Get to Know Your Coach | Cindy Allinson

Ask a CrossFitter to describe their CrossFit box (in the odd instance they aren’t already talking about it), and you’re sure to leave the conversation knowing the name of at least one of their coaches.

Why? Because they’re that impactful.

Unlike so many – if not all – other sports, in CrossFit, the last person to finish is the one cheered on the loudest. The person who fails rep after rep is greeted with the same high-five as the person who cycles through Rx’d movements with ease.

It’s these unique characteristics that separate and define CrossFit, and it’s the coaches we owe thanks to for putting them into practice day in and day out. 

While day after day, they’re reminding us to keep our elbows up in a front rack and break parallel in a squat, CrossFit coaches serve a deeper purpose.

They create an environment where one can scale movements without being overcome by embarrassment, where neither the number on the scale nor the barbell define worth, where confidence is built rather than broken.

Where does your passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle come from? 
First off, I am no "Sean" when it comes to this stuff, I tend to ramble on in my emails and don't consider myself a great writer, so please bear with me (grammar mistakes and all).
 
Honestly, I would have to say I never really had a passion for fitness and health, at least not until I met Sean and started to have a family.  I was never very fit so to speak.  I played some volleyball and baseball as a teen but really had no motivation for exercising (it was hard, and I don't like hard).  I have always struggled with my weight for as far back as I can remember.  I did join the gym after I got married when I was working in the corporate world (yes I did have a career before kids and CrossFit) but only did it because I was bored on my lunch hour and would end up shopping every day!   But then life, job, starting a family -you name it - all caught up to me and I found myself at my heaviest and worst shape of my life in my late 20's.   It wasn't until I started contemplating the "what's next stage" of my life after all my kids were finally out of diapers and in school, that I decided I needed a change.  So in my late 30's, 4 kids later, I decided I needed to get a personal trainer, got my butt kicked for a few months and then Sean had me try CrossFit in our basement....I was immediately hooked!  I loved the barbell and how the work outs were different every day.  I loved the challenge and wanted to get stronger and better every day (especially if it meant beating Sean at something )....AND that is when I finally found my fitness and health.  And from that day on CrossFit Crux was born at my ripe age of 40!
 
Why do you coach, what motivates you to teach? 
I love seeing people do things they never thought possible.  Especially when they meet or exceed their goals.  I love learning new things and being able to bring it to the classroom.  I get excited to teach it (though I usually do it wrong the first time- but no one knows right?)  I also love being able to help someone break through their plateaus.  It is a struggle to be the best at something and I try and let people know they don't need to be the best, they just need to be the best version of themselves.  To think I could have been a small part of that makes me really happy.

I love meeting new people, making new friends of all ages, learning about them inside and out of the gym.   I would never have thought that this would be my career in my 40's, but it has been so much fun and a real privilege to give others a place where they can make friends, get fit and change their lifestyle. No matter who you are and what you can do I think most of us have the same purpose here at Crux- get that 1 hour of "me" time to get in a good workout, build some strength, inside and out, and have some fun.  No household chores to do, no kids to bug us ( hopefully) and just you and the weight with some good music and a bunch of cool people.   
 
What do you think separates a great coach from a good coach, and a good coach from a poor coach?
hmmm.... Good coaches know their stuff, can teach a class and show someone how to do a proper squat.  They get the job done well and people are for the most part happy.  A Great coach LEADS the class, sure they can teach a squat but more importantly they make people WANT to get better at their squats.  They are flexible and can roll with the punches (dealing with last minute changes on the spot).  They are empathetic towards clients needs and they are intuitive - they simply just "get it".  I do strongly feel that we can all become more knowledgeable coaches.  We can be learning every day and should be working at improving our knowledge as a coach but also working on our life and personal skills to be an effective and great leader.  Someone said to me once, and I tend to agree with this,  If I wouldn't be willing to spend a 10 hour car ride alone with you then I wouldn't want you as my coach.   
 
What is a typical day in the life for Coach Cindy?
I am kind of embarrassed to admit that my days are very typical, something my husband hates!  I am working hard at changing this.  I need more balance and more variety in my routines. My days tend  to be  70% work 30%  Cindy.

I wake up around 7:45 (or whenever Sarah (my youngest) jumps on me because she is tired of waiting for me to get up)  I love my SLEEP.   Some mornings I get the kids and myself (maybe Sean if he is lucky lol) some breakfast (yeah I still try and do this when I can, even though they are all more than capable).  Once they head out the door, I end up on my computer doing work for the gym.  I am not good at setting hours and usually spend WAY too many hours staring at my screen - working, checking FB ( I admit I look at it a lot - but more for work than personal).  and more than often getting distracted.  I try to head to the gym 2-3 times a week for a workout.  Again this is something that is never planned properly, thus why I am now in the New "Masters" Muscle Mass program -hoping to  keep  me accountable.  I take a break mid day to get supper ready and chat with my kids and or get them to where they need to be . Supper is with the family almost every night and then usually back to my computer for another couple hours before settling in to some TV with Sean before my bedtime (which tends to be me falling  asleep on the couch before the show is over).  I don't do much else outside of work and family on a day to day basis.  I do though enjoy spending time with my girlfriends and taking trips with Sean and the kids  whenever possible....I really wouldn't have it any other way.  The only thing I would change is that I tend to work too much, so I need to make room for other things and find a better balance in life.... I don't want to miss out on my kids before they all leave me for bigger and better things!  
  
What is your favourite movement/benchmark workout and why?
I love Bench Pressing & Power Cleans  ..all the things that don't involve SQUATS.    Fave benchmark-  Not many....but I do like Annie, Lynda and the CF Total all because they involve things I am good at.
 
What is your most hated movement/benchmark workout and why?
If I admit this will you make me do more?  I HATE Thrusters almost as much as I hate squats, so you see the trend?   Most hated benchmark...hands down Top 3 would be Cindy, Fight gone bad, & Fran or anything with running or lasting over 8 min.   There is no need for WHY just because I do!
 
What is something most people don’t know about you or something interesting?
 As I said before I tend to talk a lot so most people know almost everything about me already.  But let's see.....I was crowned Miss Oktoberfest in high school.  I went to Guelph University but it took me 6 years to finish as I had to work full time at a restaurant/gas station called My Little Margies.  I loved it though and even got asked to go to Florida for a ride with one of the truckers?  I didn't go BTW.   Oh and I hate long car rides - by long, I mean ones that last more than 2 hours. .I think that's about it, not very interesting really. 
 
What type of music do you like to work out to?
I like all types of music mostly....so easier to say what I don't like- I hate girly music like Beyonce and all the top hit stuff.  For work outs I do like Disturbed and Nine Inch Nails mixed in with some Eminem and even a little country now and then.
  
Where do you spend your time when you aren’t at the gym?
At home in my so called office (which is really my dining room table) working ON the gym.   Other than that I do spend a lot of time travelling ,as you all know.  That is something we LOVE to do and hope to do more of. I especially love Turks and Caicos.  I would go every month if I could.