by Zackery Bickford
I didn’t even know about wrestling until my younger brother did one school season of wrestling. After I saw my brother wrestle I told my parents I wanted to try as well so I started wrestling in the spring of 2004. Freestyle wrestling was the style I started with, and for anyone that doesn’t know, freestyle wrestling is the style wrestling they do in the Olympics. My first year of wrestling I didn’t even win one match and my coaches and parents all thought that I was going to quit because I was so young and didn’t win, but I kept going to practice. The coaches knew that I kept wrestling even though I got my butt kicked everyday. 2 years after I started wrestling I made a goal- I had a dream of going to the Olympics and winning a gold medal and I would do anything to get there. I started to train harder and more often and I began to start winning and got to higher level of competition. In the year 2010 my mom saw 3 different vegans and she decided to try it for 2 weeks, I told my mom I would try it for 2 weeks also. Within the 2 weeks I had more energy, I recovered much faster, I was able to workout more often, and my strength went through the roof. At the end of the 2 weeks I never went back to eating animal products. A year after I went vegan I began high school and made it to state placing 8th, then 3 months later I went and wrestled at freestyle state and won! Because I was top 3 at freestyle state I was able to go to nationals in North Dakota, Fargo. I did not place at nationals but I believe because I went vegan I was able to preform better in wrestling. All through high school all my opponents that I wrestled couldn’t believe I was vegan because of how strong I was. I have wrestled for highline college for 2 years now and I have one last quarter at highline. In August I will be leaving for Northern Michigan University where I will be wrestling Greco Roman, which is the other Olympic style of wrestling. That is where I will be chasing down my dream still and I know that sticking with a vegan lifestyle is going to get me there.