Nothing was ever handed to me, but I had a clear image of the future all along.
Recently I’ve been doing a lot of things related to media that has brought some extra attention to Robert Cheeke and Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness. I just filmed a Vegan Fitness Movie, was featured in some local newspaper, featured on the local evening news, and have upcoming media stops for Television segments. I’m also currently doing some magazine features, website features, photos of myself in brochures for certain products, and a variety of other media-related opportunities, including books and movies.
In the past I’ve been featured in FLEX magazine 3 years in a row, Natural Bodybuilding & Fitness Magazine, a new book about veganism, TV commercials and things like that.
Some people think these media opportunities were handed to me, maybe as a favor or that I got lucky or something like that. I am fully aware that they are mostly on a relatively small scale; I mean I haven’t been on Oprah or anything like that. I just want to make sure people know luck didn’t have a whole lot to do with it.
I know most of you don’t feel that way because you know my story. Nothing was ever handed to me. I wasn’t supposed to be successful in Vegan Bodybuilding. When I was 14 years old I weighed 89 pounds and wanted to be a Professional Wrestler, but I had lots of weight to gain. Less than 10 years later I added more than 100 pounds to my frame almost got a job working for the WWF (now WWE).
Nobody came after me saying, “Oh wow, a vegan bodybuilder, let’s write about that guy.” I wrote articles promoting Vegan Bodybuilding and was fortunate enough to have them featured in some of the elite world wide bodybuilding magazines. I had to drive 9 hours round trip to audition for my TV commercial filmed in Seattle a couple of years ago, and at first was told, I didn’t make the cut. After a 2nd audition it was accepted and later bought by Peta.
I wasn’t necessarily encouraged by my friends or family either. Most people laughed when I said that I would be on TV and in muscle magazines. I started a company Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness that was sure to fail, according most people…how bizarre. Now we have our fitness clothing in over 20 countries world wide and we just filmed a Vegan Fitness film that we hope will be a “must see” for vegans.
I guess the reason I’m bringing this up is because I was just talking about it in interviews and on camera and realizing that most people go through their entire lives without drive and passion for something. I was fortunate enough to develop those traits at an early age and it has finally started to pay off. I spent the last 3 or 4 years, struggling to get Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness off the ground, many times thinking of quitting and maybe abandoning the website www.veganbodybuilding.com
. With drive and passion comes expectation and I was falling well short of goals I set out for myself. I know we haven’t achieved high levels of success, but for the first time I can finally start to see a small tip of success sticking out of an ocean of struggle and hope. It feels nice, I can’t lie about that. And the best part is that it is all for a greater purpose; not to make Robert Cheeke well known or popular; not to put the Vegan Bodybuilding lifestyle on the map; but to save animal and human lives and create a more sustainable planet.
Most people go through life without seeing the big picture, and it’s unfortunate. It’s a shame that we miss out on the opportunities that we have to impact others. We think too much about ourselves, about tastes that we enjoy regardless of the pain that went into creating them. We neglect some of nature’s greatest creatures and miss out on the greater purpose of our existence.
So anyway, I just wanted to share some of that because it has been a big struggle for me to make it, but I had to keep fighting, not for me but for the impact that I knew I would have on people. If you could read some of the e-mails I get, you’d better understand. Robert Cheeke and Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness are simply facilitators to promote the vegan lifestyle and to save lives.
It is fun to be recognized for doing such a positive thing, and knowing that so much work was put into it, but even more satisfying knowing the impact that my own recognition as a vegan can have on other people, ultimately saving lives.