actually I have been overweight. Um, that’s something I talk about with my clients in some of the speeches or lectures that I give. I actually was overweight according to Marine Corps standards for many years. And I had the nickname Krispy Kreme in college because even though I was overweight, I could still get a perfect score on the physical fitness test. And then after the physical fitness tests, you had to weigh in and my friends would show up at the scale with a box of Krispy Kremes and would taunt me. I’m not, this is totally serious. Oh my gosh. And then let me, the donuts after I weighed in.
Those are such good friends. I’m a D, I’m a donut lover, so people could taught me all they want. If they actually brought me a box of donuts, then it’s all all this.
Well, yeah. How much were you overweight? How, like how many pounds was like 10 or,
yeah, it was anywhere from about, I hovered about 10 pounds over for for a few years and, and felt like I struggled with, I mean I tried really hard through college to lose weight and never did, but was always really fit. So it was very frustrated by that. Like, man, I’m doing everything I can. And yeah, that’s a whole another show we can talk about.
Absolutely. Well, the fact that you passed all of your physicals and everything kind of shows that maybe at the time that’s what your body needed is to have a little bit of extra weight on you and you were completely physically healthy and capable and able to Excel and everything you accomplish. So our bodies kind of, you know, change through time. Yeah,
yeah. No and by the way I did the, the PT for the Marines, uh, is it called the PT PFT? Sorry. Yes. I knew I was missing a letter. I did the PFT with some Marines out in Utah and that’s no joke. I had a, you know, I did okay though. Like I survived, I didn’t die but they invited me to do it with them and then speak to them about health and fitness cause some of these Marines were struggling cause they would eat donuts.
That sounds like a lot of fun. I was going to say as a female Marine, the quickest way to earn your, your male Marines respect was to do more pull-ups than them. So I made it my mission to do 20 dead hang pull ups
because or for guys, did you shut anybody up if they were ever like, Oh wait a minute, I’m going to have to do pull ups. Like that’s the Marine day mindset. Hey.
Um, okay. So the question I was trying to get into was, cause I know you’ve been 10 pounds overweight and I know some people are like, please that’s not us, not overweight. Would you ever do a fit if I had to fit journey?
Oh man, I watched some of your videos and I was like that’s rough. I mean I think the mental emotional component that you, you talked about, um, is one of the biggest concerns I would have. Like and knowing I think it’d be being able to empathize them with people who feel like they can’t get out and move and being like, God, these things that people feel like are personality problems or mood problems are, are very tied to health, you know, physical health predictors. But to answer your question, yes, I think I would, I would consider it.
Yeah. All right. This is like one of two women that have ever [inaudible].
Yeah. You’re like the second or third one when a woman that said yes to doing it. Um, that’s awesome. Okay, so I will,
well [inaudible] my foot, my mouth. You’re going to
be on season two
of the, of my fit to fat to fit TV show. Okay. Now he’s not kidding.
Yeah. But no, I’m, I’m, I’m being serious and kidding, but I do have a TV show coming out. Did you know that? That’s awesome. When does, yes. So Arizona, January 12th and this is, you know, this is the first time I’m announcing it, no second time on the podcast, January 12th at 10:00 PM 10, nine central on a and E network. Um, there’s a TV show called fit to fat to fit. And basically the concept is there’s 10 trainers from around the country who are intentionally gaining weight to gain a better understanding of what it’s like to be overweight for the first time in their life. And then after those four months of going from fit to fat, they now have to lose weight with their client for the next four months. So now Sarah is Sarah, your name will be submitted for season
[inaudible] I’ll eat donuts and ice crest and then we’ll figure it out. Oh Sarah, there’s such a good sport. You survive the lightning round. See that wasn’t so bad at all. You did excellent. Not my first lightning round.
Is there a thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for your service. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for sharing your story, for being an inspiration to so many people out there and being a light, um, uh, among, you know, the dark that’s out there and giving people hope and inspiration. And I couldn’t thank you enough for being who you are.
Yes. Thanks Sarah. Thanks so much guys. This was so fun. It’s really an honor. You’ve done such amazing work. It’s, it’s an honor to be on your show.
Well thank you. And we’ll have to get you out here to Hawaii to do your next yoga retreat and we could
putting it out there. You guys were going to have our host one. We’re all going to sign up. I can’t wait. All right, let’s make it happen. If not, the next one’s poster Rica in June, so, Oh, we’ll find. I’ll just go to that one too. Awesome. Thank you, sir. All right guys. Have a beautiful day. All right, you too. See ya.
Thank you guys so much for listening to today’s episode. We really hope that you gained a lot of valuable insight from Sarah and the story and the message that she shared and we really hope that you enjoy our podcast. And if you do, please subscribe on iTunes. Please leave us a review. Please tell your friends and family about, uh, some of these episodes that you think are valuable and let us know about any other future guests that you would like us to have on.
Yeah, I hope you guys were able to gain a little bit of insight into finding that hope, finding your true purpose. Every circumstance is different. But what I love about Sarah is her resilience and her passion for life. Um, if you want to find us, you can find me at two the number to fit at home on all social media outlets. And my website is the number two firstname.lastname@example.org. You can join my newsletter there for updates on what we’re up to.
Yup. And for me, you know, all my social media handles are at fit fat to fit. That’s what the number two, not Tio and my website fits fat to fit.com sign up for my newsletter. And that way you can stay in the know of what’s going on with events and TV shows and new podcast episodes that come out every single week. So you don’t miss anything.
Awesome. You guys, well, we will see you next week.