My conversation with Sindy gets off to a great start when I ask her about diet and nutrition and she says she eats chocolate but knows it’s not good andlaughs! It’s always good to hear that someone so tough who trains so intensely is also so down to earth. She continues, “I do eat a balanced diet actually,
fruit, vegetables etc. not just chocolate,” and laughs again. This is not the only thing that sets Sindy apart from most female Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing)
athletes. It is also that Sindy is Italian, not Thai.
In the world of Muay Thai this is significant, because this is a sport totally dominated by Thai’s, and what makes it more remarkable is that Sindy is
a woman, making her all the more unusual. This is an athlete and a Muay Thai exponent at the very top of her game, having just featured in the final of
the largest Muay Thai tournament in Thailand. In terms of Muay Thai, you don’t get any better than this.
Starting eight years ago, Sindy went on holiday to Thailand with her brother who had started training in Muay Thai. She joined in and as they say, the
rest is history. Now, as Sindy puts it, “...it is my life, my work.” Sindy is committed to being the best in the world at what she does. Her training in
Thailand is up there as one of the most intense and gruelling of all. Six days a week her schedule is pretty much the same: morning run followed by a weights
session then boxing. In the afternoons she says “...I train hard.” The mind boggles at what this means! But she spars and then after that trains in Muay
Thai, then it’s bed. This is hard-core training and intense, but the dividends have paid off.
Sindy started training with Muay Farang in Thailand two years ago, and recently has been filmed for a reality TV show documenting a group of fighters
training, following them all the way through competing against each other, and culminating in the final.
Muay Farang was started by Roberto Gallo (an Italian) in Thailand thirty years ago with the desire to train ‘Farang’ (foreigners). His track record speaks
for itself with a number of male fighters and now Sindy reaching the zenith and being recognised as a force to be respected in the Muay Thai world.
“We need to open the door for more women,” he says of Sindy’s progress and the impact she has had. The interesting thing is that when I asked him about
the difference in training women and men he replied, “there is no difference between training women and men, it’s about the age they start.” That was a
genuine surprise to me. Here is a sport where in his eyes the training style doesn’t vary between gender and it’s this approach that has seen him achieve
success with not only Sindy, but the junior women coming through the ranks.
Why does Sindy train so hard? “My mind and body are stronger for training,” she says. The interesting thing is that despite this focus and her complete
domination of women’s Muay Thai in Italy (“In Italy they do not want to fight me so I can’t do Muay Thai, I have run out of women to fight”) she is very
clear on who she is. With clarity and without hesitation when I ask her ask her if she is a female fighter or a fighter, Sindy says “...when I am in the
gym and in the ring I am a fighter, outside of the gym and fighting I am 100% woman.”
This is a female athlete who is tough and focused on her sport, but also very clear and comfortable in her skin and in being a women’s woman outside of
the ring, in so doing blowing a lot of stereotypes out of the water.
Her clarity doesn’t stop here as she talks further about her goals and ambitions. “I want to be the best, I want to give myself to this goal,” Sindy says
of her five year plan. Sindy is a fighter at the peak of what can be achieved and yet she is striving for more, for further growth and improvement. “Everyone
has to learn more, I must learn more,” she says.
It’s amazing to listen to someone with such incredible focus and determination despite being at the top of their game. She doesn’t come across as obsessive:
to her way of thinking it’s just her path and what needs to be done in order to achieve greatness, and so it’s all very matter of fact. There is no talk
of sacrifice or the down sides of training. Sindy lives for this lifestyle and actually gains strength from it and is better for it. In a strange way,
it’s as if she has found peace in living this life. The chaos of the ring and all the training means that life outside is remarkably calm. A very different
approach but it is definitely working for her!