She is a fierce kettlebell sport competitor who has set some awesome standards for the sport as well as a full time elementary Health and Physical Education teacher and movement coach. While you may see her sling some kettlebells around, she is also a big fan of natural/primal movements, and claims to eat like a champ (which makes us love her even more because...duh, we love us some food too).
We are excited to introduce you to this week's #wcw, Cynthia Diesel Roulston. Hear her words. See her challenge herself. And check out that awesome definition of the word 'strength'.
Get connected with Cynthia! (you're welcome)
What do you do?
Lead Scientist of AwesomeLab (grades 1-8 Science teacher)
What else do you do?
Train and compete in kettlebell sport, explore various forms of movement for fun and in an attempt to become indestructible
How do you define the word 'strength'?
The physical and mental energy you put into becoming your best self in the presence and absence of adversity.
How did you discover your passion?
I am very blessed to have parents who couldn't stand idle children, and always made sure we were enrolled in sports, and music all year. I also grew up in a rural area where we spent more time playing outside than inside. From a very young age I have loved activities that involved repetition, and developed a strong sense of pride from the process of becoming proficient at something after investing hours of dedicated practice - whether it was kicking a soccer ball, playing a difficult piece of music, or learning how to play backgammon. From a young age I also knew that I really wanted to become a teacher, and grew up with many role models in my academic career who I admired for the way they could make the struggle of the learning process enjoyable.
Becoming a teacher allowed me the opportunity to make a career out of helping others discover their strengths and build their confidence to persevere through the learning process and discover the joy and pride that comes as a result of that tenacity. It's a career that also allows me to be a life long learner and immerse myself in an environment that fosters growth.
Does movement increase your self-confidence? If yes, how?
Movement absolutely increases my confidence because it is a constant reminder of my independence and freedom. More important than any sports competition is having the physical ability and freedom to express myself. I want to be able to explore different movement patterns and maintain and improve what my body is capable of for as long as I am living.
What motivates the crap out of you?
This quote by Maya Angelou - " Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently."
I'm motivated by people who, despite any pressure or adversity they face, aren't afraid to embark on the journey of being/becoming their best self, and enjoy helping/supporting others to be their best as well.
Music is also a big motivator for me as well - I frequently like to bust a move in warmup and usually an eclectic arrangement of music ranging from 90's- current pop music, to reggae, 70's-current rock, to gangsta rap can be heard blasting out of my home gym.
What advice do you wish you could have given your former self?
As an athlete now over 45 years of age I have discovered that recovering from training is just as important (arguably more important) than the work I did in training. I would have encouraged myself to spend more time diligently working on my weaknesses or imbalances in strength, mobility, and flexibility.
Anything else you'd like to share with us?
I love the quote by Kavita Ramdas - “We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.”
Like Ramdas, I decided in my pursuit and study of science that I would embrace criticism and use it as a challenge to improve myself beyond what anyone else thought possible. I've created an inner circle of friends who are better than me in several different areas so that I can grow and learn at a faster pace. I try to create an environment with my students where they are encouraged to fail, and fail often (fail harder is one of our classroom mottos).
For my students and myself, I want us to develop the tenacity to never give up, and see failure as the beginning step to finding solutions and eventually achieving success.