For some of you that follow or have followed me in the past, I want to apologize. I have not been as reliable nor as focused as I should have been. I owe it to you, those who will take the time to read this blog, to be more of both of those qualities. For those of you who catch this blog once in a while, or who might be catching this for the first time, trust me when I say I will work to earn your respect and your consistent readership.
Right now, there are more than a few blogs out there about how to be a man. I read a few of them. Some of them are focused on a view of masculinity that is traditional, rooted in the qualities of fathers and grandfathers who were coming of age when the United States was still full of wilderness and adventure, yet discovering a sense of gentility and respectability that Europe has never fully matched. Others seem to be outgrowths of the current culture of glorification of the powerful, the relentless, the acquiring and obsessed with the trinkets and toys of success. Both have their place, and both have influenced me in the development of my own blog.
My blog is neither an imitation nor a rejection of either of the above types of blog. In point of fact, I don’t think that this blog would have been begun had it not been for the two previous types.
This blog attempts to answer the questions of balance. How does one honor the examples of the past while living in a very different present? How does a man be both a man’s man and a gentleman at the same time? How does a man remain a good father and husband while also pursuing a career in the cut-throat world of today’s economy? How does a man be truly successful, in all the things in life that truly matter? These questions, and a host of others, drive me and, as a result, drive this blog.
I have in the past, and will in the future, tackle these issues, grapple with them, and strive to share with you, my readers, however, many few you may be, the results of that work. I expect in the end we will wind up with even more questions, some of which lead us to guidelines, many of which simply lead us to more questions. Hopefully you will be willing to come along the journey me.
As for focus and reliability, my plan is to provide a well thought out and carefully crafted post once a week. I will release these on Mondays. Each month I will endeavor to select a theme, and the posts for that calendar month will revolve around that theme. During the remainder of the week, I will post on Facebook, under a new page, links to articles, photos and other inspirational material that are consistent with what I believe a Man of Style and Substance should be about. It is doubtful that everyone will agree with everything I post; in fact if you do, you have likely been drinking or talking with my mother. Either way, I will be very concerned about you.
So what will I be dealing with this month? In a word, fitness. It is a multi-billion dollar industry, covering health clubs to supplement companies to big box stores to convenience stores and an awful lot in between. It dominates news reports in the morning and infomercials all hours of the day and night. It influences our collective and individual self image, with interesting results, and will either be one of the reasons that we live longer or will find us killing ourselves in the process … or maybe a little of both.
How does a Man of Style and Substance respond to this tsunami of information? The way he responds to all things, thoughtfully.
I wish to suggest a beginning point in this discussion, and that point is being clear about expectations. I believe that clarity of expectations is a hallmark of a Man of Style and Substance, so that is where I begin. That clarity is about dividing the fitness equation into three levels: Daily Fitness, Athletic Fitness, and Competitive Fitness. Knowing which one you are pursuing, what each one means and why you are pursuing the one you choose will be the subject of next week’s post. In the meantime, let me know what you think about the proposed format change, and the topic for the upcoming month in the comments section below.