Dierks Bentley is a touring, songwriting, mid-40’s, father of three. Yet he doesn’t have the dadbod that I’d expect from someone who is older than me, has more kids, and sings about drinking beer all the time.
I was laying on my couch on Saturday scrolling through Instagram, thinking that Dierks seemed to have it all. Fame, fortune, family, and now fitness. There were times when I’d see his smiling, slim face and think to myself, “You can kiss my ass, Dierks Bentley.”
Funny, that’s exactly what Luke Bryan said when he made a surprise appearance in Dierks’ Instagram stories this weekend.
In the first scene, Dierks filmed himself riding his road bike through a steep, sandstone canyon in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. He was breathing hard, but not hard enough to keep him from taking a selfie video and giving some play-by-play for the ride.
“We’ve climbed 2500 feet so far. We’re at 7000 feet elevation.”
Those were pretty impressive numbers, so I guess I wasn’t surprised that Dierks has resisted the dadbod so far. A few weeks ago, he finished the “Gosh Darn 5” 100-mile gravel bike race, so this guy obviously burned some calories on his bike this year…
I finished my midday Saturday beer and shook my head. I was jealous of Dierks. I should be out there on a mountain road, working off the 15 pounds of holiday weight I put on over the winter. But where would I start? I grabbed another beer and kept Instagram rolling.
Dierks panned the camera to his right, and to my surprise showed the world a suffering Luke Bryan.
“Not good for a fat, Georgia swamp boy…”
It takes a certain level of humility and fortitude to sport the skin-tight uniform of a road cyclist (known as a “MAMIL,” middle-aged-man-in-lycra, in the cycling community). When you have a dadbod and cycling form as bad as Luke Bryan’s, your humility and fortitude is elevated to near-legend status.
I immediately knew where I should start my Summer Six-Pack Plan: right there in my living room with a few sad push-ups and 30 half-crunches.
The weather’s warming up and it’s time to get moving and outside. And who cares if I don’t fit in my cycling kit the way I used to? Neither does Luke Bryan.
Regardless of what you think of his music, you’ve got to appreciate someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously and puts himself out there in pursuit of fitting into his “Country Girl (Shake It for Me)” jeans again someday, even if that day may never come. I was a little inspired by the sight of Luke Bryan cranking his pedals and nearly dying on some climb out in the mountains. So tomorrow, it’s my turn.
I’ll hit the gym, even if I don’t look as jacked in the mirrors as I think I do at home before I put my contact lenses in. I’ll ride my bike, even if I get dropped by a few nice, older ladies who tell me “You’re doing great, sweetie” as they cruise into the distance ahead of me. Life’s too short to be self-conscious.
And Dierks, if you’re reading this, I’d love to see you out here in California for a couple of my favorite climbs in the Santa Monica Mountains. If you’re mid-tour, even better: we’ll see who has the dadbod then.
And if you’re filming me at the top of Latigo Canyon Road saying, “Here he comes! He’s a little bit behind me… not that anyone’s timing it,” like you said to Luke Bryan this weekend, then the beer’s on me.