Wil Elrick is 6’7″. He wrestled a bear. But he’ll surprise you with what else he likes to—and will—do.
Imagine that you are being held hostage in a business when a SWAT team member busts down the door and a full SWAT unit comes in and saves you. Even though the entire experience was scary as hell, you remember the SWAT member that busted down the door for no other reason than his sheer size and intimidation level. Until recently, that figure would have been me.
I am 6’7″, 300 pounds, a former college football player, former police office, avid outdoorsman, firearms trainer, and an all-around manly man. Heck, I once even wrestled a bear. All of that being said, you’ve probably created a visual image of me. Now, I have a grand revelation for you. I am totally in touch with my feminine side, and I am fine with that.
So, if you are thinking, “How can a manly man like him be in touch with his feminine side?”, I will give you a few examples. Pedicures. Feelings. Directions.
Surprised? One feminine side example I can cite is the fact that I can perform a top notch pedicure. I mean, I can do the entire thing, the foot massage, the pumice stone, the scrub, the relaxer, and the painting of the toe nails. To top that off, if I did not have a phobia of having my feet touched, I would totally take a pedicure myself. And yes, I am one of those guys that always notices a woman’s toes when they are exposed.
Here are a few more feminine qualities that people have pointed out to me over the years. It does not bother me in the least to say that I am scared of something, whereas most men will never admit that they are scared of anything. I am not bothered to discuss my feelings, be they good, bad, or indifferent, whereas it is supposedly almost impossible, almost akin to pulling nails, to get men to talk about their feelings. I like the occasional romantic comedy. Sweet Home Alabama is one of my favorite movies, followed closely by another Reese Witherspoon movie, Just Like Heaven. And last but not least, I ask directions.
I understand that for a man to admit that he asks directions is like the Queen of England saying the “crown jewels” are really costume jewelry, but it’s totally true. I don’t have the first hang-up about asking directions. It could be driving directions or instructional directions, but I am of the mindset that if I don’t immediately know the answer, I want to find the shortest way to the answer, and that is typically best accomplished by asking someone that knows better than I do. I honestly wish that more men understood that.
If you take appearances for granted and we met on the street, I could easily be dismissed as just another guy. I may be the guy that other guys are looking to for an opinion on the manliness of a subject, but chances are that I really don’t care about it. In my nearly forty years on this earth I have learned that all the machismo that society relates to modern men doesn’t matter when the cards are finally laid on the table. Being a man means something different to every single man, and to me that means being myself regardless of what other people think because #1, I am happy being myself and #2, because of my size, experience and demeanor, no one has yet wanted to question me about it.
Nothing is more important and more manly than being yourself, because at the end of the day you have to look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with what you see there.
photo courtesy of author