I looked up the definition of a word that has presented itself on a few occasions.
I met with a woman who said she would like to meet a man who is healthy, active, fit and likes outdoor activities, such as kayaking, hiking and paddle-boarding.
I thought I had a man matching much of that criteria, but when I sent her his information, her response was: “I think I am looking for someone more big and burly.”
Burly?
I have heard this word before and maybe my quick-to-judge visual of “big and burly” is different from others.
In my experience, big, burly men who like the outdoors tend to be the ones  sitting on the dock fishing, or sitting around the campfire with a can of beer, or sitting on a boat, or hanging out at the swim-up bar in the pool.
Not that there is anything wrong with these activities. If this is what someone is looking for, fair enough. I love all of the above-mentioned activities once in a while, but active, healthy, fit men who hop into a kayak, jump onto a paddle board, run and swim are usually lean and slimmer than their burly counterparts.
Here’s a few synonyms for burly: strapping, sturdy, bulky, stout, beefy, blocky, hefty and husky.
Don’t get me wrong. I know big guys can be healthy and, in fact, I see many of them at marathon races, where they are classified as “clydesdale racers,” meaning they weigh more than 200 pounds.
When I think of a man who is big and burly, the first thing that comes to my mind is Grizzly Adams, the television character of the 1970s played by Dan Haggerty. He fits the description perfectly and is certainly healthy, with all of his outdoor activities. I would also describe him as rugged.
I think the reason many women want their men bigger than them is because they like to feel more feminine. But I still think Nicole Kidman looks feminine when she is with her much shorter husband, Keith Urban. The same goes for Tracey Pollan, who stands 5-foot-8 — four inches taller than husband Michael J. Fox.
I think placing a height requirement on men is as unfair as men placing a weight restriction on women. Both seem unreasonable. Let’s get back to digging deeper than inches and pounds and finding out if you are compatible with someone else. Do you both like camping? Do you both laugh a lot together? Do you both dig live theatre? Maybe you both love watching classic TV shows — like Grizzly Adams.
If you are a big, burly man, you obviously know by now you are in demand. So, by all means, contact me if you are single and happy. My email is holmes@wheretheheartis.ca.