Gregg Avedon

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Men’s Health Legend Gregg Avedon.

By: Joshua Conner

Gregg Avedon is a NASM personal trainer, nutrition specialist, model, author and photographer based in Evergreen, Colorado. Avedon inspires me both personally & professionally. Personally, I am inspired by Avedon’s connection to nature, style, physique & his great flex Friday social media posts. Professionally, I am inspired by how Avedon continues to reinvent himself and how he graced Men’s Health numerous times.

What is a day in the life of Avedon like?

“I wake up everyday around 5:30 in the morning and the first thing I do is make coffee and take care of my new puppy. Then, I head out the door for my first clients of the day for personal training. So now, I’m living up in the mountains, so it takes me a little bit of time to get down from the mountains, and it also depends on what the weather is. If it’s snowing, then of course I’m navigating the snow, on the way down the mountains.

First thing I do is, I head to the gym, I have my first round of clients and then once I have a break, I train myself. I do cardio, and then I train my second round of clients. Then, I head back home, and I take care of whatever, I need to do when it comes to like: writing programs, nutrition plans, working on new books, or my website, basically taking care of business in my office at home, then it’s dinnertime. I try to at least take one walk everyday. I try to do like a 3 mile walk, if I can especially, being out here in the mountains. Whether it’s a hike or just walking around my neighborhood. Aside from that, then I try to get to bed before 11 pm,” said Avedon.

Avedon then explained how his days are different if he has a modeling job, because he spends most of his time on road and preparing for the job.

“Everything is sort of geared towards the job that I am working on, even my prep. People tend to think I’m a fitness model, when I’m really more of a fashion model. I’ve been a fashion model, my entire career. With the good fortune of working with Men’s Health, and working with other publications, where you see my body, but mostly, most of my stuff is fashion. So the jobs, that I do are more where I am clothed, so it’s not like I’m having to dial in and prep nutritionally, to do my jobs.

Although, you know, I always want to feel my best, and look my best.

So I’m always gearing up, when I have a job to keep it clean, I think if you do that, you look clean overall. In your: eyes, face, skin tone and your energy levels. When I go on a job, off course you’re dealing with travel, it’s usually a 6 am call time and a catered breakfast, but I keep everything pretty simple when I am on a job. I rarely if ever will go out to dinner, so when I work a long day, they’ll cater lunch, so I usually have a salad for lunch with whatever source of protein they may have. Dinner, I always go to the grocery store, get a basic salad,  some fruit, maybe yogurt and then I have dinner in my room,” said Avedon.

What would be Avedon’s spirit animal?

“My wife has told me that my spirit animal is the wolf, and the funny thing is one of the first dogs we had; she was a white Shepard, and she had very wolf like qualities. She has very long since passed, we lost her about 10 years ago, but I do feel like she is always kind of looking out for me. If you want to say a spirit animal, I feel her presence in a lot of ways. I would say you know a wolf in that regard. Just that she’s looking over me, guarding me and keeping me safe.

Last year, maybe about 8 months ago or so, I posted pictures of me with a wolf. In Colorado Springs, there is a wolf sanctuary, so I went out there. I actually had the good fortune of hiking with the wolves. It was just an incredible experience,  in the mountains. It is incredible, super intimidating at first, they are just way bigger than you could even realize and powerful. It was an awesome experience, that was something that, I probably wouldn’t mind doing again. I made friends with the owners of the wolves and everything, and continue to stay in contact with them, it was pretty cool,” said Avedon.

One of Avedon’s mantra is, “In my life, I have learned, that there is more wisdom in nature, than all the greatest minds combined. A simple complexity of a leaf, is as miraculous as a Continental Divide.”

“Just the power in that, in the grand scheme of things. That God, is in everything, he’s the creator, it’s absolutely amazing,” said Avedon. Avedon’s favorite quote however, is by Henry David Thoreau. Avedon really likes how Thoreau is connected to nature.

