Austin BarbischAustin, TX

Ultra-Marathoner, Bodybuilder, Activist

I was born in Dallas, TX in 1968. Most of my life has been spent in Austin, TX where I have a training and massage therapy business. I've been in both of these occupations since 1996, and love the social interaction that comes with these jobs and the ability to help others feel better about living in their bodies. I also enjoy the flexible schedule that allows me to pursue my athletic endeavors.

I help my clients lose weight, gain strength, muscularity, balance, and flexibility. I also structure training programs for clients entering bodybuilding and figure competitions. My training approach is versatile, because I understand that each person has a different goal. I train my clients at Gym One in Austin, Texas.

Areas of Expertise: Bodybuilding, Bulking, Nutrition, Toning, Weight Gain, Weight Loss

Services: Personal Training

Availability: In person, Online

I turned vegan on July 28th 2012. I had been single after a 8 year marriage, and was in the dating pool. After filling out an inline dating profile, I noticed that I was matching up really well with many vegan women. This stirred a question in me. Why was this happening? I realized that I had a similar point of view about how we treat other living beings. I considered myself to be a gentle, honest person before this, but realized that I had the USDA blinders on when it came to the extreme cruelty the meat, dairy, leather, fur and animal testing industries promoted. I had some vegan friends, and started dating one, so the transition was solidified by her support and knowledge.

This transition was relatively easy. I had to memorize a list of questions that the waiter would have to answer to my satisfaction. Is there fish sauce in the pho? Is there any dairy in the soup? Any chicken or beef broth in the rice? Any honey in the chai? there was also a three week period of feeling bloated and gassy from the high fiber content of this healthy new diet. After this initial stage, it was smooth sailing. My sleep quality is far better, as is my recuperation after heavy lifting and ultra marathon training and competition. My skin even feels better!

I am a strong believer in animal rights. This is the reason I transitioned to a vegan diet despite the false fears of muscle loss and performance impairment. I am a supporting member of PETA and Austin Pets Alive ( a local no-kill shelter). I have protested the Barnum and bailey circus, an anti-aquarium rally, but also strongly believe in women's rights, so protested at the pro choice rally on our Capitol grounds.

One powerful memory I have regarding someone saving an animal is a dangerous cat rescue. My good friend Brenda was driving down a busy freeway and passed a terrified cat holding on to the middle traffic barrier. She slammed on the breaks and ran against traffic to rescue this poor girl, who's paws were torn and bloody. It is now a happy sweet addition to her home! I have witnessed the death of other animals before, and the pain reaches deeper into my soul than any other experience I have ever had. I know we are all the same being, and being a vegan athlete has given me the opportunity to show the world how healthy and happy a plant based person can be, but the deeper desire is to protect our fellow beings from harm. The last few reps of a workout set or steps of a 100 mile race might hurt, but I promise that it pales in comparison to being in the death camp.

If you are considering becoming vegan, do it! Surround your self with other vegan friends (in person or on a facebook group) and buy some good cookbooks. It will be the best choice you have ever made.