A blonde, a brunette and a redhead beard (and a total beefcake) walk into a gym…

BBB Bromance 1

They say true love takes many forms. Well this has to be the oddest form of any.

You’ve probably seen us at REAL RESULTS – shirtless, bearded and wearing compression tights forming a protective layer over legs that have been through some shit. Myself, along with fellow coach, Bryan Nelson and longtime REAL RESULTS members Mike Busby and Keith White came together in 2015 to create Busty Beards & Dirty ‘Staches. We’re the kind of stupid that thinks a 24-hour obstacle course race against elite athletes from around the globe sounds like a great idea.

Not sure of what to expect in 2015’s race, we surprised even ourselves when we took fourth overall and were the top American team in World’s Toughest Mudder. Regardless of the great finish, for months after the race we told ourselves and anyone who asked that we would not be going through that again.

My fiance, Katrina, laughed in my face every time we said it. She even posted to social media right after the race with #BringOnWTM16. I adamantly told her “no way.”

Well, Katrina was right (don’t tell her I said that). We’re two weeks out from this year’s race, have dedicated a lot of time and energy into training and will be disappointed with anything other than a podium finish. We think doing 75 miles, a big step from the 50 we did last year, will get us there.

“It’s something that I’ve tried to control and realized I can’t,” Katrina said when the Busty Beards bromance came up in discussion.

Did we mention we’re constantly in and out of cold water during the race?
Did we mention we’re constantly in and out of cold water during the race?

That’s the thing about this race, it’s not so much about it as it is about us. The four members of Busty Beards have much different backgrounds, are up to 12 years apart in age and had no connection prior to REAL RESULTS. To put this odd dynamic in terms of a more classical relationship, this gym was our awkward first date and this 24-hour sufferfest was basically the first time we told each other “I love you.”

It’s scary to admit, but in the 18 or so months since we started training for our first race we’ve spent more time just the four of us than we have with our significant others or daughters. This includes sharing beds in cabins, tents and hotels. What could have easily been romantic weekends was four grown men farting, giggling and spending hours upon hours freezing their asses off running up and down mountains.

Luckily our girls are incredibly supportive and have been patiently waiting for us when we return home. Bryan’s wife, Christy, put it this way, “If I was the jealous type I’d have a lot of things I COULD eye roll about. Like the endless group text messages that I watch my husband laugh at as if I’m missing out on some hysterical joke, the nonstop banter about workouts, strangers complimenting them on their beards or that they all miraculously wear the exact same outfits without coordinating it (or so they say).”

Bryan and Christy after World’s Toughest Mudder 2015
Bryan and Christy after World’s Toughest Mudder 2015

“The reality is, I can’t complain about these guys. If it were four different guys, maybe. But I have never seen four better friends click the way they do. It’s just right. I also have to admit I have much love and respect for them. While they put on a tough-guy front, they are good-hearted and dedicated men (plus they have some fabulous ladies to back them). I am happy to admit that this bromance has won me over – the sweaty, shirtless, rippling biceps certainly help.”

I can’t thank our girls, pit crew, friends and families enough for all of the support. But I also can’t thank Bryan, Busby and Keith enough. I’m proud of the man I’ve grown to be, the father I am, the support I am able to give Katrina when it’s her turn in the spotlight and how I spend my days. You three have had a huge influence on me. You’ve been there anytime I needed help and you’ve taught me that sometimes it’s important to say yes. Even if you don’t know how it’s going to work, you can figure it out as you go.

So when life pulls us apart geographically, as it has a way of doing, or when you old men are long buried and I’m still kicking it, you will find me reveling in stories of our adventures.