As human beings, we all have certain essential needs to nourish our mind, body, and heart. Food, water, air, and shelter are widely acknowledged as the four critical elements required for survival. But movement is just as vital to leading a healthy and happy life.
Physical movement has the power to enrich every inch of our bodies. It builds stability and durability, strengthening every one of our internal organs — including our brain. And equally important is the joy that movement brings. It’s a channel for self-expression, a route to social connection, and crucial in our search for fulfillment.
Of course, it is not only our bodies that are active as we embark on the adventures and challenges of life. Our hearts and minds are stirred by creativity, knowledge, love, and so much more. These integral components of our existence have the ability to move us completely, and benefit us holistically. And when communities come together with a shared thirst for progress, we create a movement, striding forward for the greater good.
We’re exploring the power of movement by asking five inspiring men what moves their body, mind, and heart. David Adrian Freeland Jr, a dancer, tells us that motion lives innately throughout his body, and therefore his profession chose him. Oli Walsh, a wellness entrepreneur, describes how his mind is driven by searching for the sweet spot where creativity and commerce collide. Actor Quentin Plair’s heart is moved by his loving family, and he’s inspired to share the opportunity and solidity that devoted parents offer with children who were not born so lucky. Musician Ed Mann is lifted to magical heights by the connection he feels when performing in front of an audience. And therapist John Kim is propelled forward by helping others, which in turn helps him to learn about himself.
We’re excited to be collaborating with luxury menswear brand Samuelsohn for this examination of motion and emotion, which aligns with their principles of putting passion and performance at the heart of all they do. The Canadian-born global firm, founded in 1923, combine bespoke tailoring techniques with high-tech fabrics to deliver progressive products designed for the dynamism of modern life, with their spirit signified by the heart they sew in every jacket collar.
Dressing these five brilliant men in designs that intertwine style and performance provides them the freedom to express themselves physically. And coupled with an environment that gives them freedom to share, we discover what moves them, inside and out.
John Kim, Therapist
“What moves my mind is helping other people,” says John Kim, LMFT. “Hearing their stories, getting other perspectives, it gets me to think about myself, and how I think.”
When he was in his mid-30s, John went through a divorce which left him feeling very disconnected from himself and the world around him. But he used the lowest ebb of his life as a springboard to reaching great heights; giving up his unsatisfying career as a screenwriter to retrain as a marriage and family counsellor, and starting a blog called The Angry Therapist to document his own healing journey in the hope it could be of service to others.
Now, 13 years later, The Angry Therapist has become a global self-improvement empire, with John’s gems of advice followed by almost one million people across the major social media platforms. He has also penned four best-selling books, hosts a hugely popular podcast, and offers innovative digital resources including a text message therapy service.
“I get my spiritual growth through helping other people,” says John, 49. “When I’m helping other people it feels greater than me. It feels bigger than me. It pulls me out of my own problems and trenches. I feel that when we don’t make it about ourselves, the universe makes it about us.”
When it comes to physical movement, John is happiest on the motorbike he bought himself as he searched for new joy following his divorce. “Since then I’ve been riding almost every day,” he says. “There’s a moment where you’re riding when you forget you’re on a motorcycle, when you become one, and that’s when I hit a flow state. That’s what moves my body.”
David Adrian Freeland Jr, Dancer
“I think movement lives within me, which is why I’m a dancer, which is why dance chose me,” says David Adrian Freeland Jr, a master of physical and emotional expression.
David is a leading member of the LA Dance Project, a non-profit which aims to inspire and educate through the power of the art form, and is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.
“What moves my body is life itself,” he says. “As a dancer music drives me, the wind drives me, it is in my body, all around me. I can’t not move.”
David, 32, is driven onward every day by doing what he loves, creating beautiful and meaningful art, and connecting with others.
“I’m grateful for every day I get to wake up and do what I love, dancing, but also just making impactful connections with people. Those are the things that propel me to go forward, and hit at my heart.”
Oli Walsh, Wellness Entrepreneur
After scaling the heights of the fashion and marketing world — including co-founding the digital creative agency Wednesday and being a key figure in the launch of online menswear boutique Mr Porter — Oli Walsh turned his talents to the self-care industry.
His keen eye for style can be seen throughout his wellness brand ASYSTEM, offering science-backed supplements that are presented with its co-founders’ confident and precise aesthetic.
“What moves my mind is being inspired by individuals across a variety of backgrounds and professions,” he says. “Professionally I love the intersection of creativity and commerce. I think there’s a sweet spot there that’s incredibly hard to find, and is very rare in the world, but when you do find it magic happens.”
Oli, 40. has a non-binary approach to exercise, making sure he works out and moves his body every day, which is essential for relaxing and focusing his mind.
And his heart is moved by the moments of shared serenity he experiences with his three children. “Just this last weekend, we were sitting around the tables in our living room, blues music on, just drawing together, no-one talking. The energy of contentment, everyone focused on their own artistic endeavor, was just magical.”
Quentin Plair, Actor
“I come from a two parent household that really prioritized both me and my sister,” says Quentin Plair, recalling his happy upbringing in Atlanta, Georgia. “And the older I get, the more I realize how important that is, especially for a Black male in today’s society.”
Now Quentin is moved to try and share that love and support he received with others less fortunate that himself. “I just want to give that to as many kids as possible who wouldn’t have that otherwise, and that’s why I want to adopt and foster.”
The actor embraces an active life for the holistic benefits of movement. “What moves my body is working out, and for me it’s not just to look good in the mirror, it really does effect my mind.”
All the hours of internal and external work that Quentin has invested in himself are now paying off, with the 34-year-old starring as a dancer in the eagerly-awaited upcoming Hulu crime drama miniseries ‘Welcome to Chippendales’.
“I’m happiest when I’m sharing my successes with my family,” he says. “Just calling them and telling them what’s happened in my week, especially now things are starting to go well for me. They’re my favorite people in the world.”
Ed Mann, Musician
Ed Mann’s prowess as a trumpet player has taken him around the world, playing for music lovers, heads of state, and Frank Sinatra.
“Playing music in front of an audience can be terrifying,” he says. “But once you feel that you’re prepared, and that you’ve communicated with somebody, it’s awe-inspiring. It throws you into a different planet. And hopefully you’ve brought someone along for the ride.”
And the 65-year-old treasures the experience of playing as part of a band, collaborating with fellow artists in pursuit of a common goal.
“You have this collective experience where you’re moving each other, and moving others who are there to listen,” he explains. “And that’s an incredible experience.”
Beyond his work as a musician, Ed has also enjoyed great success as an on-air radio personality, and as the founder of independent radio syndication company MannGroup Radio.
“I’m always game for a challenge,” he says. “If there’s something that I think I can get to another level on, something new, that’s what moves my mind.”
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Grooming by Brent Lavett for Shu Uemura / Art of Hair
Fashion assistance by Fernanda Cameron
With thanks to George Esquivel, Hubble Studios, Viewfinders, NKPR, Tailor Here