Thursday was my birthday. I turned the speed limit, the speed limit in the United States, in miles per hour, or at least the speed limit that President Nixon signed into law when I was 12. Earlier this year, I was following Sammy Hagar’s example and got a citation for exceeding the posted speed limit. It was an expensive reminder to stay within the boundaries.
I am 55, not 70, this year and I am comfortable with the number and idea. Each year, I gain a bit more wisdom, realize I have much more to learn, and realize that I have limits. We all have limits.
Since November ’13, I joined the Movember movement and have been growing a moustache to bring awareness to men’s health. At the beginning of November, the moustache is barely noticeable, but after twelve days the whiskers are visible and several people have asked, ‘Growing a moustache?’
I reply, ‘yep.’ And the conversation begins….
I am growing the moustache, not because I look amazing with one, but because the moustache opens a conversation with men my age about the importance of a regular checkup. There are two other men whom I see regularly at school – they both teach 8th grade and we eat lunch together and talk about school, sports, politics, and teaching. But the conversation came up and I asked,
‘When was the last time you had a checkup?’
Neither could recall their last visit for a checkup and were fuzzy when they were last at the doctor’s office and why. Several years ago, that could have been me, but I’ve had a checkup going back to ’09 and the only reason I’ve had a checkup every year since was that I couldn’t go to Boy Scout summer camp without a medical form which included a physical signed by a doctor.
Each doctor’s visit ends with the same reminders – lose weight, watch you what you eat, get some exercise and each year I’ve promised myself to do better and I begin and then, I am back to my old habits.
Earlier this year, I restarted and I am working hard. I have several friends – real and blogger friends – who’ve influenced me through their actions and blogs about the importance of getting and staying active. So, I am moving. I feel much better and my knees are thanking me for it. I am watching what I eat, taking time to exercise, and feeling better.
So, my moustache grows and it looks ridiculous. The more ridiculous the better because it opens the dialogue and the chance for me to ask,
“When was the last time you had a checkup?”
If it gets one person to schedule a checkup or a couple of men to step it up and change their habits, great. But, I am going to let it grow until December 1, then it’s gone.
In the meantime, when was the last time you had a checkup or the significant man in your life had a checkup?
I am not only growing a moustache to raise awareness to men’s health and asking men ‘the question,’ I am also raising money so the Movember Foundation can spread the word about men’s health. If you are able, please donate, if not please ask ‘the question’ of the male in your life,
When was the last time you had a checkup?
Today is gonna be a great day. It already is…I am moving and grooving. It’s a beautiful fall day and I am going to be outside raking leaves in the sunshine and maybe, just maybe I will be able squeeze in a workout and a swim, if not today, then tomorrow. And as always, I have a pile of school work to start and finish before Monday morning. Making the Days Count, one day at a time, one question after another.
What will you be doing to make your day a great day?