|Two greats and a girl|
Since I finished up court earlier than I was expecting I was able to catch up with Martin and Rich as they walked over to set up the class room and lecture hall in the college's new science center. The freshman, specifically the freshmen athletes, have to take a course known as First Year Experience ("Freshman Seminar" back in my day) which is basically a course introducing the students to the campus, faculty, and each other. Finding Ultra was required reading for them so several of the students turned out to meet Rich and ask him questions about his training and diet. A training partner of mine, Tim Ferguson, also came down from Charlotte to attend the lecture. Luckily, he too came early so we had a good 30 minutes to shoot the breeze with Rich before the students arrived to pepper him with questions. As he sat before me, a former alcoholic, an ultraman competitor, an EPIC5 finisher, a lawyer, former Stanford swimmer, and proponent of a plant based diet, my head filled with questions while I simultaneously realized he is just a regular guy. A regular guy who has had to overcome obstacles. I guy who has had to balance work, training, a growing family, and good health.
|Wait, where's the speedo?|
A couple of years ago I read Brendan Brazier's Thrive; The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life. Brendan Brazier is also a gifted endurance athlete who turned down the vegan path in pursuit of better health and performance. After the reading the book and seeing him speak locally at the Healthy Home Market I will confess I was not impressed. However, I do feel like Brendan Brazier, along with several others including Colin Campbell as well as Rip and Caldwell Esselstyn, helped to offer athletes a healthy alternative to their protein dense diets. If you are motivated by Finding Ultra, I highly suggest you read Thrive. Thrive takes Finding Ultra to the next level by providing an depth study of the nutrition behind a plant based diet and includes multiple recipes. You will not find any recipes in Finding Ultra and the explanations behind the nutrition are short and sweet blurbs in the Appendix just to give you a quick insight into why he chooses the food he eats. Some people at the talk seemed disappointed by this but in my mind Find Ultra is not about nutrition. It is about finding yourself, making a change, and committing to your health and happiness. I did not get the impression Rich was there to push his book, products, podcast, or opinions. He came to Charleston in hopes of inspiring us with his story and educating us on the role plant-based foods should have in our pursuit of healthy living. At the end of the day he simply and humbly advocated pursuing better health for yourself by choosing a diet that works best for you whether it be plant based or otherwise.