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May 31, 2016 3 min read

A couple of Australian mountaineers set for themselves a task of Herculean proportions.  Robert Gropel  and his wife,  Maria Strydom  planned to climb Mount Everest and the world's six other highest peaks to show to everyone that vegans are strong enough to do just about anything. Before they set out on their trip, Strydom said, "It seems that people have this warped idea of vegans being malnourished and weak. By climbing the seven summits we want to prove that vegans can do anything and more." Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. Before reaching the summit, Strydom fell ill. "I asked, 'Do you mind if I go on,' and she said, 'Yes, you go on, I'll wait for you here'," Gropel explained. While he made it to the summit, he too was experiencing altitude sickness. The couple started the descent but Strydom collapsed and passed away before she could make it off the mountain. We can all applaud the dedication and perseverance it takes to climb any peak, let alone one as high as Everest. When Strydom was forced to stop climbing, she was only 15 minutes away from the summit. She was almost there. Gropel, who is also vegan, made it all the way. They, to our minds, proved their point. It is absolutely tragic that she lost her life in her quest to dispel the myths that surround a vegan lifestyle. [bctt tweet="Mountaineers Encounter Tragedy In Quest To Prove "Vegans Can Do Anything""] We want to take this opportunity to remind you that the only person you have to prove anything to is you. Let's face facts: you know when your healthy choices are working for you. For example, if you have been following along with The Advanced Bootcamp and eating from The BodyRock Meal Plan than you know how wonderful being active and eating balanced meals can feel (you get the Advanced Boodtcamp and more on demand workouts with SweatFlix℠ and get your copy of The Meal Plan here). You are the proof that your lifestyle works. Doubters don't really need to be swayed. At BodyRock, we know that everyone is different. What works for you, might not work for others. You need to find your own way. Maybe that is a vegan diet, maybe it is a diet that includes lean animal proteins. When you find and adopt the habits that work for you, your body will be strong and capable of doing just about anything you set it to doing. It is not necessary to push yourself to extremes to set people straight. Let every single day of your life be the proof of your health. And be careful in your assumptions! When you find something that works, it is easy to get caught up in believing that that way is the ONLY way. But, when it comes to health and fitness, there is no one size fits all solution. By all means, share your experiences and your lifestyle philosophies with those around you but do not presume to know what will or will not be healthy for someone else. Ignore the noise and strive to be the best version of yourself you can be. That's it. We can't know what this looks like for anyone else. Just do you while giving others room to do the same.      

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