Feeling fresh, I had a great day today! The weather was sunny and warm at about eighty degrees. I slept much of the day away, and when I awoke around two in the afternoon, I consumed my weightlifting supplements. They consisted of a vegan pre-workout, arginine, and CGT, better known as creatine, glutamine, and taurine. This was all placed into a shaker cup with about sixteen ounces of water. I consumed these amino acids as I drove to Holmdel Park, which is adjacent to Longstreet Farm, in Holmdel, New Jersey, USA.
Upon going for my run, the sun beat down on my face. Many people were walking with their dogs. Lovers held hands. Families had picnics. One woman intentionally flirted with me without even speaking to me except for saying, “Oh, I’m sorry” as she purposely lengthened BOTH of her dog’s leashes simultaneously so they could lick my legs… I wanted to pet them, but I was actually thinking more about her beauty, and I was not able to focus on petting the dogs. So, I had to run for three miles until the slobber wore off. The truth is I may not be aware of my own physical appeal that women notice. I very much wanted to engage her in conversation, but I decided that I would walk away, saying, “That’s okay,” instead. Up ahead, there was a lake surrounded by all sorts of shrubs, flowers, and wildlife. There were benches that were strategically placed around the lake. The grass was freshly mowed, with acres and acres of greens, and dormant trees from the Winter budding for the first time this Spring.
Being an iPhone and Facebook addict, I was texting with a couple of friends while I was there and scrolling through news feeds and private messages. In other words, I was stuck in my emails and couldn’t live without my phone… But, I got some color today on my pale body as I ran shirtless through several miles of uphill and downhill terrains, including… “The Bowl!” What is “The Bowl,” you might be wondering? It is the biggest dip from the top to bottom of a hill so steep that people know this unspoken landmark as if it were the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower. Well, maybe not THAT popular, but at least high school and college runners know the place! In short, you run down the trails between the green grass, and it PULLS, PULLS, PULLS, and PULLS YOU DOWN THE HILL!!!! For someone who might be jogging, they turn into a sprinter… Instantly. For competitive runners, move over Carl Lewis! I’m not kidding. This dip is so steep that gradually steps down, little by little, until over about a half of a mile you are at full speed, and it becomes like a wall where gravity takes its toll. Going up the hill on the opposite side often leaves even the most athletic of runners a bit out of sorts… Sometimes, they can even be seen walking!
After going through the valleys, passed the fields, near the tennis courts, and inside of the woods, eventually, there is a clearing into a beautiful green grassy area the size of several football fields. People can often be seen walking at this juncture as they are exhausted from running or walking. Some people take the easy way out and skip the field… That shortcut gets on my nerves, especially when someone is running on my tail the whole time, and then, it “appears” as though they beat me in a race when I totally kicked their asses even though we never declared that we were racing. Yes, I have a bit of an ego, and I also enjoy running alone, with others, and in competition. I finally stretched near the main building.
Then, I ate some tofu and vegetables, including water chestnuts, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, etc., at a Chinese place. On a full stomach, then, there was the gym. Of course, I kicked ass there too! I just refrained from doing any additional cardiovascular or abdominal exercises as to not get sick. I wound up doing four different exercises each for back and biceps.
When I arrived back home, I decided that I was looking and feeling really good, and it was time for a shower. I took off my shirt, looked in the mirror, and suddenly, I realized that I needed to shave. Out came my electric razor, and I began to shave my face… Then, I noticed I had been making strides in the gym, and it felt fucking awesome! My chest began to bulge out like a professional bodybuilder, and I could move both sides of it up and down together, as well as independently. And, THAT was when I knew that it was time to shave my chest! Next, was my stomach… And, finally, my arms. My upper body now showed off my rock-hard, glowing muscles, and I feel and look SO good right now. I started flexing in front of the mirror. You might want to laugh thinking about that statement, but I actually felt like things were starting to get serious there as I felt qualified to be a fitness model. For the first time, I realized the confidence to consider one day asking someone to photograph me. Perhaps, I will one day be in the fitness section of Vegan Fierce. I don’t usually flex in the mirror although I do look at myself while I work out in the gym… I may just be looking there because I want to keep proper form, but then again, maybe I’m just good-looking.
So, I showered, feeling the shampoo and body wash trickling down my body, dried off, got dressed, and wrote this blog post. This is being written for both my own self-confidence as well as to be a beacon of hope for those of you who may be struggling with your body image. It’s not about being big, small, muscular, or whatever… It’s about loving and accepting yourself enough to respect yourself. In my particular case, I have never felt and looked so good.
In the vegan community, your body image is not what determines whether the animals live or die. It is your heart. Just as you love the animals, apply that same set of values to yourself. What you put into it is what you will get out of it. Put healthy things into your body, so that you can be your best self. Each day, strive to be better and better through your mind, body, and soul.
Paul Schulman, Vegan Fierce Webmaster