“He felt like a day was not truly complete, without walking in nature,  which is often how I feel. So there is sort of kinship that I always feel with Thoreau. The quote is, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined,” Henry David Thoreau,” said Avedon.

What is Avedon’s underwear preference?

“I’m so simple, basic briefs & Hanes is the brand I get 9 out of 10 times. They fit, they support everything, that’s why I don’t like boxers too much, they don’t support me as well. Basic white briefs, is honestly my go to,” said Avedon.

How does Avedon feel to be considered a Men’s Health Legend?

“I’m super grateful & of course humbled everyday, because we are all in this journey together. I’ve had the good fortune to be in the right place, at the right time, and being prepared for when the opportunity happened for me. It’s just been an incredible journey. I just have a massive sense of gratitude, because it gives me a voice. It gives me a voice to reach lots of people, and sort of my whole standard is to get results and being consistent. It’s not rocket science,  you know, everybody has the ability to make massive achievements. If somebody asks me, Gregg, how can I get on the cover of Men’s Health,  I encourage them and I am always willing to help them.

For me, it’s just a humbling experience. I’m just grateful that I had the opportunity to do as many covers, and have the relationship with Men’s Health that I have,” said Avedon.

Extra Content: How does Gregg Avedon want to be remembered? You can find out by following me on Instagram & Facebook @MrJoshuaConner.

You can follow Gregg Avedon on Instagram @greggavedon & check out his website goliathplan.com

Bec Chandler

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Bec Chandler, Virginia’s blessed, handsome & enterprising gentleman. 

By: Joshua Conner

Bec Chandler is an: actor, model, photographer, & health consultant-advocare supplement distributor based in Richmond, Virginia. Chandler inspires me personally & professionally. Personally, I am inspired by Chandler’s faith, style, physique & passion. Professionally, I am inspired by his work ethic & creativity.

What is a day in the life of Chandler like?

“Oh, it varies, almost every single day, on a normal day: I get up in the morning, have breakfast, get on the internet and do some social networking. After that, I’ll probably hit the gym, get my workout in, then I’m constantly working on booking my next gigs. If I actually have jobs that I have landed, it depends on where I am at. Many times, I’m up at 2 or 3 in the morning, and I’m on the road at 4, so I can make a call time at 6 am, then I work all day and come home. Like right now, I just left Atlanta today, so I’ve been on the road for about 8 hours. That’s just industry life, you’ve got to go where the work is. Especially, if you don’t live in a major city, where there’s enough work to keep you busy. So, since I’m based out of Richmond, Virginia, I travel the east coast a good bit, so I’m on the road a lot,” said Chandler.

What would be the title of Chandler’s life story & who would play him in a movie?

“Well, that’s a good question, never give up would be the title and, oh man, you know what, I think I would like Matthew McConaughey to play me,” said Chandler.

What was Chandler’s most memorable year?

“My most memorable year, you know what, I have to say this year is my most memorable year, to date. 2019, was a good year, I got engaged, I got to do a family trip with all my nieces & nephews, and I started the year, very well for my career, so far this year has been the best yet,” said Chandler.

If Chandler’s mantra was a hashtag it would be, be childlike minded.

“I think that people constantly get caught up in the rat race of life, that we forget to see the world through what God, put as a child’s eye. We complicate things, instead of simplifying things. I think we forget to look at trees, and see the beauty of the sky, you know look at it through a child’s eyes. It’s simple for a child, they are: happy, pure and kind and I think we forget that too often,” said Chandler.

Although Chandler reads the bible for inspiration, he also loves an Abraham Lincoln quote.

“You know to be honest with you, anything in bible, there is not a certain one that stands out more than the others. They are all important and we should abide by all of them. Anything in the bible is good, but I do love the quote, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle,” by Abraham Lincoln,” said Chandler.

Chandler also is a photographer, what is one sentence would he like people to use to describe his photography?

