Celebrating the ‘Lazy Athlete’ in all of us
Scott and Brenda Hurst, Master Lazy and Queen Bee Lazy, at the 16 Mile Taphouse in Newark.
By Steven Hoffman
Scott and Brenda Hurst are on a mission.
It says so right there on their website, lazyathlete.com.
“As an organization, brand and team, we believe it is our mission to find lazy athletes and encourage everyone to make playing a high priority while being creative, to get back in touch with his or her inner child, and to connect with other like-minded people.”
Make playing a high priority? Get back in touch with my inner child? That sounds interesting.
And what’s with all those references on the website about recreation for laid-back people? I like recreation! I’d like to think I’m laid-back! So I make an appointment to meet with Scott and Brenda at the 16 Mile Taphouse on Main Street, hoping to learn more about “mixing it up and chilling out” from these entrepreneurs of easy-going.
I arrive first. The connoisseurs of carefree arrive a few minutes later, bringing with them a bag of Lazy Athlete products and an undeniable aura of mellowness.
We introduce ourselves. Then, with beers in hand, Scott and Brenda explain the origins of Lazy Athlete, which they describe as a lifestyle brand. They take turns talking about how the Lazy Athlete brand evolved over the last two years, one small step at a time. One of their goals is to help us all discover the lazy athlete inside us; another objective is to help all the lazy athletes out there to connect with each other.
To accomplish these goals, they have the aforementioned website, which a real resource for the recreation-minded, and a host of cool products—t-shirts, headbands, hoodies, cycling jerseys—each one offering the chance to let others know about your laid-back approach to life.
Brenda credits her husband with starting this side business. He’s always been a “lazy athlete” at heart, someone who likes to stay active but might cap off a long bike ride with a few cold beers.
“He has always called himself a lazy athlete,” she explained. “He has a more laid-back attitude.”
In other words, Scott plays at his own pace.
Scott insists, however, that Brenda is an equal partner in the endeavor, and that she is responsible for an equal share of the work and many of the ideas that have become a part of the Lazy Athlete brand.
“We both really play off each other when we’re coming up with ideas,” he explained.
It's at this point that they share with me their secret identities: He is Master Lazy. She is Queen Bee Lazy. They are as laid-back as the monikers suggest.
The Newark residents tell me that they've been traveling to local festivals and community events to introduce more people to the Lazy Athlete concept. They do this even though they both lead very busy lives. Scott works for a large company in Philadelphia, and has a background in marketing and sales. Brenda also has marketing experience and is in nursing school. Despite these demanding pursuits, they are also committed to building the Lazy Athlete brand and spreading the word about the need for less speed in your life. The world, they say, is simply a prettier place when enjoyed at a more relaxed pace.
The need for a Lazy Athlete lifestyle is expressed nicely on the website:
“Stress in the world is different today. Much of what we do today to relieve our stress (watch TV, surf the web, social media or go to the gym…) doesn’t seem to work as well as it once did. Advances in technology, though positive, have complicated our lives. Pressures and expectations to perform have never been higher, whether you’re working or in school. We believe that being a “Lazy Athlete” is about escaping the mundane unpleasant parts of everyday life we call “the grind.” As an organization, we encourage lazy athletes everywhere to get back in touch with their inner child because we tend to forget how to play as we move through life.”
Brenda is quick to dispel a possible misconception about the “lazy athlete” lifestyle. It doesn’t promote actual laziness—just the opposite, in fact.
“We’re not a couch-potato brand,” Queen Bee Lazy explained. “We promote people being active, but to enjoy recreation in your own way. Even former professional athletes can be 'lazy athletes' if they enjoy their sports in their own laid-back way. The key is to not take yourself too seriously. You can be an elite athlete, but you can’t take yourself too seriously.”
According to Scott, there is a very broad definition of “lazy athlete.”
“People who race professionally can consider themselves a lazy athlete,” he explained. “You go as hard as you can, but then you have fun.”
Brenda picks up on that thought. “A laid-back person can run a marathon. But they have to have a laid-back attitude. Do things at your own pace.”
Lazy Athlete is gender neutral and represents folks of all ages and fitness levels – from less active to moderately active to competitive athletes. For instance, professional or competitive athletes that Scott and Brenda have talked to believe they’re a “lazy athlete” because they train hard then take time out for leisure activities. Moderately active people say they are lazy athletes because they work hard all week, then make it priority to play at their own pace during their free time – hence, a weekend warrior. Less active folks say that the brand appeals to them because of their meek attempts to be active and because it pokes fun at more serious athletes. The ultimate goal is to not take yourself too seriously and enjoy life no matter what fitness category or categories you belong to.
The Hursts really started expanding the Lazy Athlete brand within the last year, adding new products that they offer, each one illustrating, in some way, the Lazy Athlete lifestyle.
“We’ve gradually built up the products,” Scott explained.
There are men’s and ladies t-shirts with “Be Your Own Oxymoron” emblazoned on them. Youth t-shirts also identify a young person as a “laid-back dude.” Zombie runs are all the rage these days, and if you're going to take part in one you should be wearing a shirt with “I'm killing It” on the front and “I killed it” on the back.
Lazy athletes are notorious for their dislike of sweat getting in the way of their recreation. So there’s a new Lazy Athlete headband that has the Halo “sweat block” patented seal designed to keep the sweat out of your eyes.
One of the more popular items is a cycling jersey that comes in three different versions. One version, the chicken leg and beer edition, has front pockets for storing food, trash, and beer. A Lazy Athlete hoodie is perfect for the beach or outdoor activities. The pullover comes with a hood, a kangaroo pouch that can be used for everything from food to cell phones to a favorite beverage. The relaxed cuts allow for free movement, regardless of the activity.
A trucker cap has a unique enzyme wash to make it look worn and dirty with a pre-curved visor. Nothing says “chill” like these lids.
All the products are funky and unique and help people show the world that they enjoy “recreation for laid-back people.”
“Everything has a laid-back twist or feel,” explained Brenda.
The Hursts are always looking for ideas for new products.
“We’ve taken time to talk to people to see what they would wear,” Brenda explained.
They can’t talk too much about it yet, but Master Lazy and Queen Bee Lazy are hard at work—in a relaxed, chilled-out kind of way—on a backyard tailgating game. They shared with me a video of the game being played. True to their mission, the game has a laid-back feel and can be enjoyed by lazy athletes of all ages everywhere. Scott seems to take particular delight in the fact that this game can be played with a beer in one hand and a hot dog in the other. They have a patent-pending on the game and are working on the many details that need to be addressed before a new product can be taken to market.
While the couple isn’t sure what the future holds for the Lazy Athlete brand, they are keeping their minds open to the possibilities.
Scott, for instance, could see them having a truck, similar to a food truck, that they could use to travel to area events. He said that it’s always a thrill to see a person wearing one of the Lazy Athlete t-shirts, headbands, or hats. He enjoys riding with cyclists in the area, and many of them like the shirts and cycling jerseys not just because of the positive messages that they send, but because they are good products that are suitable for an active lifestyle.
“It’s been unreal with the amount of support that we’ve received,” Scott explained. “For us, with the Lazy Athlete brand, it’s never going to be about just making money. It’s about spreading the message.”
To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email email@example.com.