Criss-cross applesauce everyone, it’s story time!
It’s the summer of 2010, and I’m a new vegetarian training for my second marathon. Obsessed with protein and iron levels, I stumble upon a (then) small oasis in a sea of meat-eaters … a blog called No Meat Athlete.
Fast forward a few months and I’m walking through my first DC VegFest. After being physically pushed by my girlfriend (now wife), I awkwardly approach a guy in a running carrot shirt and ask if he’s Matt Frazier. Here, picture this:
Me: “Umm, hello. Are you, uhh, Matt Frazier?”
Me: “The Matt Frazier?!”
Erin (Matt’s wife): *eye-roll*
Matt’s confirmation and the conversation that follows is as awkward as my approach, making it clear he’s not quite used to the fanfare he’s known to receive today (picture Justin Beiber level attention, and divide that by roughly 1,000,000).
But it’s that clumsy encounter that leads me to help organize the first No Meat Athlete Marathon Training Group in 2011, and ultimately alter the direction my life takes. Since 2011, I’ve played varying roles in this company, growing right along with the brand.
I’ve learned a lot in those four years. Practical information like:
- How to use Photoshop and edit a podcast,
- The difference between vegan and plant-based,
- Why I should never use phrases like “the meat of the story is…” in an email newsletter,
- And that Matt is only human like the rest of us.
But beyond that, my work with No Meat Athlete and the people I’ve gotten to know through it, have taught me a lot about healthy living, acceptance, community, and fear.
Allow me to explain …
What I’ve Learned from No Meat Athlete
Over the past several years, I’ve worn many hats in this company. Hats that have required me to spend time in the NMA email inbox each morning, interact with readers and listeners of the podcast throughout the day, and assist in interviewing some of the biggest names in health and fitness. I’m not going to lie, it has been a lot of fun.
And starting this week I’ll have the privilege of writing more frequently on this blog, and working directly with readers to shape the content — but more on that later.
As I transition into a new role at No Meat Athlete, I find myself reflecting back on my time here, and focusing in on three major lessons which I’d like to share with you today.
Let’s start with the first: