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Earlier this month we celebrated international women’s day, and there are so many women here in Casa De Campo who are worth recognizing. Many of them are role models and are truly inspirational. I had a privilege to talk with Natalia Turchina who is a professional athlete that played for the National Ukrainian handball team. As World and European champion, she also played for major European handball clubs. If that weren’t enough, Natalia also has a PHD in teaching sport and fitness. She recently moved to Casa de Campo and brought her sports enthusiasm with her.
We did not have a typical interview…Oh no, we had a group workout session beforehand. Natalia can really motivate a person to work out! We began with a brisk power walk through Altos de Chavon, and continued with power exercises for abs and legs, finishing with stretching and meditation. Complex and thorough indeed!
When did you start playing handball?
I was about 6 years old and did not have much of a chance not to. My entire family was involved with the handball team; my mother played and my dad coached the team. I developed steadily and started to show very good results. First, I was in the junior Soviet Union National Team then the college team. My family can even be found in the Guinness World Record Book – under mother and daughter playing in national handball team coached by father. I am a World and European Champion with Ukrainian Club Spatakia. Since the Soviet Union collapsed and the Ukrainian national team did not make it, I did not go to the Olympics as I was meant to, but my mother is a three time Olympic gold medalist.
What was next for you after Soviet Union collapsed?
I played for international handball clubs in Italy and then in Norway and Hungary. I finished my sports career after my father died, and since then have only been coaching.
It is a challenging time for professional athletes to quit sports. How did you take this transition?
It was very difficult to find motivation since in sports you often are motivated from the taste of victory. That is a feeling one cannot describe. For me, I found meaning with helping others. I earned my PHD in Sports Science, and my specialty was training non-professional athletes. Then I taught in on a university level and at that time I opened a club for women to help them get healthy. I love helping people reach a healthy lifestyle since it is something you cannot buy and difficult to get back once lost.
How did you come to train the Military Handball Team here in the Dominican Republic?
I came to the Dominican Republic to Casa de Campo first for vacation and fell in love with country and people! Once during my vacation, I received an offer to train the Dominican Republic Military Team and decided to stay.
You also do group and individual training sessions. How do you create your routines and which elements do you find essential to include?
I believe in complex training, so my program is usually a combination of cardio and power exercise, but I also add some Pilates, yoga and even ballet-inspired moves into the routine to workout the smaller muscles. Typically, we work on an individual program depending on the needs, current shape and health issues of the person. People with a previous injury or young mothers need special attention. During my PHD studies, we concreted a lot on anatomy and physiology so I have a background to develop safe and effective routine. But, you cannot be lazy with me! Exercising needs to happen at least three times a week.
From my session with Natalia, I can tell she not only coaches you through each exercise, she also motivates and helps you to understand your body better. Give her a call to set up your personalized workout session!
Workout with Natalia Turchina in Casa
Natalia does individual and group training sessions, outdoors and indoors.
Tel: (849) 857.89039
Price: Call for pricing