Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cindy Sherwin

We all have people in our lives that have inspired and motivated us to take certain paths. I can think of several people in my life who have had huge impacts on the directions I've taken, as well as inspired the courage in me to do so. The woman pictured above is one of them. Her name was Cindy Sherwin. She was a trainer at the very first gym I ever joined in New York. I walked (very nervously) into a class she taught called "Integrity". In short, the class was very similar to a boot camp class. At this particular juncture in my life, I was definitely out of shape and not taking very good care of myself. The most exercise I ever got was riding my bike to and from the bars in Brooklyn. So yeah, not in good shape at all. I admired her right off the bat. She was short (same height as me!), intelligent and tough without being overbearing. She was the type of person that made you want to do everything perfectly no matter how much it hurt because you didn't want to disappoint her. She was also the first person to teach me that no matter how uncomfortable something is, you are the one in control of your body and you can push through that pain. I went to her class every week for over a year. I also went to her cycling classes. She was one of 2 people that inspired me to start doing triathlons. We had some really great conversations and I found myself often feeling like a little kid trying to impress the older, cooler girl. When she left the gym I was incredibly disappointed. When I found out she died of a brain aneurism while on a bike ride I was heart broken. She was training for her very first ironman.

One of the last times I saw Cindy was during my first triathlon in New York City. It was tough. I had a tough swim, I fell off my bike and my knee was all bloodied up. I also dropped my water on the first mile of the 25 mile bike, so I was completely dehydrated when I got to the run leg. At the very beginning of the run there was a really steep hill. I wanted to die. I wanted nothing to do with that hill. I started to run up it, stopped and I heard someone yelling my name. I looked over and she was standing there screaming at me "Go!!! You can do it!!!" So I went and I did it. The next year I did the New York tri again. She had passed away about 3 months prior to the race. When I got to that godawful hill, I closed my eyes, remembered her standing there 1 year ago cheering for me and I sprinted right up it.

As of tomorrow, April 26, it has been 3 years since Cindy passed away, but I will never forget her. She was the person that inspired me to take this path of embracing and sharing a love for healthy living and eating.

1 comment:

  1. This is lovely. I'm sure you do or will play the same role for someone as well :)