“One sentence, I would like people to use to explain my photography, I’m going to hope people say it’s unique with a cinematic feel,” said Chandler.

How does Chandler want to be remembered?

“I want to be remembered as hardworking, kind, and as a genuine, but legitimate guy. I want people to look back and be like he was a legitimate, good guy, he was kind, caring and he went out of his way to help people,” said Chandler.

Extra content:  I asked Bec Chandler, if he could throw a dinner party with anyone died or alive who would he invite & we end up in one hundred acre woods. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram @MrJoshConner to see how we ended up there.

You can find out more about Bec Chandler from his website becchandler.com, www.totalchangefitness.com/, and follow his Instagram @becchandler & Facebook @Bec-Chandler

Michael Scanlon

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Michael Scanlon, altruistic advocate & hunky model.

By: Joshua Conner

Michael Scanlon is an: international model & actor, ruby player formerly in Australia, MBA & Autism Behavioral Specialist from Evergreen Park, Illinois. Scanlon inspires me professionally & personally. Professionally, Scanlon has a great work ethic & has made great choices in diversifying his brand. Personally, Scanlon is handsome, has a great physique, style & social media presence. He was even named Top Modelof the year, by Chris Butler Photography in 2018. Scanlon’s good looks are only outmatched by his big heart.

What is a day in the life of Scanlon like?

“Everyday is so different, I just kind of wake up, do a little bit of social media work on the computer and I get to the gym. If I got a photo shoot to do, I’ll go to the gym, pretty early in the morning, then I’ll get to my shoot, and do a little bit of prep in terms of getting pumped up like, push ups, and pull ups that kind of stuff. There is also a lot of traveling involved too. Like next week, I am going to LA, so my Monday will consist of: waking up, driving to the airport, flying to LA, getting a rental car, going to a meeting, and trying to see if I can get a workout in, since I’ve got a photo shoot the same day. Everyday is so different, but I guess that keeps it exciting,” said Scanlon.

What would be the title of Scanlon’s life story and who would play him in a movie?

“Oh man, that’s a tough one, people are constantly telling me that I look like Henry Cavill, so he would play me in a movie, then the title would be something like an unexpected adventure”, said Scanlon.

If Scanlon’s mantra were a hashtag, what would it be?

“Oh man, you’re stomping me here, if my mantra were a hashtag, man, let’s see, it would be something like #everythingisearned,” said Scanlon.

What does Scanlon prefer boxers, briefs or boxer briefs and what are his favorite brand?

“Oh, it’s always boxer briefs, you know boxers are a bit to lose for me, briefs are a bit to tight for me, so I always kind of strive in the middle there. There are a few brands, that I like actually, you know, but if I had to pick one, it would be H & M, they are actually pretty comfortable,” said Scanlon.

Scanlon has also modeled for Richard Dayhoff underwear.

“Yeah, I did some of that with Joem, they’re really soft, they’re really comfortable, we’ve shot in them a few times and they’re really comfortable to wear. One of the things, that I like about them is that I like to keep my page a little bit more modest, and they are not overly revealing, so I do like that aspect of them as well,” said Scanlon about modeling Richard Dayhoff underwear.

What was Scanlon’s most memorable year?

“I think 2015, for me was kind of a big year. I think because, back in 2015, I was playing rugby in Australia, and we made the grand final, which is like the championship for them. I played the last five weeks of the season with a torn tendon, and we had to just wait until after the season was done to get surgery. In the same year, I got a huge promotion at the job that I was working with kids with autism. I started writing the company’s curriculum, and it was my last full year in Australia. I had a lot of good friends, I got to travel a lot, I saw a lot of Australia both personally and for work. I was able to go home and see my family for Christmas, so 2015, was a pretty great year,” said Scanlon.

How does Scanlon want to be remembered?

