BEEP. BEEP. 4:00AM. David Muñoz slips out of bed and into his running clothes. Not because he has to but because he wants to. “It makes me feel good,” he said. And for David, if the day can start with an invigorating run and an exceptional shave, then the day is off to the right start.
But David hasn’t always been a runner. After a stint in the Navy serving on a frigate out of San Diego during the late nineties, he turned his attention to the medical field and became a pharmacy technician. But it wasn’t until a major car accident in 2009 that he was forced reevaluate some things. Doctors said he might be walking with a cane for the rest of his life because of his ruptured discs, torn ACL, and myriad other injuries. Months and years of recuperation followed. And so did the extra weight. In 2012, he was encouraged by a friend to join the Pasadena Pacers, a running club. Even though he still had pain from his accident, he knew that he had to push through it to get healthy. He lost 100lbs. and discovered a passion. “I wanted to get fit and lose some weight. Not for others, but it makes me feel good. Look good, feel good,” he quipped.
David discovered that same philosophy in wet shaving. Once he tried it, he was hooked. “I get in the zone, get transported. It becomes a place for “me time”, where I don’t worry about anything else. Smell good, feel good,” he laughs.
And his two passions often work hand in hand. They are both part of his morning routine. “Preparation is everything. I set things out the night before. I pick my shoes. I pick my soap, razor, brush, and aftershave,” he said. After his morning run (he averages about 30-40 miles a week unless he is training for a race), he gets his shower and shave. As a head shaver, David feels like he gets double the pleasure. “I can be having a bad day or just have something on my mind, but I go into my bathroom for a shave and when I come out my wife will say ‘You look happier’,” said David. Sometimes, David will even splash on a favorite aftershave BEFORE a run. “I’ll have people running with me say ‘You smell good. What is that?” It opens up lots of conversations.” And it just might be his secret weapon for better running times. “It might sound crazy, but I do think a good aftershave makes me faster.” And he likes taking it with him into his day as well. While he runs around filling prescriptions, dealing with customers, and checking (and double checking) details, he loves to catch a whiff from his morning routine. “If I don’t run or get my shave in, the day just doesn’t go right. I’ve tried running after work, but it just cuts into family time and I’m not as focused during the day.” If he starts the day with his run and his shave, then he is much more productive and efficient.
So, what is David splashing on these days as he trains for his next half-marathon? “I love Wholly Kaw,” he said. “Man From Mayfair is definitely my favorite right now.” He also lists the artisans at Stirling and Soap Commander as among his go-tos. He likes his synthetic brushes for their fast-drying and he is partial to his Muhle R41 and his Vintage Gillette.
You might think running and shaving are solitary endeavors, but community plays a big part in David’s passions. The support of the Pasadena Pacers helped David make the transition into a runner. He has a special connection with them even as a move brought him to his current club, the SoCal Pacers. When he isn’t chatting up other runners about wet shaving, David engages in a few Facebook groups, including “Shave the Man”, and has recently started participating in some live shaving events where multiple people shave together. “It’s like family,” he said of the people he has met who love this hobby. Whether talking technique, the newest scent, or the latest offering by an artisan, David loves to engage people about wet shaving.
When you stop enjoying it (whether running or shaving), it stops being a hobby; it becomes a chore. It’s his love that gets David out the door, even when the alarm goes off at 4am.