And The Winner Is ...
In early August, three VIPs stopped by MH's New York City offices to meet the team.
It's not unusual for us to host celebrities and athletes here, but as publisher Ronan Gardiner and I stood by the door awaiting our guests' arrival, we were feeling a bit nervous. After all, these were the biggest VIPs in our world: Men's Health readers.
Specifically, they were the finalists we picked from the 1,246 candidates who entered our first-ever Ultimate Men's Health Guy cover contest, sponsored by Kenneth Cole. We knew them from the application essays and videos they submitted. But online dating is very different from the real thing. Would they let us down? Would we let them down? Is my tie straight?
First through the door: Finny Akers, The Provider. As soon as I saw his shirtless selfie (holy abs!), I put him in the hell-yes pile. But it was his story that locked his spot in the final three. Not long after Finny graduated from high school, his father killed his mother and then himself. Finny postponed college to raise his two young siblings. "I knew strength and determination would take me wherever I wanted to go in life," he says. Welcome, Finny. So far so good.
Next up was Kavan Lake, The Leader. Kavan almost slipped through the cracks, but one line in his entry drew my attention: "Animated bedtime stories are my specialty—my girls eat that stuff up." It quickly became clear that Kavan has a lot to teach us all about perseverance: He grew up poor, worked at McDonald's to help his family make ends meet, joined the Marines, put himself through college, became a combat pilot, an engineer, a head football coach, a husband, a father. Sold! Wherever Kavan's going, I'm following.
Last: Noah Galloway, The Warrior. With more than 60,000 votes, Noah won our Readers' Choice poll. The story of how he lost his left arm and leg to an IED in Iraq is harrowing. And how he put his body and his life back together is truly inspiring. "It was my choice whether the injury made me bitter or better," he told us. Guess which one he chose? Today he helps other injured vets realize they too have options—and in doing so, he reminds us all.
That's why Noah Galloway is . Hear more from him, our runners-up, and a bunch of other amazing MH guys, in our latest issue, on newsstands now.
You can see yourself on the cover of Men's Health and sign up for an alert when the next Ultimate Men's Health Guy search begins