“There are a lot of different things, that I have been fortunate to do so far. I want people to see me as someone who helped others who needed it, especially you know the work with the kids with autism, that’s the most important thing for me. I just want to be remembered for helping others who needed help, more than anything. I know that’s the most important thing for me. I just want to be remembered for helping others who needed help, more than anything. I know modeling is in a lot of ways a selfish endeavor, but I still identify myself mostly with the work I did with the kids and I always will,” said Scanlon.

Extra Content: I talk to Michael Scanlon about the time he ran a non-profit and how would he describe his photography venture. Follow me on Facebook & Instagram @MrJoshuaConner to see it. You can check out Michael Scanlon on his website www.michaeljscanlon.com, follow him on Instagram @michaelscanlon_ & like his Facebook page @michaeljscanlon

Billy Smith

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Billy Smith, Kentucky’s humble & handsome Renaissance man.

By: Joshua Conner

I really became a fan of Billy Smith: actor, model & former professional fighter, from Brooks, Kentucky, from how his Instagram not only illustrates how he can rock a three-piece suit, but how it has a golden age of Hollywood aesthetic. Smith’s personal & professional reinvention, is as charming as his accent.

What is a day in the life of Smith like?

“A day in the life of me, well at different times in my life, it has been a lot different. I use to be a professional fighter, so that was a different lifestyle. Then I was mainly a model, now I’m an actor, so my life has changed a lot over the years. It’s hard to say what a day in the life of me would be like, I guess it would depend on the decade, I guess. The decade, I’m in now, a day in the life of me is answering emails, scheduling work and it’s always something new. I mean honestly, a day in the life of me is always something new. It’s never a repeat process, I guess you would say,” said Smith.

How did Smith get his first tattoo?

“Oh, my first tattoo, actually it was a tribal dragon. I have some Cherokee Indian in me & I’ve always been a huge fan of Mixed Martial Arts. I wanted a tattoo, to kind of combine them both,” said Smith.

Smith didn’t get his first tattoo, until he was 21. Smith would always associate dragons with Mixed Martial Arts. 

What is the greatest lesson that fighting has taught Smith?

“What professionally fighting has taught me, if I could sum up to one thing is that: a person is capable of a lot more than they understand, until they actually try to achieve it. Boxing and Mixed Martial arts taught me that your physical body and your mind, work together. If one of them isn’t in the game, you don’t compete as well. Your body needs to be trained, it’s a machine, it needs to be well oiled, you know it needs to be ready. Your mind does too, because if your mind isn’t ready, your body isn’t here. So one thing, I learned is that your mind is powerful itself. Just believing in yourself,  believing in the things you want to achieve, can make anything happen for you physically also. If you believe you can’t do it, it can keep you from physically competing, you know winning a fight. You can beat yourself so to speak. I just learned that you need to have both working together, your mind & your body,” said Smith.

If Smith could leave his child one quality it would be respect & empathy.

“Well, I try to instill in them respect. Hopefully they just be really understanding of people. I would want them to be empathetic for people, hopefully they are not judgmental,” said Smith.

What is Smith’s underwear preference & favorite brand?

“I’m a boxer briefs guy, and a brand I use most commonly and I like personally is called Lucky brand,” said Smith.

What is Smith’s mantra?

“You know, honestly I would say stay learning. Don’t ever stop learning and don’t ever feel like you know it all. You know always feel like, it’s something else you need to know and learn. I think learning is the best thing for all of us. It keeps our mind working and we don’t become settled. So long as you are learning, everything is limitless. There are no limits to anything, so long as you continue to learn daily, you know something. I would say continue learning no matter what,” said Smith.

Extra Content: I asked Billy Smith what would be the title of his life story, follow me on Instagram and like my Facebook Fan Page @MrJoshuaConner to find out.

You can follow Billy Smith on Instagram @BillyBadBoySmith and Facebook @billysmithmodel

Ryan Young

I recently had an opportunity to speak with Ryan Young, Los Angeles’s runner, model & adventurer.

