More than me

by Austin Barbisch

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I feel something  very special when I think of this PlantBuilt team. I have been competing in bodybuilding shows since 1996, with 13 shows under my belt (thong). Up until meeting this awesome group of people, my goals in competition were purely for a love for competing, and to  get the biggest trophy, it was all about me, and what I could gain.  Last years naturally fit super show with team PlantBuilt was a very different experience.

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I turned vegan 1.5 years ago after meeting some terrific vegan people and viewing their requested movies about factory farming, the fur trade, leather, wool and cosmetic industries. This was very sad to see, but absolutely necessary. I felt that I had lived a very honest life, but realized that there was an enormous disconnect with my love for animals and what was on my dinner plate. I would never hurt an animal, so what was I thinking eating them all these years?

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When I  made the switch to a plant based diet, my fears of losing hard gained muscle from all of those years of consistent training were very real. I knew of some amazing ultra marathoners like Scott Jurek, and Rich Roll  who gave  much assurance that my ultra races could get better. I, however, did not know of any bodybuilders till I came across some photos of Robert Cheeke and Giacomo marchese duking it out on stage. These people inspired me and brought new hope that I might still stay competitive in the great sports of power lifting and body building.  Being asked to be on the PlantBuilt team last year gave me such a surge of propose that went well beyond my old mindset.

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This group of amazing vegan athletes were fighting for the animals as well as themselves. This is what makes PlantBuilt amazing. The true purpose of this team can, superficially be seen as a vegan muscle show down to prove our worthiness against non vegan competitors, but the deeper goal, is to prove to the other athletes, their families and everyone else in the audience that they can save their own health and end the suffering of other beautiful sentient beings without being the skinny, pale, hippies that we have been stereotyped by many to be.

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When I wake up now, every clothing choice, every meal, every rep is to help this world be healthier and happier. Being on the PlantBuilt team has solidified my purpose; That this life if about being connected to this world. It’s about being more than me.

 

PlantBuilt Team @ Beyond Fit

 

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