Murray Rose won six Olympic medals, including 4 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze and held the world records in 3 different swimming races.
Because of his vegan lifestyle, he was nicknamed the “The Seaweed Streak.” And according to a biography written by his father, the meatless health food diet was largely responsible for Murray’s athletic success.
As a young adult, I was deeply impressed—I wanted to be very healthy and strong, too. How could emulating an Olympian’s health regimen not lead to a robust healthy life?
Furthermore, the main person who opposed my new way of eating was medical-nurse chain-smoker. Obviously, didn't know anything.
Besides, the deeper motivation was that a friend, who I wanted to bcome my girlfriend, had just embarked on the vegetarian life. And didn't Genesis speak of a meatless Garden before humans chose to do wrong?
“And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Genesis 1:29-31 ESV
Yes, “got to get us back to the Garden” like Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young sang.*
So I launched pell-mell into a healthy program of nuts, fruit, vegetables and grains, ostracizing ham, chicken, and beef.
Did I become an Olympic star? Hardly.
I lost about 50 pounds, dropped down to around 112 pounds at 6’3’’—looked like a pale, bony Gandhi…became malnourished…and so eventually forsook “health foods" living.
Oh, and the girl quickly quit vegetarianism, long before me, and dropped out of my emaciated life.
So much for youthful error and illusion. How had Rose achieved the opposite? Who knew?
Fast-track 35 years forward and I again decided to move down the food levels toward the Garden. Only I was going to do this slowly, not as a fundamentalist convert to "health foods," like in my disastrous past, but carefully and quietly.
Why this time?
Ah, that’s a another narrative…except to say I've become a fish-atarian this time around
and that our doctor thinks it’s wonderful, me eating all that salmon. Now if I would just stop the midnight doughnuts;-)
To be continued
*”Well I came upon a child of God, he was walking along the road
And I asked him tell where are you going, this he told me:
(He) said, I'm going down to Yasgur's farm, going to join in a rock and roll band.
Got to get back to the land, and set my soul free.
We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.”
by Joni Mitchell
In the Light,