Thursday, December 27, 2007

Does veganism make you a better athlete?

Now I am not talking from a health or nutrition standpoint, but motivationally.
I struggle to call myself an athlete, but in any adventure I do, part of me feels that I am representing veganism and must do well. When I rode my bike cross-country (which ranks pretty low in physical difficulty) years ago I found that a number of people drew conclusions on veganism. 'Well, if you could do that and be vegan it must be okay' or my vegan friends who used me as an example, 'My friend Matt is vegan and he rode his bike cross country!
What do the rest of you think? If someone with an omnivorous diet gets tired at work or DNF's at a marathon no one says, 'maybe it is what s/he is eating.' But if a vegan exhibits either of those suddenly everyone is a nutrition consultant. During some low points on more than a few adventures I've drawn on this to motivate me: Must continue and not let veganism down...
Anyone else?

7 comments:

Mark said...

Totally.

I think a big part of my motivation when racing comes from feeling like I need to do well to show veganism is a sustainable diet choice for an athlete.

Veg*Triathlete said...

I like that way of putting it - that the pressure to not let veganism down inspires me to do better. It's definitely true.

Um, and Matt, please tell me you're kidding with that comment about biking across the country being low-difficulty level!!! 99.9% of the population would see that as a SERIOUSLY challenging undertaking, I believe! Granted, they've never done the Norseman, but...

Crystal said...

Some people say that, but it's definitely not my motivation. When I cycled across Canada (which I kind of agree that it is less of a daily physical feat than a lot of activities and was more of a mental feat than physical for me), we were vegetarian and people always marveled at that. That being said, I don't really think of veganism as motivation, but I like the idea. When people question the health of my veganism, I usually throw in that I'm an athlete and I have completed an Ironman so I must be doing something right.

VeganHeartDoc said...

Veganism doesn't motivate me to succeed in triathlons. But, I use it as ammunition when discussing veganism with others. Since a lot of people people think that vegans are anemic waifs, I mention that I'm a triathlete when asked about my vegan diet and how simple it is to get enough protein or energy.

Jackie said...

Great new blog, have added the link on my blogroll.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2008.

Veg*Triathlete said...

Having a blog motivates me to do better, too :-)

Charlie said...

one concern I have when telling people that I am vegan and train for long course triathlon is that some seem intimidated by the discipline involved. Being a vegan/ironman is not that difficult, but to the casual athlete looking for a new diet, the whole package seems a bit overwhelming.
I do feel that by representing my self as a vegan, or anything else(Clevelander/American/brother/son/friend,ect...), I have responsibility to do so with honor and respect.