I Chose The Straight Edge Life And Couldn’t Be Happier

I Chose The Straight Edge Life And Couldn’t Be Happier

I live my life with no alcohol, drugs, or tobacco because I want it that way.
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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.
Cover Image Credit: Untoxicated

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A Letter To My Go-To Aunt

Happiness is having the best aunt in the world.
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I know I don't say it enough, so let me start off by saying thank you.

You'll never understand how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life. You'll also never understand how special you are to me and how much I love you.

I can't thank you enough for countless days and nights at your house venting, and never being too busy when I need you. Thank you for the shopping days and always helping me find the best deals on the cutest clothes. For all the appointments I didn't want to go to by myself. Thank you for making two prom days and a graduation party days I could never forget. Thank you for being overprotective when it comes to the men in my life.

Most importantly, thank you for being my support system throughout the numerous highs and lows my life has brought me. Thank you for being honest even when it isn't what I want to hear. Thank you for always keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me sane when I feel like freaking out. Thank you for always supporting whatever dream I choose to chase that day. Thank you for being a second mom. Thank you for bringing me into your family and treating me like one of your own, for making me feel special because you do not have an obligation to spend time with me.

You've been my hero and role model from the time you came into my life. You don't know how to say no when family comes to you for help. You're understanding, kind, fun, full of life and you have the biggest heart. However, you're honest and strong and sometimes a little intimidating. No matter what will always have a special place in my heart.

There is no possible way to ever thank you for every thing you have done for me and will continue to do for me. Thank you for being you.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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Your Health Journey Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

Perfection takes time.

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When you first start to do something, you have all of the motivation in the world to accomplish that goal set out in front of you, especially when it comes to being healthier. The problem is as you continue through this journey and food and laziness kick in, motivation slips. It's human, and it happens to everyone no matter how physically strong they are.

Trying to be healthier doesn't always mean losing weight. It can be so your knees don't ache as much, so you don't feel as out of breath climbing stairs, or any goal you have set for yourself. Being healthier is personal and different from person to person.

I will be the first to admit that there are plenty of changes I would love to make about myself. From my weight to my body type and many other things about myself inside and out. I am by no means the most confident person about how I look, but I have worked hard for the past year to be an overall healthier person.

Becoming healthier isn't about looking thinner or fitting into a specific size of clothes. It is about taking care of yourself from eating better to working out more. There comes a feeling of confidence in what your body can do if you put a little love in it.

Perfection takes time, and I know firsthand how frustrating trying to be healthier can be.

Pizza tastes so much better than salad. It is so easy to fall into a rhythm of something that seems never to change whether that is your weight or your mile time. Sadly, you can't build a city, or become healthier overnight.

We see people who are thinner, curvier, smarter, faster, and so much more than us. We all waste time comparing ourselves to people around us and on our timelines, but some of our biggest strengths are our individuality and the gift of getting back up after falling down.

All I can say is, please don't give up on your goal of being healthier because this is solely for you. We can have a great support system in the world and have everyone in our corner, but that isn't enough.

You need yourself. You need to know that if you don't entirely put yourself in this journey, then you won't fully succeed. Your commitment to bettering yourself can keep you going even if you want to give up.

Your motivation may not be at its peak level right now, and you may have every cell in your body screaming at you to quit. Don't do it. Prove to yourself that you can keep going no matter what. Not giving up will be worth it. The results and taking the hard way will make you a stronger person inside and out.

You can do this. You can do anything you want to accomplish if you just believe in yourself. You need to understand that becoming healthier takes endurance. There will be periods where you slow down and may not be going at your fastest pace. The difference is that you are not giving up and you are still trying and moving.

Don't treat becoming healthier as a sprint: short term and quick. That mentality will only leave you feeling deflated and defeated. It is a life-long marathon of pacing yourself and pushing yourself further than ever before.

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