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Turbin finally at home in Seattle

By Rod Zundel | Posted - Dec. 22, 2014 at 10:52 a.m.



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RENTON, Wash. — It's 8pm. Robert Turbin just returned home and is finally is able to sit down on his couch and relax in Renton, Washington.

He left for the Seattle Seahawks practice facility 13 and a half hours earlier.

"It's like that every day," Turbin said.

Life as an NFL running back isn't easy. It's hard. Robert Turbin though, is no stranger to hard work, or hard times. His sister Trina died of multiple sclerosis and his other sister, Tiffany, was born with a severe form of cerebral palsy.

Robert was her caretaker in high school. Sometimes he left school to be with her and ran late for football practice.

"She couldn't do anything for herself and couldn't tell anybody so she had to be the priority" Turbin said. "I'm just taking care of my sister, just part of the deal."

After high school, Turbin became a star at Utah State and was preparing for the NFL draft. Three months before he was drafted by the Seahawks, he received a call — one no person ever wants to receive. His older brother Lonnie had been shot and killed in Oakland.

"It was a tough situation to deal with," Turbin said.

Lonnie was addicted to drugs. Robert was planning on taking his older brother to the city where he was drafted, to take him in and help him get his life under control. But now, that wouldn't happen.

"He would always listen to me because he always had a special feeling for me," Turbin said of his relationship with Lonnie. "I was just in a special place in my heart."

Since Robert could no longer help his older brother, he made sure he was going to help his younger brother, Terry.

"The fact that I couldn't help one brother, when the opportunity came about to help another brother I wanted to take that and run with it," he said.

Terry is five years younger than Robert and now lives with him while playing basketball at a nearby junior college.

"I want to help him achieve his goals he wants to achieve for himself," Turbin said of Robert.

Having to deal with family and friends who were involved with drugs, Turbin turned to faith and hard work to overcome temptation, that he saw every day while growing up.

"First and foremost, growing up in the church and being strong in my faith really altered a lot of my decision growing up," he said. "The people that I saw make maybe not so good decisions or the lifestyle that they were living and the lifestyle that they ended up having was a lifestyle that I didn't want for myself.

"Is that the kind of lifestyle that I want when I am their age? Do I want to be living like them? Then answer is no."

Turbin's nickname is ‘The Hulk'. And while he is a physically strong NFL running back, after hearing his story of dedication, decision-making and faith, ‘The Hulk' has a new meaning for me. To me, when thinking of Robert 'The Hulk' Turbin, the nickname has everything to do with the super-human strength of his soul.

Rod Zundel

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