In 10 years of participating in Movember a lot of things have changed, but every year I still take this month to support Men’s health by growing a mustache. My motivation has changed over the years, but my mustache and commitment to the cause haven’t.
When I started Movember in 2011, my thoughts were for my father, grandfather and myself. I was concerned primarily about prostate and testicular cancer and encouraging open conversations. I thought growing a mustache would be fun and make an impact.
I continued my journey year after year growing my mustache and raising money for the cause. My efforts shifted with that of the Movember organization from cancer awareness to all forms of physical health while continuing to encourage open communication about men’s health. I also shifted my lens from a personal perspective to more of a community direction, working to get friends, coworkers and the community at large to come together and find other ways to shine light on the cause.
In 2015 with the birth of my first child, the message and meaning of Movember gained even more importance to me. Holding my son in my arms, I realized that the message was bigger than just me or my family. Men and fathers all over the world, from all backgrounds and walks of life were struggling with mental and physical health issues ranging from cancer to PTSD. I felt strongly about the need to continue to raise awareness for open conversations so that men can participate fully in their lives and with their families. The message of open communication is the one that I am helping to show people with my simple mustache. Nobody should be afraid to talk about concerns they have about their physical or mental health.
So that brings us to 2020, a difficult year for all of us. The stresses of this year have helped me realize that Movember is more important than ever.
- Stress is at all-time high, which has correlated to a significant rise in suicide, especially among men.
- Talking with doctors about health concerns is at risk for even the best-intentioned men.
Having this consistent annual campaign is important to me amidst the turmoil of this year. For my part I have already a) had my yearly wellness visit b) looked at personal ways to stay more active while WFH c) talked about ways to reduce stress d) started growing my MO on 11/1 just like I have for the last 9 years!
Thank you to all those who have supported me on my Movember Journey. Although this is a special year for so many reasons, it isn’t my last Movember! I look forward to the future with bright hopes and a warm upper lip!
Erik Gordon Senior Manager | Percipio Consulting Group, Inc.