To live straight edge (XXX), one commits to living a life that refrains from any kind of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal recreational drug. For some people choosing to life this life, it includes refraining from any kind of sexual activity (hardcore punk straight edge). There are different forms of straight edge, some also including following a vegan diet, and refraining from caffeine & prescription drugs.

I live my life based on the basic definition. I am a 21-year-old male who has never taken a sip of alcohol, ever. I have never puffed a cig, and I have never put a chew in or smoked weed. I cannot remember the exact day and time that I decided that I would live this lifestyle, but nevertheless as I aged more and more I hated alcohol, which is the center of this life choice.

A huge part of me deciding to go straight edge is my role model in life, Phil Brooks (CM Punk – WWE wrestler/UFC fighter). He lives his life straight edge, and the more I watched wrestling growing up, the more that I admired his life choices. He has many quotes that I consider life mottos today, such as the following: “I would much rather be hated for who I am, then loved for something that I am not.” “I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't use drugs. That may be boring for some people, but that's just me. That's how I live my life.”

Being straight edge does not mean that I hate everyone and everything that drinks or smokes. While I mainly center myself around these people (2 best friends and a girlfriend that follow this lifestyle 98% of the time), there are many people that I am friends with that drink. All I ask is that you do not try and pressure/persuade me into these choices. For years I have been offered money and other royalties for just doing it once. It hasn’t worked. While they aren’t drastic $100,000 offers, it is not about money for me, but living life how I choose.

Many straight edge people are seen as boring, they don’t want to party, they don’t want to be in a bar all night, among some other things. Being an NCAA athlete, I’m usually very particular about what enters my body to ensure I'm at peak performance as often as possible. It can only hurt you as my old coach used to say. I am happy to surround myself with people that support the decisions I make, I do not judge you for wanting to go out and party, do not judge me for wanting to stay in on the weekends and play video games with Chinese takeout or go out for a little bit without the alcohol included.

I cannot judge the taste of it or claim it to be horrible, because as I have said, I have never tasted it. Believe me there have been many times that I have wondered how a Mikes hard lemonade would taste considering I am a heavy lemonade drinker, but I have never had the urge. Tie that all up with the fact that I am poor and simply couldn’t afford to drink. You choose to spend your money on booze and smokes, I choose to spend it on video games, golf, and WWE tickets. I do what I want with it, as do you.

As I summarize my article, I simply share with you the reasons of why I choose to live my life differently than most others. I have joked sometimes that I was the only one in my high school class to graduate without ever drinking, but that would be too judgmental to take serious. All I wish for is to be supported and not judged based on a healthy decision I have made in my life.