Why I disappeared …
I know that for a year now you’ve probably been waking up every morning wondering what was missing from your life. You’ve constantly been thinking,
What happened to George Matthews, a vegan man?
Well, now you don’t have to wonder. I am coming back, and my absence was not for any juicy or exciting reason.
I fill many roles in my life including pilot, athlete, husband, vegan man, and many others. Unfortunately, as passionate as I am about this blog, I knew that I had to rearrange some priorities to make everything work.
My role as a pilot
In my finest hour, one of my first blogs, I wrote about how I always wanted to be a helicopter pilot. I take my role as a pilot very seriously, and it’s imperative that I am always my best because other people’s lives depend on me.
Shortly after I finished my last blog, I moved from Jacksonville, FL to Houston, TX and my job changed. In Jacksonville, I was deploying and conducting counter-drug operations. In Houston, I returned to standing duty as a search and rescue pilot. This transition required me to relearn how to perform search and rescue, and I had to complete several syllabi to requalify. It took a few months of studying and lots of flying to be able to stand duty again.
Additionally, on May 23rd I hit ten years in the Coast Guard, so they are evaluating me for promotion. If I’m promoted, I would be able to finish my career and retire in another ten years. If I am not promoted, I get one more chance and then this blog would become my full-time job…not ideal since It generates no income.
I have been given a significant amount of responsibility in my new job, and I wanted to make sure I worked hard to deserve it. I wanted to do well and perform the best I could. My time in Houston has been extremely rewarding as I have rescued people (including a 2-year-old), instructed new pilots, and prosecuted cases where the crew experienced saving someone’s life for the first time. I am incredibly lucky that I go to work every day and live out my childhood dream while making a positive impact in people’s lives. To continue doing what I love, I had to make flying a priority.
My role as an athlete
I have been training smarter and harder than ever. After competing last June, I have been determined to do everything I could to improve my physique. I gained over 30 lbs and a lot of it was muscle, but there was also a lot of fat. Getting soft after seeing what your body looks like on stage is difficult, and I could write a whole blog on that. There were times in the offseason where I didn’t want to look in the mirror let alone post a selfie for the world to see.
All the work in the offseason paid off though because right now I am in Austin, TX where I will compete in the Naturally Fit Supershow on Saturday. I should be on stage with about fifteen pounds more plant built muscle than last year.
Even more exciting than my new lean body mass is the fact that my wife and I will be competing together. Since she is on team PlantBuilt, team Clean Machine and the Vegan Fitness Model team, I have been able to meet many influential vegans that initially inspired me to pursue bodybuilding. I’ll admit, I am a pretty shameless groupie just following her around fanboying all over the place. I will probably have to write a whole blog on this experience as soon as I figure out words to describe how amazing it is.
My role as a husband
My role as a husband is more important to me than any other role. As I said, I am lucky enough to be able to live my dream of being a pilot. Unfortunately, some of the people around me have consistently made sacrifices to allow me to live my dream. My wife has always been supportive and given up a tremendous amount to help me succeed. When we met, she surfed professionally in Puerto Rico and had to move away from some of the best waves in the world. Surfing was her passion and Texas isn’t known for having world class waves. Fortunately, Natalie always makes the best of every situation and has used her time in between surf sessions to pursue her passion as a vegan chef and train as a bikini competitor. She started her website Fit Vegan Chef where she creates incredible recipes and inspires others to live a vegan lifestyle. She also released her E-book, Puerto Vegan where she created vegan versions of all her favorite Puerto Rican recipes from her childhood. Natalie needed lots of help getting her website and book up and running so for several months much of my free time and creative juices were helping her pursue her passions.
She also stormed the stage in a big way as a bikini competitor. The Naturally Fit Supershow this weekend will be her third show this season. She has had some incredible results and done a fantastic job promoting the vegan lifestyle through her efforts. Travelling, training, and prepping for three shows take a significant amount of time and effort.
I am so proud of her for everything she has accomplished, and I know that she will be extremely successful as a bikini competitor and chef. She amazes and inspires me every day. I can’t even begin to imagine what her future holds.
Pretty simple…my regular job is hard, I train harder, and I wanted to support my wife. I will admit that just as I roll my eyes when people tell me they don’t have time to workout, you should roll your eyes when I say I didn’t have time for writing blogs. I am trying to do a better job of balancing everything while creating more content.
Sometimes I also find social media disgusting, but that is a different discussion for a different day.
I have missed writing and creating content, but more than anything I miss connecting with people.
Rest easy, I am coming back.