ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 8 - December

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 128 of 147

THE DRILL SERGEANT Fitness trainer extraordinaire Sarah Ruhl whips Chicagoans into shape. A career in fitness wasn't always in the cards for Sarah Ruhl, group fitness and personal training director for the Chicago Athletic Club's seven locations, including the about-to-open Bucktown outpost. Ruhl worked in marketing in Denver after college, picking up workout classes to teach on the side. It wasn't until moving to Chicago in 2006 that she shed her office persona for a full-time fitness gig—and she wouldn't have it any other way. "When I come in, put the microphone on, and plug my iPod in," she says, "it's like [everything in the day up until that point] never happened." A fitness enthusiast since the age of 10 when she ran her first race with her father, Ruhl's passion for working out intensified three years ago, when she turned to fitness to bounce back after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor. Whether she is kickboxing, spinning, or doing high-intensity interval training (a signature class dubbed HIIT), the Tulsa native and Lululemon brand ambassador brings the intensity—but her friendly smile and bright eyes abate the gym-induced "scare factor." Nonetheless, "I work to deliver [results]," she says, a statement backed up by the various accolades and certifications Ruhl has received: She was group fitness instructor of the year in 2000 at 24 Hour Fitness, won Nike's Does Your Instructor Rock Your Workout award in 2006, and is certified in a dozen workout programs from Aqua Fitness to Zumba. Admits Ruhl, "I'm a perfectionist." My trademark: Everybody loves the playlists I use during class. There's usually Pink on there, but I like everything from Band of Horses to Florence + the Machine. I love mash-ups; I dream one day of becoming my own DJ. Favorite cause: I've been involved with Bright Pink's FabFest for the past four years. [This year] I headed up a team of 12 people and we raised $14,500. Guilty pleasure: Sitting in the sun. I know it's bad for you, but it is so relaxing. New Year's resolution: I want to improve my time efficiency—put a higher value on time and spend it more wisely. For a fresh start: Set a goal and a deadline, but make it something new and different—something you haven't tried before. Break down the goal into smaller, achievable parts and schedule your workouts on your calendar. And a new pair of colorful workout shoes can also provide a fresh start for the new year! MA MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 120-127_MA_FEAT_Beauty_Winter2014.indd 127 127 11/20/13 5:31 PM

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