A Rant by a Vegan in Combat Sports.
by Team Green on 05/09/13
There has always been a stigma with being different, weather it was in the classic movies of the 80’s being the rebel outsider or the new kid from the big city who moves to the small town, or being part of a culture like the Straight Edge or DIY culture that was thriving in the NYC Hardcore scene. Being different has always been frowned upon and has helped people through out the ages develop tough sink or conform to what the “insiders” want from us. When i started training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there was already the outsider vibe from the students who had been there before me, but the great thing about combat sports is people are going to put you to the test and see if you are serious about training because if you are not you are wasting their time and your own.
Its that trail by fire that happens in most sports when you join a team and come to your first practice, that makes people accept you as a person and a training partner and ultimately as a friend. As with most things when people accept you because of your hard work and skill it doesn’t mean you can’t quickly be on the outside of your group of friends and in this case training partners because of a lifestyle change like the one i made, going Vegan.
I didn’t tell anyone at first when i made the turn from omnivore to vegan because i had always heard the stigma, hell i made jokes plenty of times myself about vegans i had come across in my everyday life, so i kept the “secret” and just started to out perform everyone. While training i always seem to have more energy and was always ready for another round and another round and another. I started to train more then my contemporaries and they started to ask how could i go from equal to so far improved so quickly. At first I never mentioned my lifestyle choices or the change i just smiled and moved on to the next training partner for the next round, but after a while and much nagging on behalf of some of my close friends/training partners who kept asking me “Dude seriously what’s going on? Your hitting a different level as of late.” I told them. I went Vegan. “What? You? When? Really?” All the usually questions and statements followed, “Where do you get your protein? What do you eat? Your going to lose size and strength! You are going to get sick! blah blah blah.” I heard it all as i am sure you have all heard it. But as i always say prove me wrong before you spout off statements and sue do facts and even after all that if you prove/ show me that this lifestyle didn’t improve your life, live and let live, do not try and change me or the way i live or my choices in any way shape or form just like i won’t try and convert you. I don’t care what you decide to eat and i don’t need the friendly reminder every time you see me that your “food” was delicious.
I don’t ask you why you eat that or this or if you withering away, weak or need to rest since you don’t have enough fuel. I just out train you, i work harder then you i remind you that you can never break me. I don’t remind you that i am vegan every time i meet someone, unlike that joke that’s been going around, “How do you know someones vegan, don’t worry they will tell you . I have known people for years that didn’t know i was vegan till one of our other friends told that. My friends/training partners tend to introduce me as a vegan or when the subject of what to eat, they always say/bring me into the conversation by saying “Uh oh here goes Dennis.” while i sit to the side silently. I have no interest in telling you what to eat, i don’t want to convert you, trust me our team (vegans) want people to find their own way there and do it for their own reasons.
Hope you enjoyed my rant Thank you.
Team Green Contributor,