East County men compete in iMan Competition 2013

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WEBMichael Arce on Stage at iMAN 2013 Event_072713.jpg

Only months after setting Stingaree Nightclub ablaze with the crowning of Miss iTan 2013, iTan Sun Spray Spa turned up the heat with it’s the fourth annual 2013 iMan competition and East County’s own Michael Arce, 24, of El Cajon and Sean Herman, 22, representing Lemon Grove stuck it out until the very end.

Every year, San Diego-based iTan Sun Spray seeks a man that epitomizes the luminous lifestyle. 

Only months after setting Stingaree Nightclub ablaze with the crowning of Miss iTan 2013, iTan Sun Spray Spa turned up the heat with it’s the fourth annual 2013 iMan competition and East County’s own Michael Arce, 24, of El Cajon and Sean Herman, 22, representing Lemon Grove stuck it out until the very end.

Every year, San Diego-based iTan Sun Spray seeks a man that epitomizes the luminous lifestyle. 

“We are looking for a strong, male role model who embodies the values of iTAN,” said Faraje Kharsa, CEO of iTAN Sun Spray Spa. “An iMAN is someone who leads a healthy and active lifestyle, is compassionate, and contributes positively to the community.”

The potential iMan strutted their stuff in front of this year’s judges Miss iTan 2013 Brooke Mollring, 2012 iMan Kamron Fariba, Director of the San Diego Charger Girls Lisa Simmons and iTan Founder Irina Kharsa in hopes of capturing the top spot. The crowned iMan went home with $1000 in cash prizes, a year of unlimited free tanning services from iTan and a brand ambassador contract to be the face of iTan Sun Spray Spa during their reign. 

But the road to the top was not an easy one for either Arce or Herman. 

Herman, a natural athlete and former U.S. Marine said he found himself hitting rock bottom just two short years ago. An ill-timed injury while serving in the Marines left Herman unable to deploy with his unit to Afghanistan leading to depression and drinking. When he received the news that the friend that took his place was killed in action, his drinking took a turn for the worst. Herman said he may not be here today if it was not for the positive influence in his life.

“Once I got out of the Marines,” said Herman. “I came home a good friend of mine turned me on to fitness and getting in shape. I finally quit drinking and then eventually led to me to competing in physique competitions and I thank him to this day because I feel like he saved my life.” 

Arce said he spent a majority of his life in the shadows. Growing up the shy-type, he said he looks forward to opportunities to break out of his shell and thrive in the spotlight.

“I wanted to do this to break my typical habits of social anxiety,” said Arce. “I get really nervous when I go up on a stage or in front of a large group of people and this was definitely a way that I could break through those anxious feelings.”

At the end of the night Arce and Herman just missed the podium, falling to North County resident Scott Kemp. Arce said the thrill and experience was good enough in his book.

“Going up on stage and performing is something that is definitely on the crazy side for me but I gave it a try,” he said. “I want to people like me, the shy guys and the socially anxious people that they can do it too.”

To see photos and videos from the event, learn more about the iMan competition and iTan Sun Spray Spa services and locations visit www.itan.com.

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