Finally Famous, by Robert Cheeke “Famous Vegan Bodybuilder”
Like a child who wants to be a doctor, or a teacher, or a firefighter, or anything else when they grow up; I always wanted to be famous. I was driven to entertain, to be in the spotlight, and always sought out fame. A lot of people want something, but don’t really believe it. When you start to believe it and when you work so hard for it and dedicate your life to it, it’s the greatest feeling in the world when you start to make it. It’s watching your dreams unfold before your eyes not because of luck, but because you put everything you had into something that you believed in.
For half a decade I’ve been working on building my own company, Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness (www.veganbodybuilding.com
), and building up my own reputation, as I work to save animal lives. I took a concept that was virtually unheard of and in some industries and in some regions, I have made it mainstream.
I’m 26 years old now and feel like I have finally arrived! I’ve spent so many years, days, hours, etc. training, working, writing, traveling, speaking, competing, worrying, challenging myself, and everything else to put Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness and Robert Cheeke on the map. Not for selfish reasons, but to put myself in a position to influence literally millions of people. I’m very proud of the fact that I started from scratch, that I didn’t have a lot of help and that I did things my own way. I took risks, I took chances, and I put a lot of things on the line. I risked failure, I was susceptible to ridicule, and dared to be different because I wanted to create change. My mission has been to challenge authority and speak for those who can’t be heard. And what better way to spread that message than from someone famous, by someone who can have a positive impact on so many people because of a reputation surrounding them.
Since moving to Portland, OR a few months ago, I’ve quickly become one of the most influential vegans in the #1 vegan-friendly city in America. It feels great. I get recognized pretty much everyday whether I’m walking down the street, or in a store, or at a restaurant or other places. I feel like I paid my dues and put in the work and time it took to get to where I am now. The best part is that it’s all for a greater cause, saving animals lives and promoting a cruelty-free lifestyle all over the world.
Growing up I always wanted to be “famous” as a professional wrestler on TV. That didn’t work out but it jump-started my career in bodybuilding. Now I’ve been in over 1 million magazine issues from 20 magazine features, including 1 cover and 4 inside covers from magazines in the US, Canada, Germany, Denmark and the UK. I’ve been on TV all over the country, in a documentary that has been sold to people in more than 15 countries, on the radio, in newspapers, and on over 100 websites (Google Robert Cheeke for fun). I’m featured as a “famous” person on www.famousveggie.com
as well as other similar sites.
I don’t want people to get mad at me or think that I’m arrogant or something like that. Being famous is something I wanted from when I was little. So it’s exciting to see it finally happen. I worked really, really hard, and of course like many, was told it would never happen for me. Even just yesterday I was walking down the street and someone said, “it’s the famous vegan” as they passed by. I get comments like that on a regular basis and it really is a good feeling. It is also great to have kids come up to me wanting to meet me because they’ve seen my movie or seen me somewhere else. Some restaurants give me free food or “VIP” treatment, and that is a nice reward for so many years of dedicated work for the cause.
Moving to Portland last summer was life changing for me. I was able to organize the Vegan Vacation and the Vegan Holiday Festival, which brought more than a thousand people together to celebrate veganism. It reached far greater than just the community here as we had a film crew, a newspaper, a radio station, a photographer all there to capture our ground breaking events to share them with people all over. One of the most well-known and influential vegans in the Northwestern United States wrote to me, “Robert, I have seen a lot of guys out there but no one with as much dedication to
the cause.” To me that speaks volumes about the efforts I’ve put forth for the animals, the environment, and our planet.
I’m sure my mini-fame annoys some people, but I think most people have no idea what it takes to set real goals and work extremely hard to achieve them. Some goals take 10 years or more to achieve. Five years ago I told people I’d be on the cover of a fitness magazine. It took me a full five year period to do it, but I finally did it! I worked very, very hard to have my name help support a very worthy cause. The dedication that it takes to stick with specific goals for such a long period, through the failures, through the challenges, through all the obstacles, and then achieve them, is a feeling I wish most people could experience. Should I feel guilty about my self promotion to help get me where I want to be, to achieve the goals I set for myself? Absolutely not. Nearly all of my time and my energy and my money and everything about me goes into promoting a compassionate way of living and makes a difference for animals and people all over the world that I’ll never get a chance to meet.
Of course I’m only well known in the vegan community and a bit in the fitness community but it is still exciting and a lot of fun. I’m doing what I can to help promote veganism and to build up my own company so I can do more for the community. I use my name and my reputation and accomplishments to support the vegan movement. I know it’s working based on the thousands of e-mails I receive and the stories that I hear from others who have changed their life to help save other lives because I was able to influence them in some positive way.
If you see me around town, or in your city or at an event, feel free to say hi. I always enjoy meeting new people. Thank you for supporting me and my mission to increase global awareness of a cruelty-free lifestyle.