I’m taking part in Movember this year. I’ll be posting updates and you can donate here: http://mobro.co/damienmason
With a week left before it all kicks off I thought I should try to explain my motivation a little – why this year in particular resonates so strongly with me.
Firstly, I’m doing this for my Dad. He passed away a few years back – cancer came, he fought it off, but then it came again and was too much for him. The fact is that although we think of cancer as some random bolt of asshollery that just happens to strike the ones we love, there are definite lifestyle factors that come into play. My Dad was your typical Aussie male – a smoker, drinker, and the only real exercise he got was pulling up the floor or fixing the roof. Whether these factors were the spark, or just made it harder for his body to recover I don’t know.
He grew up in a world that didn’t know about this stuff. Of course he was a smoker – everyone was. If he’d been told all those years ago “Hey if you start doing this you’ll die at age 60″ of course he would have behaved differently. So yeah.. this Movember is in his memory, in the hope that other men will learn what to look out for and how they should be looking after themselves before it’s too late.
I’m also doing this for my little boy Oscar, much as he’ll complain about my face being spikey. Everything changed when I had a son – I realised I had to teach this little boy how to be a man, when I really didn’t have any idea. What’s Manly? Stoicism? Aloofness? Should I teach him the Aussie way, to suppress his feelings and put on a brave face?
Well, yes and no. There will be times when he can’t change things, and he has to accept it and move on. However I want to teach him that if you’re worried and you keep quiet, that’s not bravery. That’s our own special type of manly cowardice. I want him to know that if he’s concerned about his physical state, or emotionally off kilter, that he should talk to friends and family about it. Basically that, contrary to how my generation grew up, it is the very height of Manliness to talk about his feelings.
So those are my two motivations, and they seem to fit in really well with Movember – it’s about getting the health information out there, but it’s also about normalising talking about all this stuff. Hopefully with this Oscar will grow up in a very different world than what my Dad grew up in.