New Year Resolution? Stay on the Path


Another year has gone by and we are now entering 2014! Happy New Year everyone! Now, before we decide on our best New Year’s Resolutions, I ask you to consider this: What if, instead of making a New Year’s Resolution, which we are likely to fall back on and forget, we resolve to focus on staying the path. What I mean by this is, continue to focus on what is important to you and where you are going. Sure, the New Year’s date gives us an opportunity to announce with grandeur this change we wish to create. If we really see what we are trying to accomplish, chances are, you have already been working on accomplishing this for some time. Focus on making small but powerful habits in your daily routine. Work on nurturing a supportive environment to help you uphold your goals and aspirations. For me, some of these goals are ones I have been focused on for years.

Specifically, this year, I want to do as well as I can in the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Open Competition that will happen this March. There are 17 regions worldwide, and I now fall into the Northern California Region since I live in Oakland, CA. Last year, from this region, only 44 men made it to the next level which is the NorCal CrossFit Regional. From this competition, only 3 men (Jason Khalipa, Neal Maddox, and Garrett Fisher) made it to the 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California last July. Believe me, I am fully aware that my chances of ever making it to the games are nearly impossible, as less than 1% ever make it to the CrossFit Games, but my goal is to make it to Regionals. If it doesn’t happen this year, then I will try again next year. In pushing myself in CrossFit, I know that I can make a bold statement on the power of a vegan diet. Since this fitness phenomenon is growing tremendously year after year (26,000 in 2011, almost 70,000 in 2012, and over 138,000 in 2013), I see this as a perfect platform to strive for a sustainable fitness focus and raise awareness of the vegan lifestyle.

So yes, I have specific goals. I want to get a sub 3-minute “Fran” time, I want to deadlift 455 lbs., clean and jerk 275 lbs., back squat 405 lbs., and bench press the ever-elusive 315 at a bodyweight of 180 lbs. With slow and steady determination, I continue to get closer to my goals. New Year’s or not, this is what is important to me. This is no big change from what I normally do; this is simply staying on my path. I want to show that elite levels of strength and fitness can be gained on a plant-based diet. At 34 years of age, time is not on my side, as the best athletes in CrossFit seem to all be in their mid-twenties. Be that as it may, my focus is the same. In this life, the biggest atrocity I see is people enslaving and killing animals for food. This is such an easy thing to shift away from, yet with emotionally charged attachments to the culture and tradition of animals for food, the animal rights movement constantly needs to stay active in many different pathways. Whether for fitness, health, ethics, environmentalism, etc., we need everything we can to be a powerful movement for the animals. I invite you to help me in this movement. Stay the path on what is important to you, and with integrity, commitment, and determination, we will surely be the change we want to see for all living things on this planet.