- What motivated you to start EVRYMAN?
For years during my own emotional health journey, I could have used the principles and tools that our co-founder Owen Marcus developed over the last 40 years, but I didn’t know they existed. I also would have benefited much sooner from the support of other guys in the process, but I didn’t know how or where to find them. EVRYMAN’s commitment is to provide access to both the tools and the other guys, essentially.
We each bring deep and unique experience in education, business, men’s health and wilderness therapy (Dan Doty, Owen Marcus, Lucas Krump and Sascha Lewis). We saw the need for something that is between primal emotional expression that can be hard to translate into everyday life, and medical therapy. It’s both a science-based curriculum with “how” and “why” to express and act on emotions, and a daily practice to create and strengthen more authentic relationships.
2. What does wellness mean to you?
I appreciate your asking what it means for me. Part of our ethos at EVRYMAN is that we don’t prescribe a certain way of being. Every man decides for himself. For me, wellness is balance. It’s not a hardcore regimen of nutrition, meditation, working out and bio-hacking to some optimal level of performance. It’s making sure that I am doing something everyday, big or small, to care for my mind, body and spirit. That could be a hike or a workout or taking time to slow down and connect with my fiancée, or calling my mom. For me, wellness is consciousness, knowing that we have the agency to change our state and our behavior, and in doing so, improve our wellbeing.
3. Do you feel like the wellness industry has made space for men to participate? Why or why not?
I don’t. I think the wellness industry has perpetuated goals that for many men and women aren’t really supportive of the word “wellness” as we just agreed is different for everyone. For men, the message is generally around bio-hacking and optimal performance. There is a competitive undertone that says, if you don’t look this way, do this, believe this, eat that, then you’re not well or manly enough. That message drives self-judgment and competitiveness among men that is lonely and hurtful.
Wellness should be an individual journey where you are accountable to yourself, not a spreadsheet of your reps, for finding that balance and your own best results as you define them. I believe that more guys would find meaning in “wellness” if the industry were more inclusive and accepting of everyone wherever they may be on their personal journey.
4. What are the biggest benefits of community, especially for men?
Humans are social mammals, we’re hard wired to connect. You can see in all the Zoom groups and parties today at a safe distance, how strong that hard wiring is. However, if you think of human connection as a nutrient, it doesn’t take, isn’t absorbed, unless we allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to receive it. As men we’ve been conditioned to believe we should do it alone, to not ask for help– and beyond that, we are taught to disconnect from our emotions, to “suck it up,” “act as if,” and all that. The result is, we’re isolated, alone, and not set up to receive the nutrient of connection.
When men can join a community and be open and see other men like themselves open up, it’s freeing and more empowering. And to be part of a nonjudgmental community supports our mental, physical and emotional health, which are all connected.
5. What do you think we can do to help fight the stigma around mental and emotional health for men?
Stop calling it mental health in the sense of you’re either mentally healthy or mentally ill. Stop telling guys that traditional one-on-one therapy is the one answer. Of course, I support therapy for guys who need it. I’ve been in therapy myself. Unfortunately, in a lot of male circles, any kind of “emotional” or “mental” program or therapy is perceived as a weakness, that you are ill, that something is “wrong with you.” Guys hear that and are put off, and continue to suffer in silence, which probably means that others around them are experiencing pain as well.
There is also the reality that formal therapy is costly, can be hard to access, is something that guys don’t want to discuss with others, and there’s a stigma around admitting it. That stigma goes back to the idea that if you feel the need to talk about or express anything emotional, you’re not a normal guy. That’s just not true, and that’s the assumption that we need to keep calling out.
The stigma also comes from an assumption that everything that’s not as physical as flu or cancer is woo-woo. If you believe that, you ignore the real connections between physical, mental, and emotional health. We need to change that and it’s a big part of Evryman. We acknowledge those connections and help guys become well, healthy, confident, and secure within their own definitions of those terms, and of their manhood, across how they feel, think, behave, interact, and make decisions. Those are the building blocks of a good life, and every guy deserves to feel that way.
6. Are there any mindfulness or recovery practices that you incorporate in your routine?
I wake up between 6:00-7:00 and I spend 5-10 mins just being. I check in with my fiancée and take a few breaths. I also practice intermittent fasting, so I start my day with water and black coffee. I take cold showers daily, meditate a few times a week, and my biggest routine is my weekly EVRYMAN groups. We call our practice “CrossFit for your emotions.” Each week I connect with my group and practice expanding my emotional capacity, receiving the nutrient of community, if you will, while connecting with other men.
7. What wellness brands or studios do you use/attend on a regular basis?
I love Insight Timer for meditations. When I lived in the city, Modo Yoga was my go-to yoga spot and Calm has featured us on their app. There are so many great brands and companies innovating in the wellness space.
Check out our exclusive discount with EVRYMAN on the HealthKick platform to get involved with the community!