By: Joshua Conner

I have always been inspired by Ryan Young: Ultra distance runner, model, social media influencer & creator of RunWithRyan.org. Young is a brilliant writer & social media influencer, he has over 65.4K followers on Instagram & over 7,000 likes on Facebook. Young has also modeled for renowned photographers including: Kevin McDermott, Tony Duran, Serge Lee & Karl Simone to name a few. With every post that Young produces, he gives a followers a passport into his quest of introspection, mindfulness & wonder.

What is a day in the life of Young like?

“What’s a day in the life-like, I wake up, usually grateful every morning. I try to make it a point to wake up in a truly positive state. I am little without my morning cup coffee, so I have some coffee. Then, I try to incorporate something into my life, right off the back. Whether, it’s a podcast, great YouTube video or if I am reading something really positive and it kind of gets me motivated for the day. From there I usually get in my daily run, whatever the like that’s going to be, followed immediately by twenty minutes of mediation. It’s something about going from this extreme physical state, where I am working my heart rate & emotions up, transitioning to this stillness of a mediation. Then I calm back down and settle for the day,” said Young.

Young, then explained how his days could go any number of different ways. Since Young is living in LA, and making a living as a print model, he will have some castings to go to. Young may also spend the day being creative in some way.

“I might have more of a day to focus on writing or creating some videos, basically being creative in some way. Whether that’s being creative with the kind of adventures that I have gone off and done, and putting that into some sort of context, and then kind of putting that out in the world. Or if it’s in fact, being creative,  is planning out something new to take on,” said Young.

Young then does a lifting or cross training session at the gym. In the evening, Young reads, watch the news and relaxes.

“I think taking care of ourselves is important,” said Young.

What is Young’s favorite coffee brand?

“Oh man, haha I have to pick. Well here’s the thing, I love Peet’s Coffee. Yeah, I will just go with Peet’s Coffee, it’s my top choice, but I am always trying all sorts of different coffees. In fact right now, it’s the holiday season,  and I remember last year, at some store, everything was marked down. I found this peppermint infused coffee, it’s normally not my thing, I just like coffee, straight up black roasted, but now I am searching furiously online trying to get it again. I’m always open to any sort of coffees and brews,” said Young.

In an Instagram post, Young stated how inspired he was by essayist Norman Mailer, but what is his favorite Norman Mailer quote?

“I remember he had a great quote, “I don’t think life is absurd. I think we are all here for a huge purpose. I think we shrink from the immersing of the purpose we are here for,” something about that really resonates with me,” said Young.

What does Young prefer boxers, briefs or boxer briefs and what are his favorite brand?

“I have two favorite brands actually, that I go back and forth between. They both end up on my Instagram very frequently. One is a brand called D.Hedral. I just find it moves with me, you know it moves all parts. The other brand is Tani underwear. Which also ends up on Instagram fairly often. That is hands down, the softest material for clothing, I have ever felt. Whether it’s the briefs that I run into wear, or the T-Shirts, or the sweatshirts or the sweats, they are just incredibly soft,” said Young.

What would be the thesis statement of Young’s life?

“What would be the thesis statement of my life, wow. I’m on a mission, I suppose to challenge both my body & mind. I want to push the limits of what I perceive to be possible. In turn I suppose I get to meet like-minded people along the way. I love coming across & meeting people with really interesting stories of themselves: overcoming odds, overcoming challenges, incorporating challenges into their lives & how they are able to keep themselves going. I get a lot of inspiration from that and even in turn, the ending kind of being this circle of inspiration, I suppose that keeps me going & it ends up coming back around,” said Young.

Check out Ryan Young’s website https://runwithryan.org. and you can follow him on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ryyoung/ also like on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/runwithryan/

Extra content: If Ryan could go on a quest with anyone died or alive, who would it be and where would they go? You can find out by following me on Instagram @MrJoshConner & liking me on Facebook @MrJoshConner.