Fellas, it’s time to have a conversation about some real important shit. So sit down and buckle up and check your ego at the door because it’s time for some real talk … about our health.
I guarantee that line just scared off about 50-percent of my audience. So, if you’re still with me on this, good.
Too often, the importance of health care for men takes a backseat. Perhaps we are just too alpha male to admit that we actually need to take care of ourselves. Perhaps we are just too stupid to realize that smoking and drinking and getting fat won’t harm us. Perhaps we just don’t give a damn.
But here’s the deal: how the hell can we expect to take care of the office, be an awesome partner and be a strong father if we can’t take care of ourselves? You’re fooling yourself if you think you’re above this. Because, frankly, the numbers don’t support it.
The life expectancy of men is six years shorter than that of women. That’s screwed up enough to repeat. Women will outlive men by an average of six years.
To put this into some sports-related terms for those that still can’t grasp this one: That’s enough time to watch an entire recruiting class play through their eligibility (redshirt included), get drafted and play an entire rookie season in the pros. Yeah, that’s a long time. And it’s totally preventable.
According to the CDC, the leading cause of death for men is heart disease. In other words, the reason why most men die is usually because we are too damn stubborn or just plain too dumb to get regular checkups with the doc and lead a healthier lifestyle.
I’m here to tell you that enough is enough.
The calendar just changed from October to November, which means our short attention spans that are not capable of thinking about two things at a time have now shifted from women’s health issues to men’s health issues. I’d argue that we should have a consistent, on-going conversation about both of these important topics, our country is totally unhealthy, we need to keep talking about it.
Men all across America are going to use this month as an excuse to skip shaving for the month to exercise their right to grow some extra stubble on their chin. Dude, I get it. I’m even going to put the razor away this month, so I’m with you on team “fuck shaving everyday.”
The problem is that this is where it’s going to stop. With a cool-looking beard and a well-trimmed mustache.
The focus of the Movember and No Shave November movement is to actually stop and think about your health, so bringing awareness through your facial forest is a great way to bring on the conversation. So kudos to all that are working on their handlebar mustache and their Duck Dynasty style face pubes.
But now it’s time for the next step: Take Action. Now.
Here’s a quick exercise for everyone (ladies, you’re included here). Stop what you’re doing right now. If you’re sitting at your desk at work, or hanging out at home, maybe even reading this on the train or bus or subway … just stop everything … and stand up. Give yourself that big-and-tall-stand-up-like-an-alpha-male pose with your chest puffed out like you’re the man of steel about to crush, shoulders popped back and ready to take on the world. You’re a boss. You’re a fucking rock star. And now I’m about to bring you back down to earth.
Look down. Tilt your head towards your junk. If the direct visual to the manliness is blocked by a protruding waistline, then it’s time to take some more time to take care of yourself.
Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for a host of messed up shit that you’d never want, from heart disease to cancer to diabetes, the list is literally too long for this post. We’ve provided simple ways to get moving even just a little bit more throughout the day … start there.
And then take it to the next level.
If you haven’t been to the doctor in years, suck it up and go. Get a good screening done. Have some blood work done to look at your vitals. Ask lots of questions that may have some serious answers. Don’t be afraid to take that silly cough test. And for my friends over the age of 40, don’t be afraid of the lubricated finger and get your prostate checked out.
Like any other movement, we spend a lot of time building the awareness, but unfortunately we usually spend a lot less time taking action.
Have the conversation today. And this is where our female counterparts come into play, as well. We are a team. If your man is slacking and being all silly about getting serious, it’s up to you to pull him aside and get him to man up.
All that said, having some fun with the muttonchops and extended five-o’clock-shadow is totally cool, too. So, if you are working on that extra stubble for this month of facial glory, join us on our Facebook page and share your progress pics.
Remember, we’re a brotherhood of fathers here … so let’s work together to keep each other accountable so we can all live a little longer to enjoy this special fraternity for as long as possible. Your kids will thank you for taking a little time out to take care of yourself.
What are you doing this month to focus on health? Leave a comment below and share your stories and tips for growing the best beard this side of the Western Hemisphere.
Cover image courtesy: Stephen Poff