Name: Christian Shopinski
Location: Mount Vernon, Illinois
Fav. Sport: Triathlon, I love the combination of swim, cycle, and run. It pushes our bodies in all ways and takes a well-rounded athlete.
Music: When running I either go without music (shorter run) or I will listen to podcasts (longer runs) such as Rich Roll’s, No Meat Athlete, Sid Garza-Hillman, 5 AM Miracle, Ben Greenfield’s, Vegan Body-Building Revolution, Running on Om. When I cycle I listen to podcasts or audiobooks.
Reading: Brendan Brazier’s Thrive series; Finding Ultra by Rich Roll; Meat is for Pussies by John Joseph; No More Bull by Howard Lyman; No Meat Athlete by Matt Frazier; No Meat Athlete Roadmap for Half-Marathon and Triathlon; Professional Idiot: A Memoir by Steve-O; Vegan’s Daily Companion; Engine 2 Diet; Born to Run; You Are a Badass; Eat and Run; Whole; The Hobbit; The Tipping Point; The China Study; and oh yeah, my books for school….. Many of these books are audiobooks through the Audible App. I love listening to books during a long cycle or a long drive.
Watching: I do not really watch TV much anymore; I much rather be outside. Nevertheless, on that rare occasion I will watch a movie with a friend or catch something on the Travel Channel.
Fav. quote: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Napoleon Hill
Athletic Acomplishments: I began endurance training in January of 2014; starting with running in the first few months, cycling when it became warmer, and then finally started swimming in the summer. Because I am still very new to endurance racing, I have not been in many events. I have done a few small 5Ks, duathlon, biathlon, triathlon, and a half-marathon. Although new, I have been doing pretty well in the events, getting on the podium in my age group in many of the events!
I have been hitting the training hard this this summer and will be ready to rock it in more competitions next year.
Athletic Goals: I have to set my goals very high, otherwise, I tend to overlook or push them to the side. I have set my goals in a yearly fashion starting Olympic distance triathlons and a full-marathon next year. Then complete a half-Ironman the following year. Finally, complete an Ironman in three years. Yes…a full Ironman! Big goals drive me forward
Vegan Story: When I began my journey towards a plant-powered diet, I had actually no intentions on becoming a vegan. To tell you the truth, I did not even know what a vegan was. It was mid-2011 (a few months after I graduated high school) and I was unhappy with what I saw in the mirror. Lots of beer and my S.A.D. had created an un-athletic 230lb mess. I decided that I had to make a change, and this meant hitting the gym and going on a “diet”. I lifted weights, counted calories, and stopped eating fast-food. Without much progress, I stopped eating red meat, eating only the “healthy meats” (as I thought at the time). With only small weight loss within the first year, I continued to cut back tremendously on the beer, decreased calories, and started doing more research on how to eat for weight-loss. The more I researched, the more I found out about the negative impact animal products had on our health. This inspired me to cut out dairy and poultry (still consumed fish on occasion). However, with more and more research, I could not help but become more aware of ethical issues with animal product consumption. I asked myself, why am I still eating animals? It was not necessary to live; it is not actually very healthy for me; and I was causing harm to our environment and many animals. Finally, after my many months of animal product tapering, I became a complete vegan. July 23, 2013 I had my very last animal-based meal, and I have not looked back. Today, I have so much more energy, I have slimmed down remarkably, and my fitness level is through the roof. I attribute this completely to my plant-strong diet. No alcohol, no refined foods (oil, sugar, white rice/flour, etc), no calorie counting (only nutrient counting!) and definitely no animal products. Just a whole-food/plant-based diet. I am a proud Vegan and a complete advocate for animals and for our beautiful planet. I am always striving to spread the word about veganism and its benefits for our bodies, planet, and animals.