It’s that time of year again folks. The month when millions, perhaps even billions of men around the world start reforesting their upper lips again for 30-whisker-filled days of brotastical unity—all in a giant effort to raise money and awareness for men’s health.
I call it: The Bewhiskering.
Otherwise known as Movember.
Truth be told, I have no idea why I look so damn good sporting a mustache. It just is what it is. I don’t make the rules regarding who gets to look super sexy just by adding a finely-groomed bushel of facial hair over the upper lip. So if you feel a twinge of jealousy toward me and how good I look, simply know that you are not alone.
In fact, there are thousands, perhaps even dozens, of random people who take one good look at me during the Movember growing season and wonder why their genetic ancestry was unable to provide them with such mustachioed bravado. Simply put, I was born to stache.
The truth about my mustache
All joking aside, mainly my mustache tends to confuse everyone, including passerby, family members, and even close friends. My wife Amanda often turns her neck to the side in such a way that one can only assume she is closely studying this stachetastic phenomenon in an effort to determine its purpose and origin.
In the early stages of development, my mustache is more akin to velcro than facial hair. Whenever I blow my nose, which is often, tiny bits of tissue stick to me, and I continue my day, completely oblivious to this embarrassing predicament. “You have tissue on your face,” is something I hear often.
I catch strangers in the act of staring at me as if I just beamed down from the nearest spaceship, children running frightened into the arms of a parent, and, oddly enough, even squirrels and small hairless dogs seem to be a bit perturbed by the sight of me. But oh well, life goes on, and I can’t let a few insecurities get in the way of raising money for a good cause.
The importance of taking millions of selfies
Last year, as you may well know from my excellent blog coverage, was my first Movember, and I’m happy to report that thanks to my philanthropic circle of friends and family, I was able to raise over five-hundred dollars in cold-hard, digital currency.
But I think something even more important than raising money and awareness for men’s health occurred during this process—something truly special. I didn't just grow a mustache; I grew as a person. It was a privilege to witness firsthand the miracle of my mustache erupting into life like a hairy little baby on my face. And perhaps the most important lesson I learned, was that I really, really love taking selfies.
And so I did.
For thirty glorious days and nights, my stache became my new best friend. We went everywhere together: to work, the post office, grocery shopping, running in the woods. We grabbed sushi and sang in the rain at the park. We cooked gourmet meals and learned to speak Mandarin.
To my surprise, it turned out to be a very special relationship, and so we documented every phase, every memory with a plethora of Instagrammable selfies. Any why not? How often does one get to grow a mustache and tell people that it’s for charity?
So this Movember I have 30-days to grow, or rather, to bewhisker into life, a well-dressed, genteel mustachio. And to accomplish this task, I’ve integrated a much more physically demanding training routine into my daily life.
The new regimen includes the following activities:
- Running backward
- Knuckle push-ups
- Meditating in damp caves
- Vision boards filled with favorite celebrity mustaches
- Competitive Zumba
- Hot yoga
- Pescatarian smoothies
- Learning to make Jello
Pretty hardcore, right?
I’ve stocked up on wax and a new combing kit. And I even started cupping per the fashion of Michael Phelps and the rest of the Olympic swimming team to ensure maximum performance and muscle recovery. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, and I’m ready for a long growing season.
Seriously, though, take care of yourself fool
But in all seriousness, as I grow older and perhaps dumber, I’ve come to realize the importance of staying healthy; the importance of taking care of yourself both mentally and physically.
You see, a long time ago, there was a young man who lived on his parent’s basement couch. He ate chocolate-frosted donuts and bags of Smarties faster than his tummy could recover from a stomachache. He drank vast legions of Mountain Dew soda pop and anything laced with caffeine or sugar. This young man would drive at odd hours of the night to Dairy Queen and Wendy’s and fill his body from head to toe with spicy chicken fingers and delicious bacon cheeseburgers. And he did this pretty much all the time. No one could stop him. But here comes the twist folks. That young man, that misguided soul, was me.
I know it’s hard to believe since I am now such a pillar of health and wisdom. But it’s true.
Years later this young man not only got off that couch but also fell in love with a wonderful woman who showed him another way. Amanda introduced me to this thing called a salad, which was weird (and still sometimes is). And from there she taught me all about vegetables and fruits and other things that I can eat that aren’t candy OR fast food.
So basically, I got lucky.
It’s hard to take care of yourself, especially if you’ve never tried to before. I was probably the best at being bad at it. Even now I’m nowhere, absolutely nowhere near perfect. My inner demon still desires daily tributes of sweets and hearty meals to fill its belly. So I do, just not all the time. And I run, a little bit. And I walk, a lot.
It's really OK to be just average
I’m never going to be a champion marathon runner or a yogi who meditates 10 hours a day. I’m never going to become a vegan or stop eating many of the things considered to be super incredibly bad for you. The truth is, I’m an average kind-of-guy, and I like that. I just want to feel good, be healthy, and not have to worry so much about stuff.
And for all the green smoothie and salad Instagrams I post, I promise you there was still a bag of cookies and a box of pizza that never made its way onto social media. But these days I feel a whole lot better than I did back when donuts could be considered dinner, more balanced, and much, much less bloated. And that is a big reason why I’m growing a big, beautiful mustache to support men’s health.
And there are others good reasons to support the cause, many of which I think are worthy of talking about. But I think I’ve made you read more than enough today, and so without further babbling or gobbledygook, I present to you my donation page:
No pressure ... my love for you remains just as strong, and my admiration just as high whether you donate or not. Good day to you, thanks for reading, and let the Bewhiskering begin.