Going Vegetarian With The Victory Lap: Week 4
For the past four weeks, we’ve been keeping tabs on our friend Mark Anderson, vocalist for the Missouri pop-rock band The Victory Lap, as he transitioned to a meat-free diet. From discovering the joys of Morningstar Farms to preparing for life on tour, Mark has taken on the veg challenge full force. After overcoming some personal hurdles that made him second-guess his commitment to the cause, Mark realized the one thing above any other reason that made him stand by his diet: Whether it’s going vegan, quitting smoking, getting good grades in school, or any other personal commitment, you have to do it for yourself! Here’s what Mark had to say:
This last week has been one of a daunting nature. With the conclusion of a marketing cycle for the new record and the start of touring for it, a lot of stress was uncovered from deep wherever I had suppressed it. Pushing orders to the last possible deadline and submitting contracts and projects just before they are finalized make worrying about what to eat the last thing on my mind. But it also helped to get me back to square one.
This week was our last at home before leaving to promote the new album, Callin’ It Quits. Typically this is a time for hanging out with friends and family before you don’t get to see anyone for a while. Not this time. No, instead we were buried to our necks with last-minute bookings and ordering of supplies with not a second of shipping time to spare, not to mention we were already starting pre-production for our upcoming spring release. But among all this confusion and chaos I discovered the runner-up for greatest gift to the working man second only to sugar-free Red Bull, and that is Clif Bars. These sweet and chewy granola godsends help me find the energy to take down an overbooked schedule by providing the carbs and calories necessary for sustained energy. Not to mention they are conveniently located at almost all gas stations and convenience stores, so finding them on the go without forcing extra stops for vegetarian-friendly options is not an added headache.
Aside from this and the usual sacrifice of eating a salad or pasta so as to pick a restaurant that equally satisfies the band and crew, I was still feeling like everything was a breeze. But then the first show came about. The first days of a new tour always get me on edge wondering if our new material will be as well received as our last, if our new merchandise will get us the gas we need to stay afloat, and if I can even put on a show anymore. This was all weighing down on me and with the added pressure of online classes now being completed from the nearest Wi-Fi hot spot, I really felt like throwing in the towel on my vegetarian ways. Why add more hassle to my life and worry about what to eat and battle the veg-haters—what was the point?
All this stress had me not eating at all the way up to the very first note of the very first song of the very first show of the tour. And after all the lights shut down, we took our bows, and loaded the trailer, I realized I didn’t do this to make a big deal out of it, I didn’t do this to be trendy, and I didn’t do this for anyone but me. Why would I stress about eating now? It never added stress before. I was taking irrational fears out on my diet as if eating meat would make any difference to my performance at night. It was at this moment I sat down, watched and read all my previous updates, and remembered. I want to be as healthy as I can be, leave the smallest environmental footprint when I’m gone, and live an exciting and rich life without shortening anybody else’s. It was that very moment that the van’s pantry drawer labeled “Mark” looked like the most delicious assortment of foods I had ever seen.
That leaves me here bundled in blankets in the back of a van as the local classic rock radio station settles upon the deaf ears of my sleeping band mates. But not as much as a yawn escapes me, as I am awake with anticipation. With the weight I was able to take off my shoulders tonight, I have nothing but excitement for what’s to come.
Until next time,
Congrats to Mark for sticking to his guns! You can follow Mark and The Victory Lap on Twitter to say what’s up and send good vibes throughout their tour. And if you haven’t taken the pledge to go veg yet, there’s no time like the present!