Fashlete™ of the Month

Don't Cheat On Cindy

July 2011

Name: Cindy Rhoades-Young
Stay at Home Mom/Full Time College Student (graduating with her B.A. in December)

Affiliate: Practice CrossFit • Troy, OH

"For the first time in my life I actually get it and believe that there will never be a piece of pizza that will taste as good as my first pullup...Food is my fuel...not my comfort.... " -Cindy

The Beginning: Just over 47 days ago Cindy vowed to get her first pull-up.  Most of us have been there before, swinging around on an assortment of colorful rubber bands, cursing the bar, and dreaming of the day we can do Fran, Helen, or Eva RX.  In this case, it's all about Cindy (as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of: 5 pull-ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats).  One woman.  One Goal. One WODIt is a wonderful coincidence that Cindy and her muse share the same name.  Ahhh yes, another CrossFit miracle.

The Challenge: Cindy's coach, Josh Bunch, suggested that she also challenge herself to a 100% pure paleo diet for the duration of her pull-up challenge (great coach).  And thus, the "Don't Cheat on Cindy Challenge" was born:  Do Cindy. Go Paleo for 47 days. Do Cindy and record your progress.  The "one woman, one goal, one WOD" aspect of this challenge lasted about a nano second.  Before she knew what she had done, Cindy's coaches were posting "DON'T CHEAT ON CINDY" signs on the walls of the box and 15 other Practice CrossFit members had signed up for her challenge.

The Rewards: Prizes were awarded on July 1st for Most Improved Cindy Score, Most Weight Lost, and Most "Paleo Points" Acquired (points were awarded and deducted based on the individual's level of "purity" during the 47 day paleo challenge.  For example, points were taken away for drinking alcohol, not getting enough sleep, etc.  Honor system people.)

The Woman: I had the pleasure of meeting Cindy at the Reebok CrossFit Games Central East Regional and we've stayed in touch since.  I have been following Cindy's progress and she has shared her milestones with me which include a near 20lb weight loss and a 5% reduction in body fat since starting the 47 day challenge.  She also gushes with pride when she describes the accomplishments of the other men and women in her gym who took on the Cindy Challenge.  WOD scores improved, paleo cakes were baked, body fat was shed, and there is no doubt that the community at Practice CrossFit is stronger than ever.

A note from Cindy: As for me, I did not get a pull up...and I struggled with that for a bit. Feeling that I had failed the people of the box and my trainers...until Josh told me something that slapped me out of it....he said " "A pull-up is just a tool to make the job easier, and no good carpenter creates success with one tool"...I know I will get my pull up...maybe not today or tomorrow but I will and it will still be just as sweet...and I will still cry...because never in my life did I think that I would be able to do a pull up.

I am a firm believer that 80% of what we do in the gym is based on diet...but I also believe that eating is 90% mental...it is for me and I know it is for others...for the first time in my life I actually get it and believe that there will never be a piece of pizza that will taste as good as my first pullup...Food is my fuel...not my comfort....I did lose almost 20 pounds and lost 5% body fat but what I have gained is the real prize...for the first time in my entire life my self confience is not coming from the outside and what others think about me...I now have true self confience because I believe Cindy can do these things...and reach these goals....

I came up with this during my second month of CrossFit and I tell myself this every single day....

"Pain is a pathway...NOT a stop sign"....my journey will have bad days...sad days...and days that are filled will doubt....but one thing my journey wont have is an end...because I finally believe that Cindy is worth more than quitting....

Cindy for president!  I don't think that there is any doubt that Cindy has brought something special to Practice CrossFit.  What started as a simple personal goal ended in a box-wide, multi-dimensional challenge.  Simply put, Cindy has changed lives.  

Something else that Cindy has had from the beginning, aside from determination, is amazing coaches.  Practice CrossFit is an elite training facility.  Their Affiliate Team place 9th at the Central East Regional and they had 56 athletes participate in the Reebok CrossFit Sectional Open.  But that is only half of what makes the Practice CrossFit team amazing.  When I met Cindy's coach, Josh, at Regionals he was just as excited about Cindy's paleo/pull-up challenge as he was about his competing team of elite athletes.  I imagine he was physically and emotionally drained from competition by the end of day 3 but he still took the time to stop by my booth and tell me how happy he was for Cindy and how great she is doing.  CrossFit is for everyone and the coaches at Practice CrossFit understand that on every level.  Josh is proof of that.  His athletes, whether competing at Regionals or in Cindy's challenge, are also proof of that. CrossFIt Practice is a place where individuals are encouraged to achieve greatness whether they are fighting for a spot on the podium or for their first pull up... and that's CrossFit.

Final Thoughts: I asked Cindy for one word that describes her experience with CrossFit so far so I could make her a one-of-a-kind piece of CrossFit jewelry... 

"As for my word....I am going to go with "Redeemed" for every sense of the meaning it is me...CrossFit saved me...the people within CrossFit and Practice CrossFit have helped saved me from such an unhappy Cindy...there is no other word that will work!"

Congratulations Cindy, our Fashlete of the Month!

  • Author avatar
    Sarah Wilson
  • CrossFitWeight LossWomen's Fitness

Comments on this post (1)

  • May 20, 2012

    Steve Posted on For me, CrossFit is about accomplishing thgnis I thought I couldn’t and learning to celebrate the small victories ; whether it’s one more round of Cindy, 0:30 off Fran or a 10LB increase in max back squat. CrossFit teaches, encourages and pushes me to take pride in my accomplishments. As a CrossFitter, I began to see a transformation into celebrating other’s accomplishments as well. When you step into the box, it’s not enough that you are successful and pushing yourself to new limits, but that everyone else inside that box is reaching new limits. I can’t being to count the times when others have finished the WOD before me, and instead of sitting down to recover, they chose to support me (and others) until we have finished; everyone begins & finishes together!

    — Meryem

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