Pandemic Descends upon Us
When the pandemic hit, my employer transitioned us to work remotely. It was a very complicated time in my life, and with extreme uncertainly at hand, I needed an outlet to clear my brain, and move my body. I found the answer to both from a very unlikely source. The wife and I took quarantine in stride and resisted the urge to fill the coffers with snack food to get us through the lock-down. Fresh fruit, mixed nuts, and all-natural energy bars adorn our stockroom, and we hunkered down like everyone else to wait out the time allotted. The COVID-15 [Google it] was looming over my head, and I was determined to keep it at bay for as long as possible. Travel was restricted unless one ran to the store, a doctor’s appointment, or to buy a lottery ticket. The one reprieve our Governor allowed; was exercise outside, granted one remained in constant motion and dared not sit on benches wrapped in black and yellow crime tape.
Forced to Stay Inside Drove Me Outside
Daily lunchtime walks quickly became my routine changing my corporate branded polo shirt for a moisture-wicking t-shirt I bolted out of the house in a single bound. My time is finite, and with so many actions to accomplish, people to please, and ground to cover, it leaves little time for content outside of work. Armed with Air Pods and a Bluetooth® connection, I was on my way. Now, something needs to pump through those pricey pods, and one quickly tires of hearing the same music day in and day out. Honestly, I do own just about every version of Rip it Out by Ace Frehley, but man cannot live by Ace alone. Not wanting to listen to CFR regulations when exercising, I needed something to motivate me and feed my brain as well. That said, when I do steal a rare moment to work on myself, I do my best to maximize the time allotted.
The Art of Manliness Podcast
Audio-books are great, but the best return on investment [ROI] for me was the backlog of podcasts in my library. The first one in the queue was The Art of Manliness. I dove right in, dialed up a random episode on the Bat-phone, and took off for a hike. There is a pond about half of a mile from my backdoor. In my hometown of Peachtree City, Georgia, a network of trails connect our community, and one such path named Tortuga Pass by my daughter leads to the said pond. From the start, The Art of Manliness Podcast shifted my paradigm on what being a man of action was. AoM covers many topics, provides detailed interviews, and catalogs additional intel to help one dive deeper into this topic. For example, the latest bits of content that streamed into my consciousness: #637: What Poker Can Teach You About Luck, Skill, and Mastering Yourself, #641: How Eisenhower Led – A Conversation with Ike’s Granddaughter, and my personal favorite #639: Why You Should Learn the Lost Art of Rhetoric. Who knew that a podcast on rhetoric could be so engaging?
I came to know The Art of Manliness through their podcast listed on the Apple app. Founder Brett McKay typically highlights a non-fiction book that men would find helpful in navigating life. Before you take to the keyboard to enter into a verbal spar with me on gender roles, women are very welcome in this environment, and several have been on the show. Everyone can benefit from listening to Mr. McKay and his musings. My wife, Lisa, loves it and will often prompt me to send her episodes to discuss later. Her favorite thus far has been Podcast #631: How to Prevent and Survive a Home Invasion, and as a result, made it her mission to keep our homestead safe by following the tactics introduced by guest Dave Young. I give her ample warning now of my arrival after poker night with the guys.
The show follows the same format with each episode: Brett introduces the guest, they discuss the book of work, engaging dialog ensues, and they close by offering contact intel should the listener choose to learn more and hopefully buy the book. Brett will sometimes interject a thought clarifying what the author intended but perhaps phrased differently in their text. Mr. McKay is thoughtful, engaging, and demonstrates his ability to cover a broad range of topics, all while peeling back the layers for the listener to truly understand the root of knowledge the author wishes to convey. A lawyer by trade, Brett has the uncanny ability to connect with both the guest and his audience. Invoking the feeling of gathered around the campfire, passing a bottle, and engaged in friendly chat.
A Manliness Movement
I learned quickly that the podcast is just the beginning of the AoM universe. A stop at their website https://www.artofmanliness.com/ unearths a treasure trove of information, guidance, and content that is equal parts entertainment and inspiration. The section on style walks one through how to tie a necktie, clean a baseball cap, and even make a leather belt. Get Ahead delves into college, personal finance, networking, entrepreneurship, and more. This is only the beginning, mental and physical strength, social skills, and even a company store are accessible through the main site. I have my eye on a Theodore Roosevelt poster entitled “Get Action”, and once I have a real gentleman’s study I can frame it and hang it over my brandy cart. That is another post for another day.
The Art of Manliness was not what I expected. It was honestly so much more. When one contemplates the term manliness, visions of lumberjacks, motor oil, and high gravity IPAs invade the brain. Modern society would have you believe that manliness is high-octane athletes performing death-defying stunts, chiseled in perfect form, all the while surrounded by beauty queens just aching to get close enough to steal a kiss. Being a man is so much more than throwing a ball, rebuilding a transmission, or punching out a dude in a bar fight, although those do come in handy from time to time. Relationships, self-worth, money, time management, dreams, and life goals are also manly pursuits, and Mr. McKay and his Art of Manliness movement have a mandate to keep preaching them from the podcast pulpit. My only question is, where do I sign?
AoM Founder Brett McKay ends each podcast with a mandate to “don’t just listen to the AoM Podcast, but get out there and put what you learned into action”. I completely echo that sentiment. Find something that motivates you to be better today than you were yesterday.
Stay tuned for more great content from ScarbroughCo, LLC