Modern Gladiator: More than a Brand, it’s a Lifestyle
If you don’t keep finding those ‘wow’ moments in life, life becomes boring.
If you don’t keep finding those ‘wow’ moments in life, life becomes boring.JH
The idea behind Modern Gladiator is to help men be “champions of their world arena,” according to Editor-in-Chief Martin Alvarez. The magazine provides tools and resources to help guide men through a very complicated world in hopes of becoming a better individual for oneself, their family, and their community. The message is inspiring; so much, in fact, that one man thought to include it into his own mantra. Jeff Haas is a “self-proclaimed introvert, but I play extrovert well,” he said when I sat down to speak with him. When Haas learned about the message MG was putting into the world, he was so inspired he decided, should the magazine find success, he would agree to get the gladiator logo tattooed on his body…and he did.
About six months ago, at his day job at a pharmaceutical returns company in Knoxville, Tennessee, Haas agreed to a fitness challenge sponsored by his employer. In that time he has lost 25 pounds and six percent body fat and celebrated his 46th birthday in July. “I’ve worked on getting healthy, getting in shape, getting where I want to be, and the Modern Gladiator theme fit into all of that. For me, the tattoo was part of this whole lifestyle change.”
The meaning behind MG exceeds a physical health standpoint—it embodies the entire individual. Haas also recognized that he was already living it. By day, he writes software, but behind the computer is an incredibly talented photographer. His passion for tennis set him up to start shooting events in order to meet the athletes and coaches. “For me, photography was all about the access,” Haas says.
For years, Haas traveled the world and met people of all walks of life. After decades on the court, tennis was less exciting, so a friend suggested he switch to model portfolios. “I said I’m a heterosexual male so I said yeah, I’ll try it. I had an aptitude for it, so I did it, I still do it,” Haas says. Haas developed a stellar reputation in Knoxville as a photographer, but it wasn’t enough—he was still searching for more. When Haas found out Rick Springfield was coming to town to play at the Tennessee Valley Fair, he knew it was his chance to get access to one of his favorite artists and set up a chance to shoot other concerts. Since then, shooting music has been his passion. Says Jeff: “When you get that, ‘wow, look at this picture’ moment, I get that from concerts. I shoot [photos] a lot of women. It’s great, it’s fun to an extent but it’s hard. Once you get over that tantalizing part of it, it’s a lot of work.”
Haas has had his work displayed for personal to promotional use, including celebrity profile pictures, book jackets, calendars, and even the MGM Grand’s billboard in Las Vegas after he shot a concert featuring M.C. Hammer. “It’s those little things, seeing a photo I had taken three or four years ago, being used, that you go wow, that’s very cool,” Jeff says. “It keeps life from being boring. I think people get too comfortable with life and that makes it mundane.”
There is no cruise control for Haas—yet. He says he “hasn’t had a rut in six years because something is always going on.” Since his new physical transformation has grabbed his attention, he’s looking at other aspects of his life with a different attitude: “I actually just crave being at home. My mid-life crises is getting a tattoo, going to the gym, eating better, and cutting out a lot of the bad stuff, so as far as mid-life crises go, not a bad one.”
Haas doesn’t have any other tattoos, nor does he plan on any more. “I wanted something that meant something to me,” he says. After the company fitness challenge, he wanted to maintain his new routine: “I’ve had to create goals along the way, for me it was the end goal-to keep it going, getting into this lifestyle.” The gladiator logo was for himself, a reminder of his own “wow” moments, and the opportunity to reach for more.
Photo credit: Haas Designs Photography
[The Modern Gladiator] provides tools and resources to help guide men through a very complicated world in hopes of becoming a better individual for oneself, their family, and their community.