The Struggle is Real(ly Trite)
It has been a quiet week on the Movember front. The moustache has bedded in, such that you know that there’s a moustache there, but it’s not getting any thicker or darker. It’s taken on a slightly ginger tinge, which is confusing as that’s not my normal hair color. To compound things, I was asked to get a photo outside our offices as part of social media marketing for the Cox School of Business – they’ve promised to explain the dirty ‘stache…
The flow of donations has also slowed down, which means I will probably go into campaign overdrive this week to try and reach the target of $1,000. We’re almost halfway there, which is fantastic. You can avoid me spamming you by donating ahead of time:
Remember that if we hit the target I will do a session of Bikram Yoga. I’ve managed to fit in some exercise each day this month, even though this last week was designated a “rest week” in the rugby training program. Tomorrow is the start of the off season training regimen, which you think would be easy, but actually starts with seven straight days of high intensity training. Thursday, with its solid cardio session, is the closest thing to a break.
The hardest thing about the moustache (and really, the whole basis for the challenge) is that you get looked at funny most everywhere you go. I wish I had a badge or a sign that said “this is for charity, I don’t normally look this bad” that I could tote around.
This was especially true at the National Arts Marketing Project Conference in Salt Lake City. Whilst I wasn’t actively doing client development work, it was still an opportunity to network and meet with senior arts leaders in the field. Since people tend to make snap judgments on looks, there was an instant barrier that had to be overcome. Somehow I got through it though, and managed to make some really good connections there. Also got a lot of great ideas about the field and where it can move ahead from a research standpoint.
There wasn’t much time to play tourist, though I did get a visit in to Temple Square, the Mormon equivalent of the Vatican City. The missionaries took a shine to me, probably because of the suit and tie (I pretty much had the whole uniform thing ready to go), and engaged me in a lot of theological conversation. I left with my own copy of the Book of Mormon, highlighted and annotated by all the missionaries with their favourite chapters and verses. Ever since, I’ve been trying to figure out since who first had the idea of putting hometown locations on name badges – Disney does the same thing. It’s a great conversation starter in the customer service process.
Back to the moustache, the toughest thing at the moment is maintaining the damn thing. The hairs are unruly, growing out in random directions, but too short to be straightened or directed (not that I’d put a hair straightener anywhere near it). It also tends to get frothy when drinking milk or beer, which is kind of gross. I can’t understand why anybody would deliberately do this for reasons not relating to charity.
Which comes back to why myself and my team are putting ourselves through this in the first place. This week of all weeks, when people come together to give thanks, spare a thought for the people going through tough times mentally. Depression and anxiety suck the marrow out of life, isolating people from their friends and family when they need it most. The Movember Foundation supports hundreds of programs worldwide that help people to overcome these debilitating conditions.
You can help be a part of changing lives for the better. This Thanksgiving week, lend a little support here.
And if you are going through your own mental health issues, feel free to reach out, or make use of resources such as these.
Observations on music, coffee, and the occasional controversial thought.
Copyright © Gerard Atkinson 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the owner is strictly prohibited.